The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”Seth Godin
Of course, you are an expert in your business and know what the future should look like for your organization. Of course, you have created a vision. But how can you help people follow your vision, overcome the obstacles and be determined to make the future happen?
In this article, we help YOU to unveil this secret: to co-create with your people the way to make the new future happen. We have made up a script with 5 takes for you to consider and put into action to shape the future – you and your people
Take 1 displays leadership qualities.
Certainly, leaders are aware of what leading means, they get things done and make things happen. Their peers and teams appreciate them for this.
It´s not just about making things happen, it´s about anticipating the right things, not being afraid of taking risks, and investing in leaving footprints. You communicate an inspiring clear vision and build the way to get there together with your people. But what if the road gets steep and rocky, will they still follow you and your vision? Let them be part of it, share power, establish transparency, assign responsibilities, make your people understand why, give their work a sense. This will make exponential things happen since your people know what purpose they are here for and they will share your vision of the company leading the future.
Talking about investing: your people are your assets! Invest in THEM. I´m not talking about extraordinarily high salaries. The focus is on you. It´s your obligation to
- Make your people grow,
- Teach and mentor them,
- Unleash their creative and innovative power,
- Give way to their special capabilities and ideas.
The emerging generations have a lot to offer. Leverage their potential and develop new passionate leaders for your teams and your company in-company. Make your teams be their own “start-ups”. Self-actualization – this is what Gen Y and following are looking for. Hire the best – you won´t have to look for them, they´ll be queuing in front of your door.
Briefly, be a Servant Leader.
X Leadership Principles. →
Strategic Thinking is take 2.
Leaders lead the thinking of the management, it´s their job. Leaders like you who are up to Shape the Next also complete management´s thinking by thorough, forward looking strategic thinking and imagination.
Having a vision is good, but it’s way better to develop a strategy by continuously discovering, iterating and drawing lessons from each round, learning with and from your people. Time and again, we have outlined the importance of designing, communicating, implementing and reviewing a strategy for an organization in our ActioGlobal blog (for example, see How to Make Strategy and OKR the Organizational Compass to Learn and Win (actioglobal.com). To avoid reruns in this script, I´d refer to these articles and give you a preview here.
No strategy – no victories. Leaders Who Shape the Next have the answers on these 5 questions ready:
- 1-What is your winning aspiration? Build an organization with capable people who have the power to win with “those who matter most”,
- 2-Where will you play? Make your choice: no company can be all things to all people.
- 3-How will you win? Understand sustainable cost drivers, standardize and rationalize. Work at the Gemba, build your brand to delight current and future customers.
- 4-What capabilities must be in place? Efficiency, collaboration, brand building, speed to market, strategic clarity, shared mindset, innovation, accountability, and customer connectivity.
- 5-What management systems are required. Work together as a community focused on a common purpose by using the OKR model.
In take 2 you have demonstrated that you make decisions based on data like you have done before. But additionally, now you have also involved all stakeholders, above all your customers, and got their support. It´s their money, so they demand to be involved, to be at the center of your decisions.
Your priority setting in take 3 is the sequel of take 2. No doubt, setting the right priorities and push through the most important issues first – regardless increased workload and probable obstacles – is one of the characteristics of a good leader. Leaders who Shape the Next by New Work are different. Their instrument is “Accordion Management” where work is flowing in surges: re-prioritize continuously, favor high-value work for yourself and your people, grant responsibility to your network of self-organizing teams, be present at the Gemba to see and understand first-hand how the processes are going on. This new way of yours proves your appreciation and respect to your people as well as to your customers.
Don’t take care of any priority task or responsibility personally, assign it to your people and make it personal for them, too. Challenge them. It´s not top-down, it´s trusting each other, sharing information, sharing knowledge – communicating to deliver what is needed. This is the road to success. Shape the Next together with skilled, self-responsible passionate teams.
The PEAK® framework is a radical transformation in the way that Adevinta teams work. It takes effort and commitment but it is truly empowering our people and aligning us around outcomes. The loop connecting continuous learning and business impact is both engaging and enriching.
From my marketing functional leadership perspective, I strongly value PEAK®´s power to break functional silos. In my experience with Schibsted and Adevinta we tried hard. Now Corporate marketing teams are working as one in the local operations, collaborating effectively with other functions. ActioGlobal has been the perfect partner in this journey.”Santiago Rodríguez de Miguel, Adevinta
Take 4 gets personal. Leaders are required to consistently help their teams build the skills to solve any problems coming up ranging from issues in production to unsatisfied customers. A wide range, definitely, that needs having an eye for detail. But you do not just solve them, you have a deep understanding of what´s going on in your organization since you go, see and ask why at the Gemba regularly. These experiences and insights empower you to anticipate problems and place them on the management´s table together with an adequate solution. Management gets enthusiastic. Detecting problems before they come up saves your company a lot of trouble, waste in any respect and finally money but requires leaders to have a high level of intelligence, a high IQ. For you, that´s not enough. A leader deals with people, so he needs a high level of emotional intelligence, EQ. Next to make decisions with great humanity, keeping your commitments and being authentic increases your peoples trust in you. That you help your people goes without saying but it´s your practicing Radical Candor, your giving and receiving helpful feedback, with which you win your people over. Both parts benefit from empathy, constructive criticism and ideas how to change to the better.
Both, IQ and EQ, lead you to set a personal priority: use the features of the new leadership model to develop passionate successors and make them evolve the DNA of Leaders Who Shape the Next.
If they are better than you, finally – great! Mission accomplished.
Take 5 comprises the big picture.
Leaders understand and meet the expectations on their roles according to their function and title. They follow through the important things with excellence. As a Leader Who Shapes the Next, you look beyond this, you routinely strive for improvements, innovations, new horizons.
You follow through, even if it does not look like it, without wavering. This characteristic creates a great sense of confidence in you, people trust you are the rock in the surf. Together with you, we can.
Good leaders improve the reputation and the success of their organization, but they work in the system. Leaders Who Shape the Next work on the system and so change the DNA of their organization with unexpected contributions – again your Gemba Walks and collaborating with your team empowered you to do so. Leaders Who Shape the next make an impact, because their teams do.
In a film, “The End” is displayed here. For leaders. But Leaders Who Shape the Next throw away their trophies and start again – every day.