5 Empowering Leadership Tips
Are you using these 5 empowering leadership tips?
The elements in the audit that assess Empowering Leadership
To be a high-performance organisation you must have high-performance leaders who are skilled at engaging, empowering and coaching their team members to deliver high-performance results.
According to McKinsey, "Leadership strength explains nearly 80% of the variance in companies' ability to sustain exceptional performance over time".
So let's dive a little deeper into each of the 5 empowering leadership activities.
15. Team members receive regular feedback/coaching around their individual performance
High-performing individuals love feedback. They love receiving it, and they love sharing it!
In lower-performing teams feedback is often only provided by leaders at performance appraisal time or when performance is so bad that everyone is upset!
Some studies suggest that the average leader is stripped of about one and a half hours a day because of under-performers in their team.
Let's say that a leader is on $50/hour. That's just shy of $20,000 per year for that one leader focusing on matters that aren't growing the business.
And, you and I both know that when there's an under-performer there's a whole bunch of people spending time moaning about it. Massive losses of productivity and morale often ensue. This means that that $20,000 is a very, very conservative figure.
What could you do with an extra $20,000 a year?
Because, here's what I know. When you've got leaders who are good at coaching people up, they stop wasting inordinate amounts of their time with under-performers. Those people are coached up or coached out fast.
Instead, their engaging and empowering leadership means that they've inspired their team members to higher levels of performance. And that means sustainable high-performance results.
In higher-performing teams, the leadership has set up the culture and the norms for people to relish feedback as a way of continuously improving. When feedback is regular and 'just-the-way-we-do-things-around-here' there is little to no angst around it.
Empowering Leadership means making it everyone's job to provide regular feedback/coaching - whether that's up, down or sideways!
You'll know you've got it right when team members are giving each other feedback, and they appreciate it!
You'll know that you're genuinely an empowering high-performing leader when your people are readily and regularly giving you feedback, and you are taking it seriously!
Foster a growth mindset
Inspire your people to develop an attitude of: "What can I learn from this? What will I choose to do differently next time?"
(Low Cost) Access the Successful Feedback Workbook
(Low Cost) Access the Solutions Focused Coaching Workbook
(Low Cost) Read Mindset by Carol Dweck
(Investment) Have Shelley run a Successful Feedback and/or Make A Dent Coaching workshop with your team. Set up a free strategy session to discuss if your team is ready for this workshop.
16. Our team members regard our leaders as role models for high-performance thinking, behaviours, and results
Would you want to be led by you?
Here's a question I often ask leaders in workshops: "Would you want to be led by you?" Think about that for a moment. Like most of us, you could point to plenty of people from whom you learned 'what not to do' as a leader. Hopefully, like me, you've had the wonderful gift of being led by men and women who are inspirational role models.
Here's something you can take to the bank. Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as a leader dictates the culture of your team and the results achieved. If you've got a leader with low EQ, I can guarantee you've got a business that is not performing at its best. I'll also wager that you've got high-turnover and absenteeism.
A leader's emotional intelligence leaks through the entire organisation. Are your leaders fouling or cleaning your team members capacity to produce great work?
Here's another exercise I often ask: "If there were five words that people would use to describe your leadership today, what would those five words be?" Are those words that your business needs to thrive? Because if they aren't then you need to shift your leadership.
Furthermore, your leaders need to be good at not only creating the systems that support the 4Bs of high-performance, but they also need to be role modelling them as well.
The 4Bs that you need to get right as an empowering leader are:
Want a quick way to judge how empowering your leadership is?
It's lunchtime, and one of your team members is sitting in the park eating her lunch. Her phone rings and she looks down and sees your name and number pop up. Does she groan in frustration and annoyance? Or, does she smile and pick up the phone with a cheery "What's up boss?"
Engaged employees deliver improved business performance. Your leadership team is one of the prime influencers of engagement and performance.
Building empowering leadership teams
(Free) Access the Mindset of a High-Performance Employee. Use the ideas in this program to inspire you and your leadership team to new performance.
(Investment) Have your team members' Emotional Intelligence profiles assessed. Here is a sample of the individualised report that you'd receive for each team member. Contact Shelley to discuss in more detail
(Investment) Run the Thought Patterns for High-Performance program. This program has transformed hundreds of thousands of individuals and organisations around the globe.
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17. My direct leader organises productive, worthwhile meetings
If you have team members, who are regularly attending boring meetings ... run by boring people ... about boring subjects ... they can’t help but think to themselves this must be a boring company!
Poorly run meetings send a message to people that we are a business that isn’t high-performing.
Being able to participate in and run efficient meetings is a crucial skill for ongoing success.
18. My leader inspires me to be connected to our vision and mission, and helps me believe in my value to the organisation
Earlier we discussed the 4Bs of high-performance. The B of Believing has the power to transform performance.
To demonstrate - Whom do you know volunteers hours of their time for a cause, hobby, sport about which they are passionate? It could be something like out on the weekends cleaning up beaches, standing at Bunnings for their Rotary Club, being the President of their local sporting club. These same people who may drag themselves into paid work, are enthusiastically giving up their time. These people are engaged and committed, because they are deeply connected to something that makes their heart sing.
You can replicate that engagement and commitment in the workplace too. I know, because I was a leader in an organisation that did just that!
Empowering leadership is about making that 'passion' linkage for people at work.
For example, when I was a leader in a Colgate-Palmolive factory that made detergent powder, we didn't talk to our team members about how our product helped people to do their weekly wash. There's nothing sexy, nor inspiring about people doing their laundry. Nothing that would make an individual wake up and say to themselves, "Great, it's a work day. I get to stand in a dirty, dusty factory in, at times, up to 56C degree heat. I'm springing out of bed with joy!"
For this reason, we knew that we had to find something that inspired people to want to come to work with a spring in their step.
So, what we did was talk about how we were all growing. How we were becoming high-performers as individuals and a team, while we produced detergent powder.
We inspired them to adopt business partner mindsets. Helping them to fully appreciate the impact their actions and decisions made each and every day to success of the business.
We regularly talked about how we were becoming the global showcase for high-performance in our multi-national.
As a leadership team, we were dedicated to leading with principles rather than rules.
Our focus, as leaders, was upon creating the environment that inspired people to give their best. Boy, did we get that right! With national and international recognition for high-performance, I can safely say that our team members were extraordinary and (most of the time) loved their work.
Empowering Leadership through Vision and Brand
(Free) Read about how disengaged my local pizza driver was, and what could have been done to get him more engaged.
(Low-Cost) In the "Starting Your Ideal Leadership Role" training, you can do several exercises to help you create your leadership brand and identify how well you are going at building the 4Bs into your team.
(Free) Contact Shelley for a free strategy session to discuss your leadership concerns. In your 30-minute session, she'll help you diagnose what your next best steps are.