Leading with vision
There have been a number of research studies that show that most people do not work to their full potential, and a leader has to push develop and enhance potential by creating conditions where all employees would be able to contribute, according to Salma Sakhnini, Founder of ICON.
While creating these conditions, it is important to remember boundaries and specific guidelines need to be defined. Once these boundaries have been established, encourage team members to be self-governing using available resources, time frames and constraints.
There are many different resources that can be utilised when leaders define the expected boundaries in their organisation. One of these resources is information, which is important to control because it is not just knowledge and facts. Information is often linked to core products or services offered by a company. The information a company beholds is both internal and external.
Employees very often have information about clients and of course there is information in regards to the organisation’s goals and objectives. This is why it is so important that the leader defines these boundaries and encourages others to be self-governing. It is all about placing trust in your employees and encouraging the process along the way.
Use the established process and systems to your advantage. Setting boundaries are always necessary in successful organisations, however, that may not always be enough to convince people to follow protocol. Being straightforward and allowing your team members to help establish your plan helps to shape the process and allow buy-in to accomplish the desired outcome.
Procedures can be seen as organisational tools for companies. It is good to give employees freedom but at the same time it is necessary to manage the process. Always focus on encouraging your employees to be independent while using procedures as organisational tools.
There are many different tools that can be used to establish safe and effective boundaries. Communication is one of the most important tools when it comes to the workplace environment. When there is faulty communication, people can easily feel unwanted or feel like their effort is unimportant to the final goal. As a leader, use this tool to your advantage by being clear and concise when assigning task and supporting the process and team member to achieve the goal.
Everyone has different talents, gifts and abilities. As a leader, your responsibility is to draw out these talents and maximise performance. Give your employees a chance to shine in the workplace and give them the opportunity to brainstorm and share their ideas in a judgment-free zone. Encourage these talents in a way that makes them want to engage, work hard and strive for success.
It is important to reward team members who have put forth the time and effort to achieve a task or complete a project. Be sure to show them they are greatly appreciated and a major asset to your organisation. Time is a very coveted necessity and how people use their time is crucial. It shows their dedication to the company as well as their motivation to contribute to the bottom line and succeed.
When a group hits a milestone, celebrate! It is good to encourage success and major accomplishments. Reaching a goal is huge when it comes to being a leader. It means that you have successfully organised your company in a way that allowed for success to be achieved. Setting established time frames are crucial when it comes to reaching milestones.
If the project is due at some random time, it may never get done. However, when there is a date the project needs to be finished by, team members are more likely to work hard and do whatever it takes to reach the goal. Establishing completion dates are critical in reaching goals. As the saying goes, "What gets measured gets managed." It is so easy to procrastinate and continue to put things off but when there is a deadline on the project, one is challenged to look ahead and focus on completion of the assignment.
Non – negotiables
Some things cannot be changed. When something is non-negotiable, there is much less wiggle room when it comes to creativity. This is one of the moments when being a leader can be very difficult. People, by default, will look to you to meet their needs and to challenge things they want to be changed. However, it is your job to explain that some things are simply part of the successful process and based on experience and lessons learned cannot be changed.
The overall budget is something that cannot be altered if the bottom line is one of the benchmarks for success. However, the place where the money goes within the budget can often be changed since the dynamics of operations and technology are always changing. Say, for example, you are planning an event and originally had $4,000 set aside for catering and only $1,000 set aside for a venue. If you were to go with a less popular caterer, making the cost $1,000, then you can add the remaining amount of $3,000 towards the venue.
Money can easily be moved around but, unfortunately, it does not grow on trees. You cannot make new money appear but you can review resources and gather new information to achieve the end results. The bottom line is to accomplish the task within the allowed budget.
Facilities often set the tone for the project. There are a few situations where your company would be able to use multiple facilities. If it is a very small company and they do not have a permanent building, then they are able to meet in a variety of spaces depending on the task. This could be at different homes, personal meetings at Starbucks, among other locations. If a facility option is set, find creative ways to decorate, paint or move furniture to inspire and accommodate the needs of the group to accomplish the task.
As the leader of the company, it is crucial you treat all of your staff with respect. This is important because you are in authority over your employees, which can be considered a constraint from a team member's point of view. Empowering your team creates trust and trust creates mutual respect. Learning how to be a leader who respects others is a valuable skill. It empowers others to want to follow!
A visionary leader sees their staff as valuable members of the team. The leader gives them space to be creative and think outside of the box and to use their individual talents and skills. Although there are some constraints when it comes to people learning how to be self-governing, the benefits far exceed the risk. As a leader, it is crucial, that you set boundaries and time frames while also providing the needed support of your team to achieve their full potential.