The same leadership challenges arise across almost every industry. There are challenges like dealing with time, making decisions, learning organisational politics, creating a shared purpose, and communicating across silos, all of which can be strategically acquired at a dedicated learning centre. There are specific performance measures taught at most learning centres that must occur if you are to move the ball forward. First of all, there needs to be trust within your team to optimise communication and produce work. There needs to be sharing of information for employees to understand the context and intent so that they can make their own decisions. Below are the four common lessons you would wish you had learned sooner:
Making the right decision v/s making the safe choice.
Leadership is having the courage to make generally unliked decisions as many times they are the right decisions. It is a leader’s job to communicate to his/her team not only the why behind the decisions for them to understand the rationale behind it but also to listen to their concerns to make a more informed decision. Only strong leaders can take difficult decisions. They know that avoiding a decision is also a decision in itself, and postponing it only exacerbates the problem.
Behind each complaint lies an unexplored question.
Meetings are more than employees getting together and figuring things out. They provide an opportunity for connection and belonging. If you will ponder, there is no other such arrangement to make decisions, build community, connect and find meaning. Even a benign remark by an employee gives insight into that employee’s world. Instead of ignoring such remarks, learn his or her thinking behind it and give him/her a proper explaination.
There is no work/life balance.
Stop trying to balance your work and life. If you are ambitious and hungry for more, then you can’t get there and achieve your goals if you are only playing half of your time. Think of the work and life areas as existing along one single spectrum where one day may want more effort at work, and another may demand more attention at home. Certainly, the challenge is seen when the job requires all of your attention that impacts your life. Know one thing not to fight it. To tackle this, you can set decision-making boundaries for yourself, and your employees as boundaries reduce the sense of enormity and uncertainty.
Emotions are not scary.
Emotions are uncomfortable for weak leaders. The most influential leaders are comfortable talking about feelings as they are confident in doing so. Leadership takes courage and performing a skill you are already good at isn’t leading, it is execution. It takes courage to talk about topics like emotions through which you not only become more resilient but also a leader that people are willing to follow.