Leadership is not a role – it’s the way you build and align people to the purpose, rally people together and how you show up. And essentially, powerful leadership comes down to the little things that are done on a daily basis. This can be the difference between a leader who gives a damn and an average one. The difference between just ticking the boxes daily/weekly/monthly and being self-aware and feeling into the leadership. It is about being present and practicing non-reactionary, servant leadership.
Picture this…you’ve had a crappy morning – you slept in, traffic was bad, you had a fight with your spouse/sibling/child. Then you get to work, don’t say hi to anyone, and shut your office door. Whilst you are all-consumed by the way your morning has gone, your colleagues are left not knowing what the tone for the rest of the day is. Are you approachable? Should they discuss the latest project they’re working on with you? Will they add to your frustrations?
Reflection point: what do you do – positively or negatively – that sets the tone or the culture for the day?
We have heard of the benefits of having a good morning routine – but do you apply this to your workplace as well? Is there a routine or a set of standards you follow every day to show you care about your people and create an engaged culture?
When we are wanting to step into the shoes of a leader who gives a damn, then we start to realise that every time we interact with someone, especially in those small ways, it starts to create a culture – whether you are present to it or not.
Now, this is particularly important for those whose strengths don’t lie in relationship building. If you’re raising your hand here as a task-oriented person, then it’s about gaining awareness as to what part of relationship building makes you feel uncomfortable and working through that. Secondly, look at who is on your team and see if you can leverage other team member’s people skills to bring that aspect to the team as a whole.
So what are some of these little things, leaders can do to make a difference? From our work and surveying leaders we’ve worked with, we discovered the following tips…
- Be conscious of how you open meetings, and the flow on effect that has on every meeting thereafter. Say hi, acknowledge everyone, ask questions about what’s going on for them, before going into that meeting’s topic.
- Get to know your team member’s strengths and provide opportunities for them to use them in BAU or in projects.
- Be vulnerable, show your humanness, reduce assumptions and provide context on how you’re feeling.
- Personalise your interactions, use a system to note down your team member’s birthdays, spouse/child/pet’s name, etc.
- Be aware of how you show up in your daily interactions, the energy you bring and be mindful of how you leave people feeling after conversations.
- Take the time to recognise your team and make them feel appreciated.
This is excerpt from a conversation in the Leaders Who Give a Damn podcast series with Becky Hammond from Isogo Strong. Becky is a maven in the Strengths world, who partners with organisations to build engaged cultures where people thrive. Becky also inspires couples and mums to look at life differently through a lens of strengths, focusing on what’s right and getting more flow back into their lives.
You can listen to this episode of the Inspired Energy podcast on your favourite platform.