With the proper sentiment, mindset, knowledge, and tools, leaders can empower multitudes of talented people to collectively bring about required change or to maintain needed stability. Over the past twenty-plus years, I’ve had the opportunity to witness leaders bring about the change and maintain the stability that boosts enterprise-wide quality, speed, savings, and innovation. These results required leadership commitment, and careful observance of seven leadership rules. In the coming weeks I’ll outline the leadership rules and how to use them in your organization. First up, create a supportive environment.
Recognize, encourage, and help people who take risks. If people want to try a new way of doing things, for example, give them the chance to try it; if they succeed, recognize their success. If the new way fails, celebrate the lesson learned and encourage them to keep looking for ways to do things better. Really listen to what others are saying. Ask questions to clarify anything that you don’t fully understand. Read the person’s body language and respond appropriately. If the person looks hurt, ask if he or she feels bad about something and would like to talk about it. Invite people to participate as opposed to excluding them. Including and involving people is one true mark of a leader. Engage others by opening up more meetings to more people and pulling people into conversations that you might not normally pull them into. Taking actions like these to build a supportive environment will improve your organization’s culture.
Seven leadership rules that help organizations rise to new peaks of performance are featured in my latest book, Energized Enterprise.