At it’s core, leadership is the process of influencing others. Leadership Impact describes to what degree you are moving your team toward desired goals and objectives as well as how well you are supporting and developing those on your team to perform at their best while developing them to fulfill their potential. Remember,
Performance = Potential – Interference!
Your ability to influence others has many variables and the most important one is how you approach every interaction you have with others throughout your day. As Susan Scott observed in her book, Fierce Conversations, “every conversation either builds up or tears down the relationship.” Think about that! Whether it’s a 2 minute chat or a
30 minute discussion, the outcome of that exchange is either pouring into the strength of that relationship or it’s draining or potentially damaging the relationship. Strength = increased Leadership Impact; Damage = decreased Leadership Impact.
The key is to practice Awareness; knowing where your energy is at every moment and Consciously Choosing where you want it to be; your continual Attitude Check. Bringing Anabolic Energy into an interaction is going to set you up for success and pouring strength into the relationship, regardless of where the other person’s energy is. Bringing Catabolic Energy into the interaction will have the opposite outcome. It always starts with YOU.
Tips to Improve Your Leadership Impact:
- Set your intention at the beginning of the day to apply Anabolic Energy in every conversation.
- Actively listen to what the other person says and notice what they’re not saying
(body language, facial expression, tone of voice).
- Be 100% fully engaged; avoid multi-tasking on your phone or laptop.
- Be comfortable with silence and pauses. It’s good to give people space to think and feel without interruption.
- Ask empowering questions (open ended).
- Avoid using the conjunction ‘but’ during the conversation, which can introduce a tone of win/lose. Instead, use the conjunction ‘and’ and look for points of agreement or opportunities to collaborate.
- Be your Authentic self; be genuine. If you don’t really care how someone is doing, don’t ask them “How are you today?” People know whether you are being your true self or trying to be something that you are not. This ties back to #1, set your intention and follow through in an authentic, genuine way.
The Only Constant is Change
Now more than ever, change has become a constant that affects not only the workplace but your personal life as
working-from-home has blurred the lines for many leaders. As companies navigate forward to a blended
environment of remote and on-site work activities, leaders must consider not only how their team progresses through this change model but also each individual team member is managing through the
Looking at the chart, you can see what happens to performance (blue curve) as the team progresses through the phases of the change. Although most leaders strive for a flat line during the change, that is an unrealistic expectation. In Zone 2, people are likely responding with catabolic energy as they process what the change means to them both personally and professionally. As a leader, it’s important to give them space to sort through those thoughts and feelings, as well as support and information so that they can move forward. If you don’t enable your team or team members to release their catabolic energy (fear, anger, hopelessness, frustration, victimization) they will not progress to Zone 3. As they enter Zone 3, focus on what you can do to foster the win-win outlook as they begin to embrace the change and move forward. Set collaborative goals with them, as a team and individually. Leverage frequent 1:1
sessions to release any lingering catabolic energy to make room for that creative, inspirational, healing and productive anabolic energy! Connect your team’s goals to the overarching vision of the change. This sets you up for “success begetting success” as you propel forward into Zone 4 where you will not only see improved performance from Zone 3 but likely higher levels of performance than prior to the change. Your tone, your behaviors, your energy as a leader is the barometer that will influence everyone else!
Leaders Are Catalysts
Make no mistake, your team is a reflection of you as a Leader. Note that in a recent poll, there is a dramatic difference between the talent brought out by the “worst” leaders (31% avg) compared with the talent brought out by the “best” leaders (95% avg). Great leaders enable their teams to exceed the performance that they thought was possible (110%)!
Applying what we’ve discussed thus far, in terms of choosing your energy in every moment and focusing on your Leadership Impact is going to serve you well. However there is no replacement for continual growth and learning, at every level of leadership! Adopting a Mastery Mindset is a leadership force multiplier! As a partner with Academy Leadership, LLC, I am privileged to offer you premium, executive level leadership programs as well as work with you to customize a program to suit your specific needs. Programs are available both on-site in Kansas City, Missouri as well as virtual. Connect with me to get registered today and fuel your ability to foster the most talent and performance from your team!
As one of my leadership coaching clients thrives in her newly discovered anabolic energy, she has rekindled her creative passion of poetry. I am pleased to share her talent with you!
Wanting time to stand still….it never will. Time only flies while I sit and wonder why. It’s a question I ask when trying to digest the past.
I think its there….but its only air.
Changing in an instant to something so distant.
Why is as elusive as the sky.
Asking why you will chase the sky.
As colors in the sky reflect my eyes, it can be seen a thousand different ways…to a
thousand different eyes.
It remains forever constant and forever silent.
So why chase the sky.
I can beg Father Time to rewind, to bring peace to my mind.
Mother Nature only matures…and my dreams rupture.
Yet now I choose to be strong and move on!
Let go of the why and just say goodbye.
Now my dreams survive and so can I!
As I cease to chase the sky, as the time goes by,
I no longer wonder why.
You cannot always choose your circumstances, but you can always choose