The hardworking leader is often portrayed as a sleep-deprived, stubborn, borderline manic individual obsessed with the bottom line and neglectful of their own self-care. While some people might fit this category, most do not.
This stereotype can be harmful when it’s meant to lampoon leaders and mock anyone who struggles to achieve a healthy personal and professional lifestyle. Being a healthy high achiever doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and that’s okay.
In reality, the best leaders make time to take care of themselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. Being able to balance the challenges of work with the importance of self-care is one of the most important leadership qualities. Failing to achieve this balance is a strategic leadership error that can bleed out into the rest of the business.
Ignoring the needs of one’s mind and body hurts one’s ability to think, focus, and help others in need. Conversely, engaging in self-care boosts the mind, body, and spirit, which also gives a boost to the others around you.
How strong is your self-care routine? Do you find yourself struggling to maintain a work-life balance? How are your coworkers and employees faring on this front? Here’s a deeper dive into how self-care can improve your performance as a leader and support a habit of good personal and professional health.
Proper Sleep: Alertness and Ability to React
Sleep science has come a long way in the past few decades and researchers have found a critical link between good sleep and improved work performance. The National Sleep Foundation reports that 29% of workers regularly feel sleepy while at work, which impacts their ability to function optimally.
Missing out on a good night’s sleep can lead to a loss of focus and increased irritability. A Harvard study found that a consistent lack of sleep was associated with lower work productivity, poorer job performance, slower career progression, and a lower level of overall job and career satisfaction.
When work piles up and deadlines loom, people often put sleep on the back burner. This is a big mistake. The importance of proper sleep can’t be overstated, especially for leaders.
Effective leadership depends on maximum alertness. By sacrificing precious hours of slumber, leaders are less equipped to react to challenges, prioritize tasks, and help other employees deal with their levels of stress. Conversely, getting proper sleep allows one’s mind to refresh, retain important information, and handle new problems as they arise.
The Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Connection
While improper sleep plagues a large chunk of the population, so does poor nutrition and exercise. As people rush from one place or task to the next, they forget to take time to nourish themselves with proper food, water, stretching, and other basic body needs.
To keep things moving in their busy professional lives, people may skip meals or grab the nearest, fastest option from the vending machine. The fast-food drive-through or microwave might become a substitute for fresh, nutrient-packed meals. While these choices may be convenient, they can do serious harm to one’s work performance and overall health.
Foods low in nutritional value don’t provide the vitamins and nutrients the brain and body need to thrive. Over time, poor choices negatively impact brain function and the results become obvious at work and in your interpersonal relationships. The National Institutes of Health call this the “food and mood” connection, which has long-term impacts for your physical and mental health.
While nutritional science is always evolving, most studies have shown that a diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meat and fish, and minimal sugar is the most healthful approach. Drinking water is especially important, as is avoiding large amounts of alcohol.
Additionally, regular exercise has an array of positive effects. It improves metabolic function, burns calories, and also produces endorphins to increase alertness, reduce tension, and improve your mood. In this way, eating well and exercising are two of the best ways of managing leadership stress.
Setting an Example: Helping Others Find Self Care
Self-care does not equate to selfishness. Quite the opposite. By practicing self-care, leaders can do more for their employees because they do what it takes to maintain the personal capacity to nourish others.
As a leader, you might wonder how you can support your team members in their journeys of self-care and personal productivity. At the most basic level, how can managers help their employees deal with stress?
First, they can share their own experiences of dealing with stress with employees. People appreciate having a caring boss who takes time to listen to their challenges. By advising on beneficial sleep patterns, diet, exercise, and other methods of stress reduction, leaders can set a great example in the workplace and create a culture of healthy performance.
Additionally, leaders who practice self-care regularly will have more energy to help their employees. With enough rest and restoration, leaders can prioritize their workload to set aside time for helping others, honing these crucial leadership skills.
Leaders can also share resources that encourage positive routines, habits, thoughts, and behaviors. When they come across a book or program that helps them operate at peak performance, they can offer to connect a struggling employee or coworker to this same helpful resource.
Self-Care With the Accelerate Leadership Program
Do you need to update your professional self-care routine? Here’s a reliable resource with proven benefits for professionals and organizations.
The Accelerate Leadership Program (ALP) encourages positive self-care as a person builds their leadership talent, confidence, and knowledge. This is a health-positive method of learning leadership habits because ALP allows each participant to hone their leadership style in a personalized and individualized program.
ALP is different from many other types of leadership programs because it involves interpersonal coaching, not just training. Strategic leadership coaching programs go far beyond basic leadership training programs with a more caring and robust approach that incorporates leadership coaches, customized coursework, peer connections, and a highly interactive environment.
At Leadership Resources, our goal is to help people thrive and keep their personal and professional self-care at the heart of the learning process. We’re here to provide guidance and support that allows people to flourish in the workplace.
Leadership in times of growth, stress, and change truly tests one’s abilities. Self-care should remain at the forefront during these times, for the sake of the business, its leaders, its clients, and its employees who deserve the very best health and well-being.Read More
There is no single “right way” to operate a business or poise it for long-term success. Every enterprise is unique. Still, specific leadership development approaches transcend these differences, offering near-universal benefits to businesses of all sizes and types.
Strategic leadership refers to one such approach to business management that can yield numerous long-term benefits when properly implemented and executed. Of course, it’s worth noting that the upsides of the strategic leadership approach are contrasted with some downsides, too.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of strategic leadership. In particular, we’ll focus on how your company can gain the immense benefits of strategic leadership while minimizing the impact of any potentially limiting factors.
What Is Strategic Leadership?
Strategic leadership can be defined as a leadership philosophy that prioritizes the communication and execution of a particular vision via tangible, streamlined actions and processes. In other words, the strategic leader not only generates and clarifies a business’ vision but also adeptly leads its team toward realizing said vision one step at a time.
The best strategic leaders can simultaneously keep the big picture and the key details in mind, which is precisely what allows their business to achieve its short- and long-term goals. The leadership skills required for this brand of leadership include strong communication, a focus on culture, judicious deployment of power, self-control, compassion, consistency, loyalty, and strong motivation.
The Plus Sides of Strategic Leadership
Many potential leadership development benefits come with the strategic leadership approach. First, strategic leaders can unite teams, generate buy-in, and keep everyone on the same page as they work together toward a collective goal. In this way, each strategic leader keeps their team members from losing focus or losing touch with one another, which makes it that much easier to move the entire business forward.
Also, strategic leadership establishes a framework for practical decision-making. When goals are clearly communicated, everyone can better contribute to the collective vision. Strategic leadership also facilitates impartial, long-term thinking because it filters daily decisions through the lens of the broader vision.
Strategic leadership also encourages company-wide accountability and productivity, which sets the stage for overall success. Although some employees may fear the concept of accountability because it sounds a bit scary at first, the strategic leadership approach embraces positive accountability by incorporating active listening, interpersonal feedback, emotional intelligence-building, and leadership training.
Finally, the best strategic leaders cultivate commitment among their teams by acting as daily role models for proficiency and practicality. In other words, they practice what they preach! For all of these reasons, businesses should consider investing in strategic leadership training.
In fact, pursuing the strategic approach to leadership is one of the best ways to ensure a company succeeds at attracting top talent and retaining superstar employees. High achievers are naturally attracted to companies that come with the benefits listed above, and they’re more likely to remain at companies that are supportive and successful.
Imagine your company as a huge rowboat that’s out at sea, spinning out of control. A strategic leadership plan not only helps everyone put their paddles in the water and row together in unison, but it also points the boat in precisely the right direction so you arrive at the desired destination as quickly as possible.
The Setbacks of Strategic Leadership
A strategic leadership approach isn’t always a flawless one, of course. As with all long-term processes and goals, there’s no way to know for certain what the business, industry, or global situation will look like in the next year, five years, decade, and so on. A major challenge like a national economic instability or worldwide health crisis can put a strain on your organization.
Personal and professional stress is a side effect of these situations. In this way, long-term strategic thinking itself can become a significant expense and source of leadership stress, especially if a seemingly solid plan becomes irrelevant in the face of unpredictable changes. This is why strategic leaders must be as flexible as they are visionary.
In a similar vein, strategic leaders can get lost in the bigger picture and start neglecting the business’ most pressing issues and needs, which can cause budding problems to go unresolved and eventually interfere with the very vision in question. This can put pressure on sales performance and other key metrics of success.
Ultimately, a lack of attention to the present moment can halt company growth and even result in long-term harm. Strategic leaders who either take too many risks or are too risk-averse can cause the company to miss out on key opportunities.
On the flip side, even sudden rapid growth can come with a dangerous downside. What if you leverage strategic leadership and suddenly find runaway success? The human beings responsible for handling extremely fast growth can become bogged down and overwhelmed in the process. Your employees need the company to help them cope successfully with this rapid pace of change.
To avoid negative outcomes, a company can prioritize fostering a positive and supportive organizational culture. This includes addressing the foundational elements of the Success ChainTM, like actions, behaviors, attitudes, and habits of thought.
It’s also essential to implement company structures and procedures that nurture strategic leadership, like succession planning, using an entrepreneurial operating system, and choosing technological solutions that support rather than hinder success.
Developing a Winning Strategy for Your Leaders
Strategic leadership is not inherently good or bad, but rather a tool that can raise a business up for years to come or sink the whole ship for lack of seeing the iceberg straight ahead. Every enterprise must determine its own balanced approach to strategic leadership development so it’s able to safely navigate the current moment while aiming for the bigger goal in the distance.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. We offer a wide range of coaching and business consulting services that help you support your valuable employees’ personal and professional success.
Contact us to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most. We strongly encourage any company interested in strategic leadership to explore the Accelerate Leadership Program, which is explained in more detail below.
Strategic Leadership With the Accelerate Leadership Program
The Accelerate Leadership Program (ALP) is one of the best ways to ensure your company takes full advantage of the benefits of strategic leadership while limiting any potential downsides. It helps you get the most out of your leaders at all levels.
Enroll as many emerging leaders as you wish, and they’ll each experience a leadership program that feels personalized and individualized. They’ll develop their leadership skills alongside their peers in a proven leadership curriculum that involves interpersonal skill-building, leadership coaching, and a progressive two-stage program that uses our proprietary Accelerate software to guide each participant to success.
Ready to learn more? Explore ALP now or schedule a consultation with us today. We’ve helped hundreds of companies support their high-potential leaders through skillful strategic leadership. You could be our next of many success stories!Read More
Leaders aren’t born — they’re made. If you’re fortunate enough to have team members with leadership potential in your midst, you’ll want to keep them around and help them grow. Retaining the top talent in your organization can be difficult if you don’t provide the proper incentives — your best employees won’t stick around if they don’t feel like they can grow with your company. That said, employee promotion comes with its own set of challenges. Leadership skills don’t necessarily equate to preparedness for a specific role, after all. And you don’t want to overlook your other employees when serving promotions, either.
With all that in mind, here’s some advice for properly promoting employees with leadership qualities in your organization.
How to Promote Good Employees
Hone Employees’ Existing Leadership Skills
Raw talent can open many doors, but even your most talented hires need ongoing training and education to refine their skills. Providing leadership training for employees is a great way to both create new leaders and strengthen existing leaders in your company. With access to the proper resources, employees can transform their abilities into reinforced skillsets that can be applied in a variety of contexts. Ultimately, this scaffolding will help prepare your leaders for different types of promotions.
Provide New Challenges and Opportunities
This tip takes more of a real-world approach. Training is undoubtedly useful for leadership development, but there’s no replacement for actual on-the-job experience. If you want to put your people to the test, give them opportunities to take on new roles and responsibilities, even if only for short periods of time. These trial runs will help those with leadership potential discover their interests, strengths, and weaknesses while also providing you with important information on their candidacy for specific promotions.
Understand an Employee’s Personal Goals and Desires
Communication plays a vital role in proper promotion protocol. For starters, not every employee will want a promotion at a given time, and springing such an opportunity on them when they’re not ready can lead to several issues. Moreover, some emerging leaders will be more inclined to take on certain roles as a way of reaching their personal goals and/or boosting their careers. In every single scenario, the more you know about an employee’s unique goals and desires, the easier it will be to offer the appropriate promotions. So, have regular one-on-one meetings with employees, asking them about what they enjoy doing, how they wish to grow in your organization, what they wish were different, etc.
Determine the Type of Promotion Best Suited for the Situation
Not all promotions are created equal. Dry promotions refer to title upgrades without a pay increase, up-gradations feature increased pay but don’t change anything about an employee’s responsibilities, accretion of duties derive from an increase in workload and come with a relative pay bump — the list goes on. There are also a variety of reasons/methods for promoting an individual, such as merit, seniority, necessity (ad hoc), or some combination of these. The exact type of promotion you dish out must correspond with your company’s needs and goals. You must also keep in mind that some leaders will be more or less receptive to certain types of promotions.
Stay Alert to Potential Openings
Succession planning is all about filling the right roles with the right people, so there’s always a pipeline of strong leadership even when current leaders retire, leave, or can no longer work. The more time you have to plan for such a transition, the better. As such, it’s important to constantly be on the lookout for up-and-coming leaders in your organization that might be able to step into a higher position when the time comes. Once you have some candidates in mind, provide them with the tools, education, and experience necessary for them to take on these new roles in the future.
Make It Known
Lastly, don’t leave your employees in the dark when promotions are available. Even if you have a select group of employees in mind for a given promotion, offering it to anyone interested creates more competition. In this way, creating promotion opportunities serves as a useful employee management tool. It’s also fairer to your current employees to offer the position internally before looking outside the business.
Promoting Better Leadership in Your Workplace
Leaders at every stage need experience, direction, and opportunities to achieve their full potential. Providing these things for your employees will allow you to more easily deliver the right promotions to the right people.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.
We’ve all seen the movies and TV shows — the ones that feature a promising young individual who struggles to overcome the external and self-imposed barriers surrounding them until an older and wiser guide enters the fold and aids in the protagonist’s growth. Sure, real life is never as cut and dry as the stories that inspire us, but the student-mentor relationship is anything but fictional. Mentor figures come in many forms and the best ones provide important guidance, feedback, and the occasional nudge that allows their pupils to flourish. But what exactly defines a good mentor? What are the components that allow one individual to instruct another in such a meaningful way?
What Are the Qualities of a Good Business Mentor?
Has Relevant Experience
If you’re not sure how to find a business coach or mentor, a great place to start is by seeking those who have worked in your field for a long time. Those with years of experience are able to naturally impart their wisdom to those with less experience and identify issues and opportunities that others might miss. This isn’t to say that mentors have nothing left to learn, of course — part of being experienced is knowing that the learning process never ends.
Able and Willing to Listen
As we’ve discussed many times before, being a good listener is one of the most important leadership skills one can acquire. Having experience matters, but a good mentor is careful not to hijack the student’s natural growth process. In many cases, an individual will learn more by mulling over a problem on their own and asking plenty of questions. By listening to their pupil’s questions and concerns, a mentor gains a better understanding of their student’s thought processes and can provide answers when needed without simply solving the problem for them.
Passionate about Teaching
Though pop culture gives us many examples of the reluctant instructor, a good mentor must want to fulfill this crucial role. We respond to each other’s energy levels, after all — if your teacher doesn’t seem interested in the subject matter or in helping you out, odds are you won’t feel too enthusiastic, either. The same principle applies in regards to mentoring in business. For the best results, the level of interest must be reciprocal between mentor and mentee.
The mentor-mentee relationship is also built on mutual respect. Both parties must retain a level of humility, good faith, and kindness to get the most out of this symbiotic bond. Mentors and pupils can show respect for one another by showing up on time, paying attention to one another, avoiding judgment and hurtful language, and so on.
Eager to Push Their Students
While the best mentors are respectful and kind, this doesn’t mean that they are pushovers. Personal growth only occurs when one steps outside of their comfort zone. Mentors must not be afraid to nudge their students into new and uncomfortable territories every now and then — this might mean having them take on new roles, tackle a challenging project, etc. It’s possible to push a pupil too far, of course, which is why communication is so important — the better a mentor and mentee know one another, the more productive these exercises will be.
Objective and Direct
Lastly, a good mentor doesn’t hold back when delivering feedback. At the same time, this feedback must be free from personal judgments and delivered in a constructive, transparent way. Simply put, we don’t learn or grow without becoming aware of our shortcomings. We might try to ignore our own flaws or downplay our own strengths, which is why it’s so important for mentors to plainly reveal them. Having an external, objective point of view is paramount for personal progress and reducing leadership stress.
In business and in life, everyone should be so lucky to have a good mentor by their side. Fortunately, there are many resources available that help establish these key relationships.At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
Your leadership team is largely responsible for allowing your business to continually meet quotas, increase profits, and grow sustainably. As such, motivating your leaders to do their best work and maintain that momentum must be one of your top priorities. Of course, all leaders are human beings, and human beings have their limitations. Pushing your people too hard can create massive leadership stress and get in the way of progress. Conversely, loosening your grip too much can result in chaos and stifle productivity. In order to ensure ongoing success, then, you must strike a balance between putting on the pressure when the time is right and letting go when things get too tense.
How to Get the Most Out of the Leaders in Your Office
Support Their Personal and Professional Goals
Even if your leaders inherently love what they do, their job is ultimately just a portion of their lives. Most people are more motivated by the notion of building a better life for themselves and their families than growing the company for which they work. Fortunately, these goals go hand in hand. As your business flourishes, so do the personal lives of your leaders, as long as you maintain an awareness of what your people want out of life and their careers. If you want to get the most out of your leaders, then, take the time to understand what gets them out of bed in the morning and connect those aspirations to the business’ growth. You can further support your leaders by offering ongoing leadership training, providing career resources, and more.
Prioritize Performance Management
No matter how self-aware someone is, no one recognizes all of their shortcomings without some external input. Your leaders won’t be able to progress as quickly or efficiently if they’re not receiving honest feedback on a regular basis. Make it a priority to track your leaders’ performance and go over their strengths and weaknesses at key intervals or on an as-needed basis. Your constructive criticism should also include recognition of all of a leader’s accomplishments — this way, your leaders can continue doing what they do best and work on what they might have missed for the betterment of themselves and your business as a whole.
Make sure you allow time for your leaders to ask questions and deliver their own feedback as well. Sending out employee surveys is another powerful way to see how your people feel about the workplace and culture.
Leave Room for New Opportunities
One of the primary reasons people part with a company is because they feel stuck, as if they’ve reached a peak and there’s nowhere to go from there. In order to draw out the very best from your leaders (and keep them around), you have to offer ongoing opportunities for growth. You might develop a transparent system for lateral movement, promotions, and raises for leaders to work towards, and/or create new roles for managers with specific leadership skills. It’s important to maintain strong communication with your leaders to see how happy or unhappy they are in their current position so you can come up with ways to best utilize their unique talents, skills, and experiences.
Provide Practical Paid Time Off (PTO)
Everyone needs a break, especially your hardest-working talent. Working around the clock for months on end will inevitably lead to burnout, which can take weeks to recover from and do plenty of damage in the meantime. While paid vacations and extended break periods might seem like a major liability, they’re necessary investments for managing leadership stress and getting the most out of your leaders in the long run. For a deep dive into this subject, read our article, “How Much Paid Time Off (PTO) is Good for Productivity?” At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
Taking on a leadership role is a major honor and responsibility. Much is expected of leaders, and many leaders have a habit of carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders to prove something to themselves, their colleagues, their team, or all of the above. However, being a strong leader isn’t about bearing all of your business’ burdens — rather, it’s about lifting up your organization through strategic decision-making, delegation, oversight, and flexibility. When things get too stressful (and this year has certainly been one for the books), your ability to effectively lead can get hampered, especially if you don’t have the resources and habits for handling this stress. In this way, strong leadership and stress management are two sides of the same coin.
With that in mind, let’s outline some effective stress management techniques for leaders of all stripes.
How to Reduce Stress
Prioritize Your Physical and Mental Well-Being
All of your decisions and behaviors stem from your physical and mental state. This means that being a productive leader begins with taking care of your body and mind. The following lifestyle adjustments help both prevent and relieve leadership stress:
- Get enough sleep (7-9 hours)
- Maintain a healthy diet (limit caffeine, alcohol, and sugar)
- Stay hydrated
- Exercise regularly (3-5 days a week)
- Practice mindfulness (meditation, yoga)
- Read for enjoyment and education
- Enjoy hobbies and/or mindless activities
Anything that promotes your physical and mental well-being will make you more alert, improve your mood, boost your decision-making capacity, and minimize distractions when it counts.
We’re often told that a messy desk is a sign of genius. While there may be some truth to this statement, a chaotic work space is also a major source of stress. If you can’t easily find folders, documents, utensils, etc., you’ll end up wasting time, causing you to fall behind and undergo even more stress. One of the simplest methods for managing leadership stress, then, is organizing your stuff, which includes not only your physical space but also your schedule. Make lists, label and alphabetize folders and files, streamline your calendar, etc.
Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate
As leaders, we often feel like we have to do everything. Not only is this an arrogant frame of mind, though, it’s also detrimental to your mental state and your organization. Simply put, some tasks can and should be handled by other people so you can focus on other things. The key to proper delegation is finding the right people to take on certain tasks. By establishing a strong rapport with your team, you can determine their individual strengths, which will allow you to trust the person (or people) you charge with a given task. You can always assess their performance after the fact and determine whether changes need to be made. Delegating tasks to your team members also grants them the opportunity to learn new skills and grow into leaders themselves.
Remember: Perfection isn’t the Goal
One of main causes of leadership stress is the nagging pull of perfectionism. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get things done right, but focusing too much on perfection can paralyze your decision-making, slow down your operations, and result in worse outcomes in the long run. You can reduce a lot of stress and work more efficiently by instead focusing on getting things done and smoothing out any rough edges afterward.
Wield the Power of “No”
To be a leader is to have a target on your back (for good or bad). People will constantly reach out to you, ask you questions, seek advice, cast blame on you when something goes wrong, and so on. While it’s important to maintain strong communication with everyone in your circle, it’s also okay to back away and take some time to yourself. You don’t need to attend every single meeting, hop on every phone call, handle every sudden task that crops up, work weekend, etc. Sometimes you just need to say “no” for your own good and, ultimately, the good of your organization. It’s better to deal with one task at a time than to stretch yourself way too thin.
Continue Developing Your Leadership Skills
No matter how long you’ve had your position or been with a company, leadership development never ends — at least, it shouldn’t. There are always new things to learn, new skills to acquire, and new techniques to try out. By continuing to hone your abilities, you’ll get better and better at de-stressing your life and the lives of your employees. Think of it as having more tools in your toolkit to tackle tough problems when they arise. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
Sourcing the best candidates for your business is challenging enough — keeping them around for the long haul can be even more difficult. In such a competitive global economy, employees that exhibit strong leadership skills are in high demand. As your people continue to develop, then, they may come closer to abandoning ship to explore other opportunities. While you can’t force anyone to stay, retaining your top talent is integral to the growth and legacy of your enterprise. So, how can you retain your employees as they grow professionally? Here are some thoughts.
How to Grow and Still Retain Employees
Continue Focusing on Leadership Development
If you adopt a cynical mindset, you might think that developing leadership talent will only serve to pry your best employees away from your business — after all, the more skills they develop, the more leverage they have in the workplace. As it turns out, though, focusing on leadership development is actually one of the best ways to keep your employees around. By offering ongoing, rigorous training and education, your company provides value to your employees, which they will reciprocate in direct and indirect ways. For instance, the more adept your people become, the more productive and creative they will be — these outcomes benefit your bottom line and broaden your business’ prospects. In other words, investing in your employees will encourage them to invest back into the company, ideally for the long-run.
Open New Doors For Top Talent
As your people grow professionally, you want to make sure they don’t outgrow the scope of your business — otherwise, they’ll likely move on. No one likes feeling stuck where they are or overqualified for their position, after all. If you want them to stick with you, then, you’ll need to expand the number of opportunities you offer your employees. This might mean creating brand new roles to better suit a specific employee’s skill set, shifting around teams, tasking top talent with fresh challenges and responsibilities to keep them sharp and engaged, and so on. These efforts tie directly into your long term succession planning as well — by challenging your people and letting them explore new positions, you can better gauge who is fit to take over key roles within the company.
Commit to Strengthening Your Company Culture
Never underestimate the importance of your organization’s culture when it comes to retaining your employees. Simply put, most people would rather stay with a company that respects them, recognizes their achievements and efforts, provides ample growth opportunities, and promotes a healthy work-life balance as opposed to the alternative (even if said alternative offers a slightly higher salary). This isn’t to say, however, that merely putting on a happy face and patting your people on the back is enough to keep them around. The key to cultivating a company culture that encourages people to stay is maintaining transparency, being flexible, and compensating employees for the value they bring to the company.
Growing With Your People
Employee retention and succession planning go hand in hand. While it’s true that helping your employees grow into capable leaders runs the risk of losing them to other opportunities, you won’t be able to secure the legacy of your company if you can’t foster the growth of your people and incentivize them to stay. By focusing on continual leadership development, granting your people with new opportunities, and cultivating a strong company culture, your business will grow right alongside your top talent, and vice versa. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
Your top talent is highly valuable, and therefore also in high demand by other organizations. In this competitive global economy, landing quality people can be challenging in and of itself — keeping them around can be even more difficult. And considering that your company’s potential is directly tied to the potential and performance of its people, you cannot afford to let your top talent slip away.
In our previous post, “How to Keep Top Talent from Leaving Your Company,” we discussed how recruitment, company culture, regular feedback, competitive benefits, and leadership development all contribute to employee retention. Here we’ll further explore how long-term leadership development in particular can help you keep your best talent.
How Leadership Development Keeps Your Best Employees
The Power of Recognition
Effective employee management and leadership development requires plenty of feedback, which should include a healthy mixture of positive recognition and constructive criticism. And while every member of your organization should receive this regular feedback, it is especially important to maintain consistent communication with your best talent. Recognizing your top talent for their input and achievements and pointing out areas of improvement will simultaneously help them further develop their leadership skills while conveying their value to the company. When your people feel valued, they are more likely to stick around.
New Opportunities Energize Employees
There are many ways to develop the leadership potential of your top talent. In-person and online seminars, group training activities, and one-on-one meetings are all part of this equation, but real-world experience is often the most potent form of leadership development. By empowering your top talent to take on new roles and responsibilities, you help them gain crucial insights that are applicable to your organization and at large. This experiential leadership development opens doors for your best talent and lets them know that even more opportunities await if they continue to grow with the company.
Finding the Right Fit for One’s Skills
Long term succession planning is a major focus of all forward-thinking businesses. And a solid plan for the future depends on the advancement of top talent within your organization. Put another way, you need capable leaders at the ready to fill new roles and to take over existing ones when the time is right. Implementing effective leadership development programs not only prepares your top talent for these new positions — it also helps your company find the right positions for the right people. Indeed, employees are more likely to stay with an organization if they feel properly suited for their role and valued for their unique abilities. In other words, as you develop your top talent into strong leaders, they become more integral to the company as a whole and shape its direction moving forward.
The Leadership Domino Effect
The best leadership training programs have a positive, exponential impact on your top talent and all of your employees. As your people grow, they tend to pass on their new skills and knowledge both actively and passively, which encourages others to develop, too. This domino effect strengthens teams and an organization’s culture overall, improving the performance of your current top talent and producing new potential leaders in the process. As a result, you won’t just keep your best talent around — you’ll have even more of it.
Long-Term Success Depends on Long-Term Leadership Development
If you want to retain your best people, you need to recognize their contributions, give them new opportunities, and find the right roles for their talents. Focusing on leadership development helps achieve all of these things and sets your business up for continual success. In this way, effective leadership development, talent management and succession planning are all inextricably linked.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
Business analysts have long anticipated a major shift in the way many of us work — namely, the rise of remote work. Indeed, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 already saw approximately 7 million remote workers in the U.S. (3.4% of the population). Several industries have been making this transition for years, while others have been slower to adapt. However, COVID-19 has acted as a powerful catalyst in the realm of remote work; in a matter of days, millions of people either lost their jobs or had to suddenly shift gears and start working from home full-time.
Even for businesses that don’t necessarily require a physical office space, this rapid change can prove challenging. Virtual interactions have a different flavor than in-person communication. Still, those companies fortunate enough to continue operations during this pandemic must make the most out of an uncertain situation. In fact, now is the perfect time to reconfigure and strengthen your strategic efforts, including your leadership development protocols.
The Benefits of Virtual Leadership Development
Adapting to A New Kind of Workplace
Optimizing your leadership development program for remote work begins by properly implementing the right technologies for your organization. As of now, text-based communication software like Slack and video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts are becoming essential components for remote teams. Of course, it’s not enough to merely have these tools at your disposal — you must ensure that every member of your team has access to these tools and can use them in proper coordination with one another.
Keeping team members on the same page when physically distant is a major role for your business’ leaders. As current leaders rise to the occasion, they inherently pass on their virtual leadership skills to developing leaders. A study performed by Gordon Schmidt in Industrial Organization Psychology points to three specific areas of emphasis for virtual leaders.
- Virtual leaders must clearly deliver task-relevant information, as certain social cues may be lacking from remote interactions
- Communication should occur more frequently and regularly when working remotely, as this allows teams to reconfigure actions and gain deeper understanding
- Virtual leaders should do their best to maintain and strengthen personal relationships, as a lack of regular physical interaction can lead to decreased accountability, feelings of isolation, and misunderstandings
Actively Developing Leaders Outside the Office
Not all leadership development occurs through osmosis, of course. As businesses shift to remote work, they must continue to play an active role in developing their leaders. Organizations that have already enrolled team members in an online leadership development program are naturally at an advantage here. Workers can continue attending virtual meetings and classes, track their performance online, receive daily affirmation notifications, and more.
However, some online leadership development training also includes in-person sessions. In the absence of these physical gatherings and one-on-one discussions, your organization must make an effort to conduct the same interactions virtually. This requires proper planning and communication, so team members understand when and how to continue their training over video, audio, and/or text chat. There should also be backup plans in place in the event that certain technologies experience difficulties or cannot be acquired by certain employees.
Synthesizing Virtual and In-Person Leadership Lessons
No one knows exactly when, or even if, we will return to business as usual. It’s possible that this sudden economic and social disruption will simply accelerate the already-surging global trend of remote work. If so, organizations must integrate developing leadership in the workplace with developing leadership outside of it. In other words, the methods and lessons learned from both in-person and virtual leadership development programs must transfer seamlessly between one another as the line between virtual leaders and tangible leaders continues to blur. As such, remote leadership training seminars shouldn’t look all that different from those held in a communal space.
With the right technology, strong communication ethic, and commitment to continual leadership development, you can keep your organization on track during this uncertain time. Better yet, you might end up ahead of the curve.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
In this informative video, Jessica Langenberg, Director of Leadership Development at Leadership Resources, talks about how to achieve greater success using the Success Chain.
What to Know About the Success Chain
What is Success?
Langenberg defines success as the feeling of accomplishment one gets after achieving a positive outcome or result. This means that success can look different for everyone. Understanding the Success Chain can help an individual target certain ways of thinking and behaving that can lead them to more success.
The Success Chain is broken into five ascending components: conditioning experiences, attitudes and habits of thought, actions and behaviors, results and outcomes, and, finally, success. Let’s go over what each of these entails and how they lead to the next step toward more success.
As Langenberg describes in the video, a conditioning experience is something (or several things) that occur in one’s life that trigger particular patterns of thought. These experiences may be positive or negative, and tend to occur with some repetition, shaping the way leaders think about themselves, their abilities, and the people around them. In the video, Langenberg outlines the conditioning experience of a project manager who struggled in school. Because of this negative experience, he carried a sense of inferiority and doubt with him into his career.
Attitudes and Habits of Thought
The conditioning experiences described above create one’s attitudes and habits of thought towards people, assignments, and situations. Like the experiences themselves, these habits can be positive and productive, negative and limiting. Maintaining positive habits of thought is one of the most important leadership skills to acquire.
Without this skill, negative conditioning experiences can quickly lead to negative thought patterns. In the example above, the project manager might have formed limiting beliefs about his own abilities due to his negative experiences in school. These habits of thought could lead to doubts about his intelligence and his ability to communicate effectively with his clients.
Actions and Behaviors
The way one thinks or feels about something has a direct impact on what one chooses to do, or not do. Unproductive habits of thought can result in undesirable leadership behaviors. In the case of our project manager, he may struggle with direct communication with his clients for fear of coming off as uninformed or indecisive. He instead did most of his communication via email and deferred to others when asked certain questions directly.
Results and Outcomes
One’s actions inevitably lead to one’s outcomes. Unproductive actions or limiting behaviors will often lead to undesirable results. The project manager in this scenario might experience poor results due to his inability to communicate effectively with his clients. Conversely, positive and productive actions or behaviors will lead to desirable results. For instance, if the project manager decides to be more responsive and take ownership of problems rather than avoiding them, his results will likely improve.
The better one’s results, the more likely one is to feel a sense of success. The Success Chain helps us to understand the impact of our thinking and behaviors on our results – as well as the power one has to intentionally get better results. The Success Chain clearly shows that even a simple change in one’s way of thinking or behaviors can result in greater success. The challenge is recognizing those patterns of thinking and choosing the right behaviors to achieve one’s leadership development goals.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that reduce stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.
Be sure to watch the video breakdown below:Read More
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