Part 2 in a 4-part series on Leadership
Even the most accomplished leaders occasionally wonder: “Am I the only one who is fully engaged and committed to what we’re trying to do here? How can I better lead my team so they are as jazzed about attaining our vision and goals as I am?”
In our last blog post, we revealed that great leaders always begin with a Vision. They uncover their natural leadership strengths and tap into six “Visioning” best practices to create a Vision that unifies and inspires their team. Nothing great happens without Vision.
But…great leaders take it one step further: they know that no matter how compelling their Vision might seem, they must engage and empower their team…before they move into Execution. Alignment – the second phase of great leadership – is a critical step that leaders often bypass in their eagerness to move directly from “Vision” into Execution mode.
So get ready! Aligning and empowering your team is an ongoing process – not an event. It takes time, commitment and patience…and, when things change, requires re-alignment. The DiSC Work of Leaders leadership self-assessment offers six Alignment best practices that can win the “hearts and minds” of your followers. Where do you fall along these leadership continua?
- Explain Your Rationale
As the leader of your team, you have been mulling over your envisioned future for quite a while and it makes perfect sense to you. Your team has not had this advantage. Therefore, it is up to you to provide the logic behind where you want to go and why you want to go there…and why they should come along.
- Structure Your Messaging
As a leader, it’s likely that you can quickly generate ideas and solutions “off the top of your head.” However, some members of your team will get lost in your “impromptu” messages. Alignment is the time to organize your thoughts to provide maximum clarity, particularly around team ‘roles’ and ‘goals.’ The result: quicker buy-in.
- Exchange Perspectives
During the Alignment phase, two-way dialogue is especially powerful. As the leader, you have the ability to make others part of the conversation; this will build shared ownership and accountability, identify potential problems early on, and engage the team for increased buy-in.
- Be Receptive
As a leader, you are constantly mining for great ideas. Still, it can be tempting to challenge others’ ideas – particularly if you think yours are “better.” Alignment is the time to be receptive to your team members’ ideas – as well as their concerns – and create an open, trusting culture.
- Be Expressive
As a leader, your passion is contagious. Alignment is the time when your team shifts from “compliance” to “commitment” and your positive energy and enthusiasm will pave the way. Share them generously.
- Be Encouraging
Earning your team’s “hearts and minds” requires that you consistently provide encouragement – even when things go wrong. Your encouragement inspires engagement, creates momentum and provides the space your team members need to do their very best.
Alignment is your opportunity to shift your team from “compliance” to “commitment.” Imagine…a team that is as passionate and committed to your vision and goals as you are. It can happen…and you can lead the way.
Great leaders always begin with a great Vision and then Align their team around that vision before Executing. In our next article, we will share six best practices to get you closer to flawlessly executing your vision.
Ready to be at the top of your leadership game? It all begins with YOU. Together, we can unlock your natural leadership strengths and immediately put them to work. Our CEO Vision Quick Start program may be a great way to get started. I also invite you to contact me for a 15-minute complimentary conversation to learn more about the Work of Leaders leadership self-assessment and how you can unlock your natural leadership strengths.