The Point: You have a choice as a leader… To micro or macro manage (i.e., lead) your stakeholders. But here’s the leadership challenge: In order to achieve “Super Boss” status, what’s the proper way then? In this post we’ll take a look at how being a hands-on leader is by far and away the best approach to leading along with four tips for success… Enjoy!
Hello… I’m a Disengaged Leader!
It happened again (as it had happened like a broken record every time there was a grumbling from a stakeholder)… In managing his department, Tim was provided the latitude to counsel/coach his team under the guise of “Do what you think is best” direction from his superior. However, whenever Tim did in the moment what he thought was his “best” he inevitably received the call from his disengaged leader. This call typically consisted of this disengaged leader asking the question “What did you do?” and worse yet “What did you say?”
While these questions aren’t necessarily in and of themselves bad, they would put Tim in a defensive posture. Having to explain what was done and said left him backtracking on his position. His leader without receiving all the facts typically would overthrow Tim’s authority, and in so doing cajole the stakeholders into recognizing that while the organization’s org chart had him in a leadership role, instead relegated him to an inferior status.
Being a Hands-On Leader
If Tim’s story sounds familiar to you, it should bother you. While leadership is a role best served by allowing team members to perform at their best levels, it’s more than frustrating to have episodes of the disengaged leader undercutting authority, decreasing motivation, and prompting internal thoughts/conversations regarding whether or not you as a leader are truly in the right organization.
The role of a leader is to lead from a distance, but stay in tune with activities so as to insure organizational direction is achieved. Situations often dictate that when boundaries are crossed, or direction is not as intended, that leaders engage in realignment efforts. Nothing shows greater consistency than a leader engaging in what might be seen as the mundane/not worthy day-to-day activities with a “sleeves rolled up” support system. So what should you do to be considered as a hands-on leader?
4 Tips of a Hands-On Leader
The following four (4) tips should be subscribed to in order to increase your effectiveness as a hands-on leader:
Tip #1: Set High Expectations
Become bullish on what your team can accomplish. If you’ve never pushed your team and the leaders within to achieve extraordinary high performance, the shame/blame lies squarely on your shoulders. The thought “perfect is good enough” isn’t just a mindset, it should become your mantra!
Tip #2: Be a Master
You employee smart, ambitious, and adaptable team members, right? If so, trust them to execute. If not, look to recruit/hire those that are no less than four times (4x) as smart as you are. Keep in mind that failure is inevitable, and course correction from failures should be the way you do business!
Tip #3: Encourage Step-Change Growth
Learning and growth are paramount to your people. As such, design atypical growth and development plans that allow your team to springboard forward along a steep learning curve which becomes increasingly steep as successful projects are undertaken/accomplished.
Tip #4: Stay Connected
As a leader you can count on talented people departing from you/your organization. Rip a page from the successful consultant organization model by staying connected with your former associates. Think of it as a talent “Alumni Network” that you can tap into at any given moment and you’ll be afforded the gift of future benefits.
In this post we’ve taken a look at the hands-on leader as well as four tips to execute for success. Avoid becoming the disengaged leader that bares little respect as you grow yourself, your team, and your organization!