Are you a risk taker?
We all have our safety blankets…
Our nets to break the fall…
Our mitigation strategies.
But is the New Year beckoning you to try something new? Maybe something a teeny bit uncomfortable?
What if you chose to consciously shift your behavior from reflecting your TITLE to a more relational leadership style? If you chose to become a person who can be known and who can know others, as persons, not as merely employees?
Does that concept scare you? It did me, for quite some time.
As a leader, it seems counterintuitive to allow yourself --- the real you--- to get too close to people.
After all, rumors start about favorites, cliques, etc.
And you may need to confront, discipline, or fire someone. Comes with the territory.
Yes, I found reasons to cling to the transactional leadership style, especially in a high-stakes environment where it’s important to have one person (the captain, etc.) issue commands in a crisis, so a sense of organized focus can be managed.
But neuroscience studies show a need for ongoing, dynamic relations between leaders and employees is key to positive system change.
As a leader, there are moments to be authentic and vulnerable that are not related to dominance, power , or influence...
And that affects how well your organizational culture fares, which we know impacts every measurable concern, from employee engagement and retention, to client/customer satisfaction, to reduced costs and increased revenue.
Improv helped me to change that attitude and I'm so glad I took that risk.
Not sure where to begin?
Here are THREE TIPS to help start you on your leadership evolution journey:
1. Clear time on your daily calendar to walk around and eyeball parts of your organization.
(Stop and chat with people. Practice saying, "Yes, and..." instead of "Yes, but..." Catch people doing great work. Thank them!)
2. Make it your business to actually read/listen to your clients/customers complaints. Ask yourself, "What if...?" when you learn of an issue.
3. Think 10 years ahead in succession planning. (Be the kind of leader who sees each employee as a gift to the organization, invites new ideas, inspires needed change.)
With practice, you can tear down walls and build bridges in your organization.
Yours for better leadership,
Like to learn more? My newest book, Improv to Improve Your Leadership Team (coming in April by Business Expert Press), tackles these questions, and gives you a system of how to become the relational leader everybody wants to work with, using the proven applied improv principles from the arts.