As A Leader, Make Sure You’re Providing Reassurance In Your Strategy
As the field and discipline of leadership has evolved, students of its tenets have come to understand that leadership is less about the leader herself and more about what she provides for others. Understanding. Support. Education. These are but a few of the various pillars upon which leadership is built.
Another key practice a leader needs to include in her toolbox is reassurance. The role that reassurance plays in the workplace and in life has grown with time. As the world grows more complex through communication, technology, and other means of access, it means its inhabitants can reach each other faster. Through that speed everything in the world seems to move that much more quickly.
“…In a proactive environment, the bulk of productive energy can go into proceeding forward instead of playing catch up from behind…”
While the world moves at a breakneck speed, those who look to leaders need to be certain of the environment to which they are committing themselves.
Too many leaders follow the breakneck pace of their environment without providing reassurance. Through reassurance, in the speed of the everyday, others are reminded that their needs are being covered. The reassurances might not even be directly tied to their own role in the day-to-day specifically, but are ones that will trickle down to the individual level.
Below are 8 reassurances leaders should provide to those around them.
Reassurance of Your Self
Your Wherewithal, Self-Awareness, Skill – A leader should be able to demonstrate their humanity in the workplace and demonstrate that they realize they are not invincible. Those who look to leaders do not need to know or think that their leaders have everything covered; they just need to know that everything is being considered. Leaders don’t need to have all the answers, they just have to be open to seeking and coordinating the best way, resource, or staff to get the best answers.
Reassurance of the Mission
Methodology and Approach – It is important to also demonstrate to others that the mission is focused and reviewed on a regular basis. Every so often, the mission of the organization or cause should be reviewed to determine whether or not it still serves the purpose of the company and thrives in the environment of competitors.
Reassurance of the Process
Business Process / Improvement – In the same vein of reassessing the mission, just as important is to make sure that the right processes are used to achieve those goals. One can not make claims about the mission, workplace, or staff without considering how the processes play into the mission. Are the steps, efforts, and strategies planned the most effective? Do they provide the best and most efficient avenue or course to achieve the goals?
Reassurance of Product and Service
The End Result – It is key to demonstrate the commitment to the product or service, whether through improvement or replacement so that it is understood that the leader understands the crux of what it is the organization is about and what it stands for. Commitment is demonstrated through critical and deep analysis of the end product for the customer. Understanding the end-result demonstrates to all that nothing is in vain as the leader is seeking the best result for all stakeholders.
Reassurance of the Customer
Who is it? Who will it be? How to service and address the Customer? – The leader also needs to also make sure that she reinforces to her workforce that she understands the customers and the future of the target market, where appropriate. Leaders need to convey that they are aware of, and monitoring, the customer in order to be able to shift accordingly to meet the customers’ needs.
Reassurance of Workers’ Skills
Worth and Contribution – This reassurance makes up the support piece demonstrated to the workforce or followers. Respect to those in the trenches and believing in one’s mission goes a long way. It is important to praise the value the workforce brings to the mission. Understanding and appreciating the abilities and work of those behind the leader is just as powerful as any of these reassurances. It does not take much to show appreciation.
Reassurance of Workers’ Investment
Time, Effort, Career – We all have responsibility to each other. Leaders should do everything they can to make sure those they are leading understand that their time, effort, or career is not being impeded or wasted in the mission at hand. It is not only about the person as an employee, but the person being seen as someone who wants to achieve the best for their career and life. To hire the best, those should be hired who seek challenges, development, and ambition and so, in order to retain those same people, leaders need to make sure their staff understands that the risk they took in taking the job was the right one.
Reassurance of the Future
Honestly, this does not mean that the leader in question can predict the exact future state of the company or entity with perfect certainty, but this is to say that the future of the entity is important and that there is a direction–a true direction–in which everyone else is working. It is not enough to react to, and put out, the fires of today; a leader should at least make a commitment to leave everything in their purview much better than they found it.
Taking the step to reassure others before it is needed demonstrates the proactive, strategic, and focused mindset and avoids an environment of reactive, disjointed, and uncoordinated behaviors. In a proactive environment, the bulk of productive energy can go into proceeding forward instead of playing catch up from behind.
“…Part of strategy is looking across the board and reassuring those you lead that you are analyzing the field and steps which should be taken…”
The biggest takeaway is communication. A workforce or other followers do not want, and should not have, to work too far or too fast in one direction without knowing that a leader has used all his resources to assess, reassess, and correct where necessary, the path being taken. Their knowledge, time, and dedication should be used to lay new ground, not required to rebuild bridges as they are trying to cross them.
In the end, none of what is reassured is promised or certain. It can’t be. These steps serve more as an acknowledgement that the leader is aware that all these concerns should be reviewed, assessed, and re-jiggered periodically.
Reassurance is not promises, but awareness.
Part of a leader’s strategy is looking across the board and reassuring those being lead that their leader is analyzing the field and steps which should be taken. Part of that is provided the aforementioned reassurances.
Anything else would be negligence.
So…What About You?
- When did you realize how important reassurances are?
- What steps do you take to reassure those you lead?
- What other reassurances might you believe are high-priority?