As A Leader, What Foundational Tools Do You Provide For Others?
Leadership Lesson: In order for leaders to expect the best, they should provide that best, and that means understanding that people need the right tools to do the best work.
Although a main attribute of leadership is extracting the skill out of those being led, nothing can truly happen as effectively as possible if the right tools are not in place to harness the abilities and skills of said “followers.”
A leader can have the best intentions for those they lead to deliver and succeed, and those being led might have an equal amount of desire to contribute and succeed in their responsibilities, but intentions cannot amount to anything without setting the right environment and providing the right tools.
Specifically, when it comes to processes, for managers and supervisors, it’s best to meet their staff halfway by providing the best overall environment for productivity and efficiency.
It is not enough to hire someone who has impressed with their skills, experience, and demeanor, without providing the proper tools to allow those attributes, which shined so brightly on paper and in the interview process, to deliver on the job. A company or manager is taking on a new staff member as an investment, so not allowing those being onboarded to thrive through the right environment is forfeiting one’s investment in that person’s resume.
Most of what leading is is setting a foundation. Nothing can be built skyward without some working semblance of a strong foundation off of which to work.
So, what tools do you provide for your followers in the foundation in each of these areas?
What do you provide in terms of vision & direction?
Generally, do others know what the mission is and how it might evolve as time goes on?
Specifically, have you laid out an initial working idea of how that should be achieved? You should outline the script and allow them to edit it accordingly, as needed, based on their specializations and front-line experience.
You’re the leader, so you need to guide this process. It may end with you if you are the final decision maker. But, you should be involved at the beginning as well, as it should take shape under your guidance and encouragement.
What do you provide in acknowledgement?
How do you address others to make sure you realize, understand, and respect what they are attempting to do, even if it isn’t workable? They’ve tried and put in the effort, right? That’s a huge step. They just need additional help in refining their work.
We’re all human and, for the most part, we want to be recognized. You need to convey that you see their efforts and what they’re putting into the mission.
What do you provide as support?
How do you go about making sure that you provide as much backing as reasonably possible so that others can achieve their goals or rely on you to continue encouraging them to evolve and improve when they fall short on any given endeavor?
Be sure to convey that you’re there along the way and that you’re open to understanding what truly goes into their job, what they might need to succeed in it, or what they might need to make it deliver a better result.
What do you provide as development?
What proactive steps do you provide to someone to help them refine their knowledge and approach? How will you encourage them to grow and expand their experience under your watch?
You need to realize that if someone didn’t train or provide this person with experience, then the buck stops with you. It’s imperative for your own sake — and theirs — that they continue learning about you, your business, the mission, and themselves. The more they refine themselves, the better they do for themselves and you.
What do you provide as tools?
What do you provide by way of systems, protocols, procedures, and processes so that someone can be as effective as possible? If someone is brought on or into the fold based on their experience, skills, and abilities, but isn’t provided the right tools to do the job right, everyone is losing out.
You need to provide those tools by which they’re going to succeed and allow you to work toward your mission more effectively and efficiently. Be open to considering new ideas if, through a conversation, it seems that processes could be changed for the better.
What do you provide as outlets?
What kind of mechanism or process is there for them to provide feedback about what might need to be improved?
This type of ability should not be relegated or limited to after the completion of a project or initiative but should also be incorporated into the everyday. By doing so, you can bring impact to the smaller, daily details that go into the operation of your environment. Make sure you’re setting up a way to keep a read on how the attitudes, expectations, and impressions of those around you are changing so that you can reconcile expectations of others to what you can provide.
These tips do not only serve for the beginning of a leadership journey but also for leaders to assess and reassess their approach as they go through their career, to make sure each of these steps is being taken.
Also, even if one is not an official leader in a leadership title, these items can still be used to determine how much of a pathway we are laying down for others to do their jobs as effectively as possible, allowing us to play a role in their success.
Only through considering and assuring these items are taken care of can a leader really work toward success in the relationship and environment.
So…What About You?
- How do you set someone up to reach their/your success? Or how do you not, and what is the consequence?
- What examples can you give of your own experiences of both well-founded and poorly-founded environments?
- If you are not the leader in your own environment now, what steps would you take to more stabilize the environment based on the tips above?