In my work with leaders and executives with on-purpose organizations, I noticed these three issues that arise when leaders do not let go of the need to be 'in control.'
Delegate with power
A leader of a group of leaders must delegate with power or else, giving free rein without the full authority to get the job done becomes a sticking point later on. This is a case of artificial empowerment which benefits no one.
Those who get 'volun-told' need not be afraid to ask for the full authority, not a training opportunity or a practice assignment.
Are you still in control while delegating the work to others? Give them the power and authority, give them the broad strokes, and let them create the outcomes that you seek.
Detach from outcomes
Senior leaders have the habit of putting their heads on their team members' plans and targets and watching them over their shoulders.
Let go of the need to control their outcomes for them. I once had a boss who had to be in one of my meetings to ensure that our objectives are met and the he gets to see things through. Waste of manager time! If you can't ensure, you failed in training, providing capacity, and setting the high tones. When I see directors sitting in one their staff's presentations or meetings, applying primitive managerial style is insufferable!
When they face problems, get them back again to their objectives and make it a teaching moment.
Honing your own leadership style
Nowadays, with all the bad content that you need to copy the power nap of so and so, and the 5am work style of this and that is atrocious.
People are beginning to be confused about leadership style and personal habits. Leadership style is your own sense of leading others, based on your values and strategies at it relates to the needs of your followers and organizational goals. Personal habits are not something that can be applicable to everyone. Take it with a grain of salt.
Leaders are made, not born. You can be in control of something but not all things in the organization. Learn to trust your team and begin to see real and positive change in the workplace.
Now that the year is about to end, the perennial institutional reviews kick in.
Leaders are wont to take stock of the wins, misfires, and those things in-between.
With COVID-19, moderate gains are applauded for the reason that things have been tough on many fronts. Going through the year unscathed is an impossibility.
With tighter controls back again since March, the economy will continue to fluctuate based on the reading of the vaccine situation.
Are you prepared to face 2021 with a short-term bridging plan to tide you over until the situation stabilizes?
Are you using your pre-COVID19 strategies to get you by?
Are you being opportunistic and proactive about what's going on and using levers you can use at your disposal?
Are you secured in the belief that it will become better and acting on this hopefulness?
Are your team members aligned with you in your strategies and in the intention to keep looking at the opportunities in this crisis?
If yes, to all of these, 2021 could be a transitional phase for all its intents and purposes. A great year for emergence and renewal.
The old baggage is thrown away, new ideas are welcomed, and being persistently mindful of taking care of ourselves and each other.
What have you learned this year and made you realize that life is what you make of it, not what happens to you?
This applies to everything!
The politics on vaccines is another issue that can potentially escalate into another time-bomb.
We have several vaccines that have promising results for the prevention of the COVID-19 virus. We know that these can take a few months before initial groups of people are monitored and the side effects of the drug are taken into consideration.
We'll have the vaccines as our (Canadian) government committed to this a long time ago. Other countries have to wait until it becomes affordable and that preliminary results come out. No one wants to be the guinea pig, I suppose.
Vaccines are one thing but the equitable distribution, affordability, accessibility and appropriateness of these vaccines to differentiated needs of different populations come into question. Another issue is about protecting consumers who have elected to use these vaccines under development, which calls for regulation and complete transparency for public welfare.
We live in ambiguous times. We cannot trust our health systems and authorities that are overwhelmed and overworked to decide for our health, well-being, and safety. Like all systems, when it's saturated, it either collapses on the sheer weight of its load or dissipates into mediocrity or irrelevance.
We also cannot turn a blind eye on the suffering and hardships that are experienced by our neighbors in the developing South. That's why we call on health equity across the board. Those that have multiple vulnerabilities and needs must be given equitable priority and attention and consulted adequately.
Be your own health advocate and become a health advocate for others around you. The world is hyperconnected to risk being the weakest link.
Woody Woodpecker asked, "What's the big idea?"
To which the other fellow replied, "You and your milk!"
Big ideas grab headlines.
Big ideas move mountains and people.
Visionaries toggle between one big idea and on to the next.
The BHAG mindset gives us the excuse to think big and leave the mundane to others.
People love big ideas. They like being entertained with the fact that these big ideas are being funded by OPM-other people's monies and OPM-other people's machineries.
It's good to see the view at 20,000 feet altitude but going down: the view changes drastically.
Leaders cannot toy with big ideas without being unscathed by the realities of implementation.
The major fright comes from the fact that there are many hats to be worn and handshakes to make. There are investments to be made from resources that seem to deplete the moment the ink has dried. There are gazillion things to do to even get at basecamp.
Instead of coming with big ideas, why not start with the next-level ideas.
There are studies supporting that change isn't scary when presented with the next logical step-an easy implementable blueprint where followers are not asked a 360% transformation, but a gradual shift over the course of time.
Focusing on goals that you can realistically accomplish will ensure that there is enough fuel that keeps you motivated but also enough oxygen to get you through each day.
Overwhelm is a by-product of too much, too soon, too many -all at once.
Lastly, are you a delayer or early satisfier?
Delayer waits at the last minute to accomplish the big ideas by creating layers of complex rituals and processes that are not necessary or essential while satisfiers are good at completing the task in front them and slaying the proverbial dragon, one by one.
Creating impact is not after 5-10 years of hard work and sweat. It's right now.
What's your big idea?
How do you turn that 'big idea' into everyday wins and giant outcomes?
Of course, cash is king.
While cash is king, you should/should be:
1. Operating from the position of maximizing value;
2. Eschewing perfection, perfect timing, perfect execution, perfect Zoom meetings, perfect video face, etc.
3. Doing, not overthinking;
4. Telling employees what to do, not ask them what they think they should do or you should do!
5. Not dodging the bullet, accepting responsibility for mistakes and errors of judgement;
6. Considering investing, not saving on costs;
7. Reducing output, leveraging outcomes;
8. Acknowledging some things that shouldn't have happened in the first place;
9. Finding the root cause of success and rinse and repeat;
1o. Rinse and repeat.
How do you manage remote teams and ensure that productivity and quality work are guaranteed?
There many ways to do that:
1. Communicate the outcomes needed to be produced on a weekly basis. Know what each of the staff will be delivering and give them the timeline to accomplish those.
2. Make regular check-ins to see how they are doing. Some would be sick and will be self-isolating and some will not be able to work at all due to childcare issues and other reasons.
3. Get a standby roster of contract staff that you can use in emergency situations. Let me them know that you might need them to complete a certain task, or a project that needs their expertise and skills on a short-term basis.
4. Confine your communication to a few emails per day. Too many communications can make them feel overwhelmed as a single email can have several agenda on it.
5. Create a tier of managers that staff can communicate on a regular basis. Even yourself can fall sick and not be available for days. Have a list of other people to connect with so that information flows smoothly.
6. Empower them to make decisions at their level. Give them permission to make some mistakes as things are fluid and that today could be different from yesterday and the day before. Scheduling can be done online and let people know what's the best time to for the online meet.
7. Take time to celebrate remote staffs' achievement by giving them regular feedback about their work. If they are doing well, let them know. If they are struggling, let them know you are available to support them. Remote work is tough and the first few weeks could be slow crawl for some.
I hope these are helpful. Stay healthy!