12 simple daily tasks for senior and emerging leaders
To enhance credibility and build great teams, 12 leadership behaviours need to be learned by established and aspiring leaders. Richard Stupple provides straightforward advice.
"Great leaders willingly invest the time and effort to engage in these 12 leadership actions on a daily basis. In applying these principles, leaders build strong relationships, keep their team on track, enhance their credibility and achieve performance and results beyond their wildest dreams."
Richard Stupple, partner, Boxchange
Richard Stupple, consultant to the professions, guest author and past speaker/facilitator at Alliott Group events, explains the 12 behaviours that leaders at different stages of their careers could and should be using on a daily basis to make a huge impact on business performance and results.
1. Be the hardest worker. Without fail, one of the quickest ways to impact a team is with your own work ethic. Choose to be one of the hardest workers on your team today. Not only does it set the tone for the work ethic of your team, division or organisation, it is also one of the best and quickest ways to enhance your leadership credibility with everyone around you.
2. Be a spark of energy and enthusiasm. Let your passion for the business, the customers, your products etc shine through. Spread a contagious energy and enthusiasm among your team. Think about how it feels to get everything right and delight the customer. Remember back to when you first joined the organisation and the excitement you felt. Make business fun again for yourself and your team.
3. Model mental toughness. Because your team will look to you under pressure, adversity, and stress, be sure to model mental toughness today. Bounce back quickly after something that goes wrong to show your teammates how to respond to negative situations. Maintain your poise and optimism despite anything that may happen so that your team can see they can trust and rely on you to get them through the tough times.
4. Connect with a team member. Leadership is all about relationships. Invest the time to build and strengthen the relationships you have with each of your team members. Inquire about their day, challenges, and goals. Make a special and ongoing effort to get to know every person on your team, not just your friends. The relationship building you do each day will pay off immeasurably down the road.
5. Compliment a team member. Be on the lookout for team members who are contributing to your team. Call out a team member for going above and beyond, pushing through a heavy workload, recovering quickly from a mistake, doing something great for a customer, helping a colleague etc. Praise the actions and attitudes you want to see repeated.
6. Challenge a team member. Challenge at least one of your team members every day. Positively push them and yourself to make the most of your workload and business opportunities. Make a friendly wager or offer a simple incentive to see if they can be successful. See if you both can improve your productivity or sales. Offer to stay to help if there is anything they need help with. Good leaders consistently invite, inspire, and sometimes implore others to greatness.
7. Support a team member. Odds are, at least one of your teammates is struggling with something today - it could be a performance slump, a rocky romantic relationship, a disagreement with someone, an unglamorous task or a sick family member. Good leaders are consistently on the lookout for team members who might be struggling and are ready to offer an ear to listen, an encouraging word, a pat on the back, or a shoulder to cry on.
8. Constructively confront negativity, pessimism, and laziness. As a leader, have the courage to constructively confront the negativity, pessimism, and laziness that will crop up on your team from time to time. Instead of fuelling the fire by joining the pity party or silently standing by, be sure to refocus your team on solutions rather than dwelling on and complaining about the problems. Left unchecked, these problems can quickly grow to distract, divide, and destroy your team.
9. Build and bond your team. Team chemistry naturally ebbs and flows throughout the year. Take the time to monitor and maintain your team's chemistry. Let everyone know how much you appreciate them. Stay connected and current with each of the groups on your team. Douse any brush fires that might be occurring and continually remind team members about your common goal to avoid silos and cliques.
10. Check in with your manager. Invest the time to check in with your manager daily. Ask what you can do to best help the wider team this week. Find out what your manager wants to accomplish and also discuss if there is anything he/she is concerned about regarding your team. Discuss your collective insights on your team's chemistry, focus, and mindset. Work together to effectively co-lead the wider team.
11. Remind your team how today's work leads to tomorrow's dreams. It's easy to get bogged down by heavy workloads, seasonal spikes, monotonous tasks, long hours, and demanding deadlines. Remind your teammates how all the quality work you do today gives you a distinct advantage over your competitors and helps to delight your customers. Help them see and even get excited about how today's hard work is a long-term investment in your team's goals, rather than just a short-term hardship or sacrifice.
12. Represent yourself and team with class and pride. Leaders have the awesome privilege and responsibility of representing their teams. Take advantage of this opportunity by representing your team with class and pride today. Hold a door open for someone, sit in plain sight at meetings and actively engage in the discussion, be positive in thought, speech and actions etc. These tiny pushes represent you and your team with class and distinction. And they ultimately set you up for a lifetime of respect and success.
Great leaders willingly invest the time and effort to engage in these 12 leadership actions on a daily basis. In applying these principles, leaders build strong relationships, keep their team on track, enhance their credibility and achieve performance and results beyond their wildest dreams. Encourage your emerging leaders to take advantage of at least 7-9 of these actions every single day. Your senior and more experienced leaders should be looking to capitalise on 10 to all 12 of these opportunities.
As a senior leader, I encourage you to go back and look at all 12 again. The 12 leadership behaviours are things that you could and should be doing on a daily basis too. Be sure that you too take advantage of these 12 tiny pushes of leadership that will ultimately make a huge impact on performance and results.
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Contact the author
Richard Stupple is a consultant to professional services firms and a partner at Boxchange.