Last week we discussed ‘Chasing the Dream, Building Your Team’ and the more I thought about that lesson, the clearer is became that I wanted to build on it. I’m often asked, “Where do I start?” and if you are in leadership (and most places in life), the answer is… Start with Self!
While we discussed looking at the roles within the team and who played which role, the most important role for any team is the leader. As the leader goes… so goes the team.
In this week’s podcast, I set out to give my list of some of the roles of a leader and I would love for you to weigh in with your thoughts of the roles a leader could/should play.
In leadership, there are principles and practices; characteristics and competencies. One of the places we start with is what are the needs of the organization? What are the needs of the team? We take stock of the present situation to determine the need. It is essential that Leadership direct all things (people, process, resources) toward an outcome and that cannot occur without an understanding of present reality. Which leads to my first role of a leader:
- Assess the Present
In order to lead, in order to attain any destination, we have to look at where we are presently. If we don’t assess the present (with an understanding of what got us here) than we might not make the right moves for the present scenario. Please spend the time to gain full awareness in assessing the present. So what components of the present should we assess?
- Assess the Situation
- Assess the Team
- Assess the Resources
Assessing the present opens up to knowing your product or service, knowing your process, market conditions, customer satisfaction and in the midst of all of that – the team you have inherited to get you there. (Their capabilities, their capacity, their commitment; the present culture)
While keeping an eye on the present is great, we can’t focus only on the present. While keeping one eye on the present, we keep the other on the future possibilities. This is the second role of a leader.
- Inspire the possibilities of the future
People need to believe that tomorrow will be better; that the promise of the future is greater than the past. A mark of a good leader is to be able to cast vision for what the future might look like, to inspire the workforce that they can achieve greatness AND to create buy-in that you are the leader that will help them achieve it. ** Belief and Buy-in **
See the envisioned future, raise the bar, and infuse the team with the right mindset (spirit).
- Believe in your people
- Develop your people
- Map the methodology
Once you’ve set roles 1 and 2, the next role is to determine and communicate the next step
- Determine the Direction
Leaders orient the team in the right direction. When the true leader speaks with confidence and points the team in the right direction, dynamics start to change. Leaders must set the direction.
This, however, does not mean that you must know the 32 next steps in the process. Many times in leadership, you find out THE next step, take that step and look for the next. It is ok to step out your envisioned future, expecting that after taking a step – the next one will reveal itself. You will be 1 step closer with a little more knowledge and trust that the next door will open.
- Setting the expectation.
Another Fullerism comes to mind which is, “What you permit, you promote; what you allow, you endorse.”
Without the right expectations, clearly communicated, how will our teams ever fulfill their roles?
These are just 4 of the 10 roles of a leader. For more on this topic, click the mic to check out the full podcast. Have a great week!