Becoming an effective leader is instrumental within any business environment. Whether it’s a small business with only 10 employees or a larger corporation, one must cultivate the leadership skills necessary to steer their company toward long-term success.
The truth is, there is a lot to leadership. In fact, no two leaders are alike. There’s a reason you can find hundreds of books on different leadership tactics and what attributes work well for specific industries. The day-to-day model for how to lead a group could look very different in a warehouse than it does in a restaurant or office setting.
However, there is one thing all exceptional leaders have in common: They are able to cast a vision that unifies, excites, and motivates a team.
Those business leaders know the value of communicating a clear (and attainable) vision for the company, which will prevent confusion amongst the group. Less confusion yields more productivity. A higher level of production ensures the team is hitting their targets and meeting their short or long-term objectives.
By failing to unite your staff around a compelling mission, you will most likely waste valuable time, energy, and resources because everyone is operating without a direct plan. Your employees will be moving in many different directions that don’t serve the overall mission of the organization.
And, let’s be honest. People working aimlessly without concrete goals will feel like they are wasting their lives, too. From the beginning of time, human beings were designed to be heroes on some form of mission. When we accomplish tasks — regardless of how big or small — we feel important. It’s in our DNA. It’s a massive boost of self-esteem. If we don’t achieve something, we automatically sense that we aren’t living up to our potential. We don’t feel as if we carry much value.
That’s where strong leadership comes in.
The best type of leaders help define that mission and remind the team daily of how each individual is helping them progress toward that goal. There is no more valuable gift to an organization than a leader who knows how to communicate to each individual on the team (remember, people have different learning styles) and one that reinforces those concepts.
When your employees see a driven, high-spirited leader that’s extremely organized and has a clear vision for success, they become more motivated to join your team, they work harder, and they ultimately have a sense of pride working for the company.
Here are the 3 vital steps every leader must take to ensure success:
1. Invite a team into a story
The primary responsibility of a leader, particularly in the business world, is to formulate a mission for your team. Every company or entity has a reason for existence. The everyday grind should be part of a larger story — and it’s the leader’s job to invite his or her team into that narrative.
An effective leader is someone who wakes up every morning and makes sure every team member is aware of the organization’s plan or vision. They have to navigate their team to success, which includes inviting them into a story, outlining the short and long-term objectives, and supplying a roadmap that is both logical and attainable. It’s hard for any team to rally around a goal if they don’t believe it can achieved within the desired time-frame.
Without a direction, without a vision that includes a clear destination … people don’t have a story to step into. Your main priority is painting that picture for them.
2. Explain why the story matters
It’s not enough to just name the objective and hope your employees deem it important. If your team isn’t fully bought in, or doesn’t quite understand why the mission is necessary, they might not approach their daily tasks with the same level of vigor or enthusiasm.
This is why it’s imperative for the business leader to describe, in clear and simple terms, the significance of each mission. Why does it matter that we pursue this particular story? Why is it critical for us to arrive at the destination?
People want to make an impact. Whether it’s in their local community, the surrounding region, or the world at large, your employees want to feel as if they are contributing to the greater good.
That is only possible if you express how their day-to-day operations and workflow will help them inch closer to the objective — and why the objective is something we should be striving for in the first place.
3. Give every team member a role to play in the story
As an effective leader, the next step is to analyze the abilities and skill-set of each team member. Your intention should be to find them an important role in the story you’re trying to create.
These roles don’t have to be concrete, either. They should be dynamic and have the ability to change depending on the mission or objective at hand. Employees appreciate it more when they aren’t pigeon-holed or placed into a static role that can’t change over time.
When a business leader transforms their company into a Business on a Mission, every employee feels like they are playing a role throughout the journey. All of a sudden, the big-picture outlook becomes something they care about. They don’t just become a cog in the machine, believing they can be easily replaced. Instead, they are proud to become a star in their position.
Your employees should feel like their gifts, skills, and hard work matters. This, in turn, will reassure your workers of one valuable thing: They matter, as individuals.
Even better — they are happy to be part of a collective group that shares a common goal. We are communal beings, and every person longs to join a successful team in one way or another.
Think about your current business
Does everybody on your team know what you’re trying to do, and why your mission matters?
Do you feel like everybody on your team is growing in the same direction?
Or, are your employees wearing too many hats to be effective in their role?
Does your mission seem to change too frequently without a clear vision or destination?
Do you feel like you’re managing organized chaos that prevents you from reaching your potential? Is it affecting your revenue and profit?
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