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Top 10 Strategies of Highly Effective Leaders

February 20, 2017

Top 10 strategies of highly effective leaders.

The 2020 workplace will be networked, flexible, integrated, open & innovative.

The leadership abilities that have gotten business to where it is today will not be the same leadership abilities needed to lead the businesses of tomorrow and the future of work.

Recruiting and retention will continue to be challenges for leaders – 48% of Millenials are looking for a new job while on their current job.

Two thirds of CEO’s surveyed say they are facing a talent shortage and 81% say that their leaders are not effective at developing their people.

As we head towards 2020 there is an urgent need for leaders to be able to effectively develop their people.

Here are the top 10 strategies of highly effective leaders primed to take on the future of work realities now:

Strategy #1 – UPGRADES – a highly effective leader today recognizes that just like technology needs ongoing upgrades they as a leader need to constantly upgrade their leadership abilities. Upgrade means developing skills that they may have seen as unnecessary in the past such as upgraded listening skills, upgraded communication skills, upgraded technology skills, innovation skills and more.

Strategy #2 – Replicates – a highly effective leader today knows that to get more done he or she needs to replicate his or her abilities to their team members. This means openly sharing content of the job, context of the company and providing opportunities for team members to ‘take over’ aspects of the leaders job. For example a coach client of mine recognized that he was caught in the trap of thinking “if I don’t do it – it won’t get done right”. This type of thinking caused him to withhold from teaching/training and delegating to his team. The opportunity for the leader was to set up his team for success to do the tasks right even if it meant repetition and trial and error.

Strategy #3 – Reassesses Priorities – its easy to get caught up in deadline frenzy – more and more leaders are doing much more with less resources. An effective leader recognizes that his or her number one priority is his or her people. Too often a leader will lose sight of the team or their contributions and then all of a sudden something goes off the rails with an employee. For example a client of mine indicated his frustration at trying to read a manual for a project and he was annoyed that his team kept interrupting him. I suggested that perhaps he had set himself up to fail by planning to have quiet reading time during peak work hours! A master leader plans to be interrupted during the day while planning to have quiet uninterrupted time either early in the day or at end of day.

Strategy #4 – Inspires – a great leader doesn’t command, control or coerce. A great leader inspires people to want to do better and be better. 17% of Millenials expect a career path or map and want leaders who will help them get to his or her ultimate goals. An inspiring leader has the ability to see the potential in people and speaks to that potential. For example my most inspiring leader was a guy named Ron who once said to me in my early career, “my goal is for you to one day far surpass me in your career”. That statement was the single most inspiring thing anyone had ever said to me and it caused me to work very hard for Ron while admiring him as a person.

Strategy #5 – Mentors – By 2020 managers will be replaced with mentors and coaches – people don’t want to be ‘managed’ people want to be part of a team and to be able to contribute through is or her skills and talents. A mentor is very appealing to Millennial/Gen Y’s – they want a guide but not someone who is critical or who lacks patience in teaching. A mentor provides guidance, support and inspiration. Highly effective leaders are shifting a ‘manager’ approach to a ‘mentor’ approach for today’s workplace.

Strategy #6 – Reverse Mentors – Senior leaders that participate in reverse mentoring benefit from new ideas, reflection on leadership with a new perspective and collaborative innovations. The additional gains through reverse mentoring are the sharing of thoughts, new insights, raising questions and getting to understand each other. Reverse mentoring is a highly effective leadership strategy in that it flips the traditional tables on mentorship. Typical mentoring is top down or from experience to inexperience. Reverse mentoring is mentoring from the bottom to the top and from less time on job to those with more time on the job.

Strategy #7 – Coaches – Highly effective leaders take a coach approach with all team members. Highly effective leaders also see mistakes, trials and failures as awesome coach opportunities. For example a client of mine had recently promoted a Millennial to a management position. My client basically let his Millennial do the job by sink or swim. What happened? Within weeks of the Millenials promotion he was frustrated and my client was disappointed. What my client failed to do was to coach the Millennial on EVERY aspect of being a leader and to take every possible opportunity to coach the Millennial for success.

Strategy #8 – Shares – Highly effective leaders share what they know and provide multiple opportunities for their team members to grow. 88% of Millenials have set specific goals for their future and they want to get their quickly. That means they are looking for leaders to share everything that he or she knows. A highly effective leader isn’t threatened by this rather they see the opportunity for them to share and therefore help team members to succeed.

Strategy #9 – Challenges – 51% of Millenials want ongoing challenge in their work AND it doesn’t matter what generation you are as human beings we all want a challenge. Challenges engage, excite and stretch people to have to think and do differently. The most highly effective leaders are consistently looking for ways to stretch and challenge their team members. A consulting client of mine has a Millennial marketing manager who was getting bored – he decided to get her to listen in on his calls with their top clients while also taking her on strategy meetings with clients. By doing this he engaged his Millennial employee to provide her input on the calls and meetings and she loved the challenge.

Strategy #10 – Finds Opportunities – Lastly highly effective leaders are always tuned in to the outside interests of their employees and is looking for the ‘links’ between those employee interests and outside opportunities. For example a leader I recently worked with knew that one of his employees ‘dream goals’ was to work full time in the music industry. The industry that the employee was in was manufacturing. I suggested to the leader that he keep his ears open for music opportunities for his employee and the leader was able to find an opportunity for his employee to do a project in the music industry. A leader that looks for opportunities for his or her employees  will always have higher loyalty from employees and higher rates of future potential employee referrals.

Lastly providing ongoing training and development as part of the overall approach is a big aspect of being a highly effective leader. 63% of Millenials feel that they are not being trained on leadership and most want to have the training on a mobile platform. Check out our online leadership training with optional coach support for your teams.

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