Help Your Managers Meet the Moment
By John Henderson
Over the past three years, organizations have learned how to be more agile and nimble to survive the pandemic. With each passing phase of the pandemic, leaders needed to learn how to be ‘in the moment.’ Successful leaders are the ones who are very self-aware of their behaviors and actions in the workplace and how they impact those they lead and those they work for. Self-aware leaders understand their strengths, shortcomings, abilities, and limitations.
As I have read many lists of what skills and attributes a leader needs to be successful, the lists haven’t changed drastically from year to year:
• Great leaders help their employees grow. They are effective in developing, delegating, and directing their employees. They recognize what each individual needs to be successful and know how to adapt to help each person grow.
• They make their team feel valued. Leaders who include, not exclude, their direct reports in decision making when appropriate show they value and care for the employee. When employees feel valued, they have a sense that they belong on the team and in the organization. A sense of belonging is the ‘B’ in DEIB. Diversity is representation, equity is recognizing, inclusion is action, and belonging is a feeling.
• They are empathetic while holding people accountable. Leaders need to be skilled at finding the right balance between empathy and accountability. Learning to relate to others with understanding and empathy is crucial, and so is being able to maintain standards of accountability where business still gets done.
• They prioritize — every day. Great leaders get things done, and they get the most important things done first. Understanding the difference between what is urgent and what is merely important is a sign of a good leader. Managing your time and the time of your employees will make a more successful and enjoyable workplace.
I am always honored to be asked to help a team in their professional development. It’s an amazing feeling when you hear them sharing their own insights and challenges to leading people. I know that, when they return to their workplace, they will focus on being in the moment to lead people for success.
John Henderson is director of Learning & Development at the Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast. This article first appeared on the EANE blog; eane.org