A leader wears many hats and fulfills many roles for their team. But the one big overarching goal is that leaders need to continuously improve the condition of their team and organization. Sometimes, to improve something, change is required. And, as most of us leading teams have found out, change is going to be met with resistance.
In spite of the resistance you encounter, are you able to persevere, be resilient, figure the right path to overcome the resistance and still get the important things done to improve the condition of your team? Some leaders I work with can answer this question with a resounding “yes!” While other leaders I have worked with have not been able to consistently execute and get things done. These ineffective leaders end up having their career frozen, being demoted, or being fired.
The following are characteristics of great leaders who have a reputation for getting things done and continuously improve their team and the organization.
Clear vision: A vision is a clear mental picture, stated in words, of how you want to be seen and remembered as a leader. Your vision is what gives you purpose and provides the path to drive your actions. I want to be remembered as a caring leader who was able to build a team who consistently completed the most important goals and flawlessly executed on our mission to improve the team and organization.
Delegate: To maximize your effectiveness as a leader, you need to delegate tasks for two reasons. First, delegating helps to develop other members of the team. As team members grow, the overall capacity of the team improves. Second, when a leader delegates, it frees up their time to work on higher level tasks, like finalizing the vision and strategic goals for the team.
Be responsive: If you have emails in your inbox that you have not responded to, there is a good chance you are holding up other people’s work. Anytime someone asks you for information or a decision and you don’t respond or do not respond in a timely manner, you multiply your ineffectiveness as a leader. Get organized and don’t hold up other people’s work. Fixing this one trait will multiply your leadership effectiveness in getting things done.
Make decisions: Great leaders are comfortable not having one hundred percent of the available information to make a decision. Great leaders know that they will never have 100 percent of the information to feel 100 percent comfortable about the decision. Great leaders also know that 100 percent of the team will not be happy with their decision. However, great leaders are confident making the decision knowing that sometimes it will not be the right or best decision. To quickly tell someone your decision is “no,” it is better than stringing someone along for six months and then telling them “no.” In the first scenario, the individual can quickly move on to make better use of their time.
Be well organized: To get things done, leaders need to be well organized. You need a good ‘to do’ list and planning system that allows you to be well prepared and meet obligations ahead of the promise or deadline.
Deliver on your promise: Do what you say you are going to do; when you say you are going to do it…even long after the feeling to do so has left you. Be the person who follows through and consistently delivers.
Exceed expectations: What is better than delivering on your promise? Do even more than you promised and exceed expectations. Instead of just agreeing to attend the meeting, agree to assuming a leadership role if you and the team feel that would be beneficial to the team’s success.
Hold team members accountable: For you to have a reputation for getting stuff done, you have to have developed a team that has the reputation to get things done. That means that there will be times when you need to coach and counsel team members to ensure they are in alignment with the goals of the team and organization. Do not lead by hope and hint. Have the courage to do the right thing and lean into conflict, when necessary.
Share the success: If you want to continue to grow your reputation for improving the condition of your team and getting things done, give credit where credit is due – express your praise and gratitude for each member of your team. When people feel valued and appreciated, they will contribute discretionary effort…connected with both their head and their heart.
By following the tips above, you can not only improve the condition of your team, but also achieve great results while doing it. Leadership is tough stuff, but that does not mean you can’t be successful at it. Now, let’s go get it done!
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