As a leader, have you found yourself content with the status quo? Unwilling to make a growth change in your organization? Yes, you’ve had success in business – but hey, ask yourself, “What have you done lately?” When was the last time you ventured outside the comfort zone, took a risk? My guess, if this is the case it’s gnawing at you a bit. Time and again, I’ve seen complacency in leadership, which reverberates down to those you lead – and, this can be the decline of your association. If the people you lead aren’t pushing the envelope, how in the heck can your membership be fired up about what you’re doing?
Complacency stunts innovative energy, organizational growth, and can have a negative impact on your image as a leader – from your staff to your board – believe me, they’ve noticed. I’ve seen some very good executives out there that have an image or aura that they have played the last great game. It all comes down to you and your next move. The good news is, leadership stagnation can be overcome with some simple steps and a bit of initiative. Some things to consider to get a jump start:
Assess Your Leadership Muscle
Trace your career path – recognize the drivers that took you to the top in the first place. My guess is you took a risk, swam upstream or launched a breakout service. An honest self-assessment can quickly get you back on track. Replicate the characteristics needed during your most effective times.
Reconnect with Your Staff
This step is critical as staff will lose respect if your leadership muscles are in atrophy. One of the most powerful leadership tools can be weekly one-on-one meetings with your direct reports. These meetings should not be “weather reports” but equal parts of what the staff member’s needs are and your key performance areas for them. Listen. Hold yourself accountable and bring energy and passion to these conversations. When challenges are shared by staff, empathize and assure them you are in this together and charging ahead. By the way, ask your employees what they need from you as a leader. Again, weekly repetition is needed for optimum effectiveness.
Communicate over and over again
Be vulnerable and authentic that you want to revitalize leadership qualities. Be transparent about your efforts as this will rally the troops. Ask them to challenge you to address the best opportunities and the biggest challenges which must be solved. Update your staff on the progress made, and promise them your very best effort. These successes fuel your momentum and reinvigorate your staff.
The key is to consistently seek out the new challenge and forge ahead with a trusted team. Long-term success as a leader can be yours. Get moving.