In times of change, “What’s in it for ME?” (WIIFM) is the “BIG” question everyone wants an answer to as soon as possible. Basically, we are all self-centered so this should be no surprise.
As a leader, it is your responsibility to see that the communications are clear, concise and authentic. Where possible, we need to understand another component in change and that is “What’s in it for “US” as a group?” The answers to question WIIFM can actually be included with a WIIFUS response.
In my experience, the biggest mistake most leaders make when trying to change something in the life or structure of the enterprise is to lead by announcement, by propaganda, or—worse yet—by executive dictate.
What may make perfect sense in your mind may not be understood so clearly by the rest of the organization. To you, the idea is completely logical. Trouble is, to win the support of others you must appeal to the intellectual and emotional bandwidth of people.
Today, let’s examine how you handle actions in the workplace.
Are you reactive to the events occurring within your environment and around you or do you take initiative to prepare for, participate in and/or control the events?
Do you intentionally take an active or passive role? Do you think in terms of the present or do you look to the future, anticipating outcomes and preparing for the consequences?
Are you a procrastinator in terms of making make a decision? Do you only make decisions when you have to, when you’re backed into a corner or when you’ve put it off for as long as you can? Or do you make conscious, intentional decisions as part of a larger, long-term plan?
How you answered these questions can have a profound effect on your career and company. I find that to be successful today every leader must have a laser focus and proactive, so here is how I view F.O.C.U.S.:
I have been a fan of the TV program NCIS since it was originally released. I have loved it for a number of reasons but most of all because of the focus on Gibb’s rules as a core of operations for the team. There are 50+ of these rules that have cropped up in many of the episodes over the 11 seasons.
One of the aspects of Gibb’s rules, that I like, is they are dynamic and change as attitudes and underlying values change which is important for growth. While you need to retain some rigidity, the flexibility allows you to balance responses and reactions
These rules have their foundation from Gibb’s values and time leading black ops missions while he was a Marine. They were adapted to his work with the NCIS investigative team so they have a tendency to be reactive or military based.
While I agree we can apply many of the characteristics of military engagement to business, I find they are limited because the motivations are different. In reality, nothing we do in business is truly life threatening or based on imminent physical danger. Yes, there are those who have this perception but it is rarely fatal to an individual.
I have been pondering this question for some time and I finally have a clear understanding of the topic. Are you a leader because you want to leave a “legend” or a “legacy”? This can be a highly controversial topic because many leaders really don’t get this. In fact, I might even venture to say that most leaders don’t get this.
In reality, the true measure of your success or lack of success won’t be determined until after you are gone. Months and years after your departure will reveal what kind of leader you were.
While we often associate these words with the process that takes place after our death, I believe it applies anytime we change roles, companies or even retirement.
So what can you do to develop your unique leadership style into one that will be highly trusted and respected? Today we continue last week’s post, here are two more of the seven characteristics you can integrate when redefine your unique leadership style, with tips for putting them into action.
Get OUT of Your Comfort Zone & Stretch Your Leadership Style
Alongside concentrating on your strengths, actively work to stretch into the leadership style(s) you find harder.
Generally, EQ research findings in a nutshell find: the most successful leaders can consciously draw on and seamlessly integrate all leadership styles, dependent on the situation. One size definitely does not fit all.
For example, strong, aggressive working environments tend to generate a direct and pace-setting style. If this is not your natural approach, but is required within your role, find ways to blend your natural style with your “stretch style” so you’re not putting on an act. This is not a fake it until you make it process. It must be authentic.
A natural coaching/affiliate style may not suffice in moments of crisis.
However, you can be incredibly directive and punchy—forceful, if you were able to give clear directions in as human and humorous a way as you can, so that the job gets done more effectively but you didn’t feel you was selling yourself out.
Always blend with your team’s leadership strengths to best advantage. Generally, the best leaders are not well rounded however the best teams are, says Tom Rath of Gallup, which has surveyed over 3 million people on the topic of leadership style and strengths.
Identify your leadership style stretch areas, and find ways to authentically blend them with your natural style.
Determine how you can get out of your comfort zone and grow but also allow your team members to do the same.
Review the blend of strengths in your team or organization. Who on your team has strengths that particularly complement your own leadership style, and how could you use these better?