There are an innumerable number of skills required to be a successful leader. The tools and resources employed, capabilities leveraged, and habits and behavior demonstrated, all come under scrutiny when you’re evaluated. While you’re working with your coach or mentor to continually grow and make an impact, there are five activities you should engage in consistently to deliver outstanding results and earn excellent reviews.
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Analyze. Yes, you’re tracking results and profits, but what about the other elements that support your wish for increased budget oversight, promotion, compensation or followership. Be sure to have tools in place for tracking and measuring conversations, your engagement in critical aspects of your responsibilities, and the performance and results of your team and organization. Don’t wait until it’s too late to track and measure. Instead, using tools like 360s, performance dashboards, client analytic platforms, workplace learning reports, and real-time P&L updates, will provide you with timely insights for reporting and making pivoting decisions.
Study. Not only is it critical for you and your team to continually pursue professional development, but you should take steps to measure the ROI. Conferences, webinars, courses, private study, external meetings and executive coaching should all produce measurable results. Challenge yourself and those who report to you to design an annual professional development plan. Be sure to include return reporting and leadership exercises that apply and teach what was learned. Finally, block off time for learning for you and your team, and commit to it. When leaders are communicating, researching, and blocking out time to read and study in areas of interest, relevance and where they must develop expertise, they model a high-impact activity that bears fruit.
Observe. I've had the good fortune of working alongside a psychologist who has done considerable work in the field of psychographics. He has identified four pivotal elements that are helpful in assessing, identifying and understanding changes that are needed within—ability, disposition, behavior, and culture. As a leader, it's instructive to keep your eyes focused on these areas and to continually tweak them, because they all interplay with one another. Being vigilant and active in attending to them is to make monumental strides.
Explore. There are numerous questions that when continually asked help you as a leader explore what’s needed to sustain success. What are the needs of people at any moment in time, and what is it they want and want more of? How much of that do you possess? These are just a few of the exploratory questions that make for great dialogue at weekly meetings. More personal questions for one-on-one with team members should extend to how team members are interested in developing themselves, where do they believe they offer strong competencies, and how can those be leveraged in greater and new ways? Thoughtfully consider decision-making questions on a routine basis. And explore how you can find new resources, revise your current use of them, recognize talent for their efforts, and build a stronger culture.
Employ. Now suddenly you have a lot of horsepower, because you’ve identified the distinct needs and wants, curated resources, and intentionally cultivated relationships to collectively provide the force and the power that an organization, community or clients would benefit from. Carefully employ this intelligence in ways that improve results. Be very good, deliver much, and be a positive attribute, force, light, and influence. Inspire much, encourage much and be exceedingly supportive. Be so willing to relieve them of their burden, be so committed to their success, and their reaching their goals faster and even further than they'd anticipated, that it's just flat out a bad decision for them to say "no" to you.
Renwick Brutus' career has spanned roles as research economist, investment advisor, entrepreneur and consultant. He holds an MBA from Fordham University and has been recognized for his outstanding achievement in sales, communication and business leadership. Today, Renwick applies his unique blend of business strategy and interpersonal skills to help individuals prosper and companies grow. He is actively engaged as an entrepreneur, advisor and executive coach to business leaders. Contact him by email and LinkedIn .