In a recent survey we conducted at TeamCatapult (January 2023), leaders shared their top five struggles in their current leadership roles and key traits they might be missing.
Leaders indicated that they
- Felt like there is only so far they can go in your current role
- Were unsure how to get people to buy into their vision for the team
- Struggled with a lack of clear priorities
- Have a team that can’t agree on rules, responsibilities, outcomes, and strategies
- Tried controlling everything or tried figuring things out on their own
What would it look like if leaders shared their ideas and vision? Would leaders try harder if they were not afraid to fail? Can you imagine a business world full of confident leaders leading us into the next century?
At Teamcatapult, we cultivate great leaders and effective teams by accessing collective intelligence. We motivate and develop one leader at a time!
Leadership development is vital to leadership success
Leadership success depends on a lot of factors. Clarity of purpose will help effective leaders move their companies forward. At the same time, with a lack of clear priorities, it can be challenging to know as a leader where to even start leading and motivating your (new) team. How can a leader be successful if they do not have a clear purpose or priorities?
Overcoming obstacles and paving the way to becoming a successful leader
What does it look like to overcome obstacles and be successful as a leader? It looks like work! There is no magic wand or easy way to get there, but through doing the work.
Competency comes with practice. Sometimes, years of practice. While you might immediately think: “I don’t have years to dedicate to this” that doesn’t mean you couldn’t start today.
What does it take to lead a team and be a good leader?
It takes effort and time to be a top manager, a great leader, inspire employees, lead a team, develop a clear mission, and achieve success!
What does successful leadership look like?
It takes… a lot and it looks like work!
To become a great leader, one needs to have the desire to work on personal development, a better future, and increase productivity, innovation, and dedication. It might include developing a model of leadership that is focused on a desire to lead change.
The leader’s roles and responsibilities
Leadership must focus on the future. You’re unable to take your people to the destination without knowing the end destination and without having a clear direction.
Employees want to know their leaders are optimistic and confident about the future.
As a leader, you must keep your attention and direction in mind while keeping your staff from distractions. Lead in a can-do spirit to continually improve, while strengthening step modifications to sustain successes.
Leadership skills come with doing the work
Successful leaders all demonstrate the willingness and ability to learn, change and grow. These leadership qualities are developed over time and with experience.
Competency comes from doing the work.
Here are 10 Steps to go from “lack of clear business priorities” to “leadership success”.
1) Identify your leadership goals
Write down your goals, team goals, and your organization’s goals. What does your leadership expect from your company and your teams? What direction do you want yo organization and your company to go in and what company goals need to be met?
Next, determine urgency and consider the importance of each goal. Set a timeline to achieve your goals, whether they are short business goals or long-range goals to achieve long run success.
Create a (written) plan for your goals and then focus on the top priorities.
Last but not least, review and adjust your priorities often as they may shift by life’s curveballs thrown at you!
2) Understand the importance of priorities to attain leadership success
Successful leaders start with prioritization. Whether it’s in their personal or professional life prioritization of priorities is step one to achieving goals.
Start by identifying your most important goals and tasks.
Next, focus your time and energy on these most important goals first. Doing so can help you make significant progress toward achieving success.
Setting priorities forces you to be organized and manage your time effectively. At the same time, avoid getting sidetracked by distractions or unimportant tasks, as doing so can undermine all your hard work.
Prioritizing should be a (new) habit you practice daily. In short, develop a more disciplined and practical approach to achieving your goals thus improving your chances of success as a leader.
3) Overcome analysis paralysis
Analysis paralysis is quite a common problem, among professionals, managers, and yes, leaders. Analysis paralysis prevents you from making decisions when the going gets tough and might lead to you not sticking to your priorities. To overcome this paralysis you need to have a system in place for making decisions and taking action, even when you feel like can’t.
4) Leaders, manage your time wisely
Many books have been written about time management. Do you have trouble getting the job done when it needs to get done?
There are many options to manage your time including calendars, tools, and time blocking.
Ultimately what will work is you making a decision to start working smart, not just hard. Managing your time is a gift to yourself.
- Cut out meetings that can be an email.
- Stop meeting for the sake of meeting.
- Hire an assistant, and outsource repeating tasks. ‘
Anything you can do to manage your time wisely will help you move forward as it will free up more time to do the things high on your priority list.
5) Eliminate distractions at work
Set yourself up for success by finding the best time and best palace to work so that you can focus on the key tasks at hand. The environment in which you work is key to your overall success rate as a leader.
When are you most productive, in what type of environment and setting at what time of the day? In the early morning or late in the day? Do you like working at home, in the office, or on location?
Can you work with colleagues in the room, or do you need headphones or a quiet place? Eliminate email notifications, turn off your phone – do whatever it takes to keep moving forward towards your goals.
Last but not least, an effective leader shows their teams how it’s done by setting an example. Leaders inspire people; but by setting the right example and eliminating distractions to get the job at hand done, you inspire team members to do the same.
6) Build accountability
Sharing your goals and then sharing your success with others, both leaders and your team members, holds you accountable for getting things done.
Start by tracking everything you want to accomplish and everything you do. You can not improve your performance if you do not measure anything!
Data is powerful.
Next, tell a trusted colleague, a coach, or a friend what you are trying to achieve as a leader and how you want to improve performance.
Saying it out loud helps make the goals real and helps hold you accountable for your actions, and in-actions.
7) Embrace flexibility
What happens when circumstances change for you as a leader? Give yourself permission to embrace the new reality and help each person on your team understand that you are a person who is looking out for the overall best interest of the team and its team members.
Embracing flexibility does not mean letting go of the goals or the vision. It might mean restating expectations, readjusting a time frame for completing the goals, or reprioritizing the goals. It might also mean asking for help from leaders in your network, signing up for life coaching, and working on personal development to lead your team to success.
8) Seek support from other leaders
We are huge components of leveraging the help of others to achieve success. There is so much power in collective leadership. Great leaders mentor future leaders! You need a core group of people who will celebrate with you when you succeed, and will also stand by you if you fail and help you get up.
While you as a leader are responsible for the success of your team, that does not mean you can’t seek and ask for support from effective leaders you know.
If you’ve never experienced support like this, consider our cohort program. It might be exactly what you need to have the confidence to move forward in your care, job, or leadership role.
9) Mindset shifts
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that mindset shift is another tool in the leadership toolbox needed to attain success as a leader.
When a lack of priorities and confidence is present, it is often combined with a mindset of self-defamation and self-doubt. This leads nowhere. A mindset shift is needed if you are to believe in yourself, understand you can do it and set yourself up for success and be a good leader!
You. Can. Do. It.
10) Celebrate small wins
Celebrate successes along the way. Don’t wait until someone else recognizes your success, you should recognize and celebrate your own wins along the way.
‘How do you do this? Each time you reach a preset goal, give yourself permission to celebrate. Celebrate with your team members, fellow leaders and anyone else who’s part of your leadership success story!
Connect with your team members
Leaders in a company must be trusted by their team members. The key is connecting good leaders to one another to accomplish their objectives. These qualities will lead you towards genuine relationships with other people in your team.
Building relationships ad networking with other leaders is essential to building an effective culture for accountability and exceptional performance.
Ask for feedback on your leadership
Your employees don’t always have a right to be informed about your work. When evaluating a leader’s effectiveness you need support from other leaders, colleagues, or even your own people. Speaking to other people can offer the perspective you need for leadership skills. Leader training also helps identify areas that need improvements. Professional coaching is a better motivator than a book or a seminar for a leader.
Coaching and mentoring enable leaders to create connections and apply the change to an open communication authentic environment.
Measuring leadership performance and leadership success
Having clarity around your priorities is crucial to achieving success as a leader. After reading the 10 steps in this article, have you gained a better understanding of what truly matters to you and your organization?
Remember to take the time to reflect on your priorities regularly and adjust them as needed, especially when circumstances change. Always keep team members and stakeholders in mind as you make important decisions.
Cultivating great leaders and effective teams
Should you need coaching, or facilitation skills, want to learn more about setting priorities, or a mindset shift, reach out to us at TeamCatapult. We have many ways to support leaders.
May I suggest you start by listening to the ‘Defining Moments of Leadership’ Podcast? It might help you connect with other leaders like yourself.