We’ve been working with a small team of leaders over the past year to support them in increasing their ability to create engagement within their organization, to develop alignment across key leaders on some core decisions, and to inspire a sense of possibility in the people they lead.
While the challenges of the pandemic have made these goals more challenging, there are still critical goals that need to be met for organizational success. Last week they asked us,
“If you were us and could do
only three things to achieve our results,
what would you do?”
We love great questions, thank you! If it were us, we would:
- Ensure that the executive leadership team is engaged in developing their skills.
Executive leaders need coaching and support to learn how to align on both what to get done and on how they get it done together.
Executive leaders—like all people—are messy and fallible. They’re humans who are doing their best to succeed but are sometimes at odds with one another. They’re hurt by differences of opinion and approach and often communicate to the organization in ways that cause friction.
In our experience, if the executive team is not demonstrating the behaviors they’re asking of others, their credibility is questioned, and their teams begin to lose confidence in their ability to lead the company.
- Remember that all decisions have ripples.
Some of the ripples will be planned (or even hoped for), but many will be totally unexpected, and some will be quite disruptive. There are always unintended consequences to decisions.
Before you make a decision, do your very best to consider the ripples from the broadest possible perspective. Once the decision is made, be open to understanding all the ripples that can come from the decision.
Leaders are more powerful when—in the face of negative ripples from a decision—they’re grateful to hear about them as soon as they’re spotted. They thank the team for feedback, and they work with the team to respond effectively.
- Focus on creating a culture of possibility thinking.
Through words, actions, and responses, communicate that you believe deeply that there are possibilities inherent in every obstacle and challenge.
Creating a culture of possibility during rapidly changing environments requires moving quickly from the shock and distress of the obstacles and challenges to the exploration of the opportunities therein.
Remember, with intentional leadership you can create a culture where a possibility mindset is the norm and where problems and mistakes become opportunities for shared interventions.