If You’re Not Sharing these 5 Things, You Could be a More Effective Leader…
Your insecurities. The competent leader understands dominance is not the same as authority. Attempting to be perceived as dominant by hiding your insecurities only ensures you won’t receive any aid with them. When you are overly concerned about your own job security, it is difficult to not make every attempt to avoid being viewed as weak or vulnerable. Sharing your vulnerabilities allows you to connect with those you lead, and also results in being provided for in ways (and by individuals) you otherwise would not. The alternative (hiding your insecurities through dominance) actually promotes insecurities in other individuals throughout the organization, which creates an extremely unhealthy environment.
Responsibility. Often individuals in leadership roles find themselves demanding actions of those structurally subordinate. Simply articulating these demands in a manner which suggest they are a shared responsibility changes the dynamic of the request (e.g. delegating responsibility). Your pride may be standing in the way of you allowing yourself to be perceived as sharing your workload. Here again, those consumed with protecting their job find it difficult to share. Remember, as a leader your litmus for success is the success of those you lead.
Rewards. If you are getting them, it’s likely that your team is deserving of them as well. Even when you are not receiving rewards it is possible that the members of your team are worthy of them. Be innovative when rewarding productive associates. If it’s feasible, distribute your own bonuses among your team, or simply use a portion of your income to buy a new Keurig for the office. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool useful in promoting achievement and fortifying relationships.
Updates, changes, and notifications. The flow of information within an organization can be illustrated through the principles of hydraulics. The confined space at the top of the organization often allows information to flow much more rapidly than the typically more voluminous lower tiers of the same organization. Considering today’s technology, there is little excuse for the flow of information to become canalized. Changes affect individuals differently and, as a leader, providing timely information is a great way to foster inclusiveness and afford individuals the necessary time to react. If knowledge is power, then, as a leader, empower with knowledge.
Your time. As a leader, you are likely busy undertaking managerial duties and keeping yourself organized, maybe even building processes and analyzing statistics. You also, as an experienced leader understand the value of those you lead, especially in terms of productivity. If you do make time for those structurally subordinate, it’s easy to find yourself spending that time protecting and encouraging those who are most productive. Avoid the projection of favoritism by encouraging comradery. Do this through spending meaningful time with all of those you lead.