Five leadership behaviors to inspire your team

 

Observable behaviors to strengthen and those to minimize

 

 

Do your leaders and managers demonstrate different behaviors while trying to inspire or motivate their direct reports? Why do some leaders’ styles frustrate their employees while others seamlessly inspire their people?  What are the “observable” differences between these executives?  More importantly, what actually motivates YOU to higher levels of performance?

Many organizations lack a consistent or accepted set of measureable and manageable leadership behaviors to aid their executives and senior managers. The good news is that high performing organizations have figured out five observable key “leadership behaviors” to inspire their teams.  Even more encouraging, these “Inspire the Team” organizations have identified behaviors to avoid while coaching their executives for improvement.

This article does not attempt to capture all behavioral best practices and techniques to accomplish your desired outcomes; rather, it focuses on five best practices from the author’s experience as an executive and from field experience deployments at numerous successful organizations. The juxtaposed examples of observable behaviors to “strengthen” and those to “minimize” are intended to help you become self-correcting. 

On a personal note, it was both inspiring and humbling to receive 360 degree scores and verbatim feedback on my application of the five best practices. So this article is sincerely intended to accelerate your personal development to inspire your team to improve your company’s financial, customer, process, and people results.  The five best practices including behaviors to strengthen and those to minimize follow.

1. Have enormous energy, stamina and ability to invigorate others

 

Observable behaviors to strengthen and consciously demonstrate include the following:

Ø  Lead by example, make the tough decisions

Ø  Offer assistance and guidance to those tasked with achieving the goals set

Ø  Have a positive attitude. Foster a can-win approach. When employees fall short of expectations, find a way to correct, coach and motivate

Ø  Always look for reasons to highlight and praise.

Observable behaviors to strengthen and consciously demonstrate include the following:

Ø  When the team encounters a problem, complain and remind everyone how many problems are arising

Ø  Be overly critical. Neglect to celebrate employee accomplishments

Ø  Complain and criticize without offering solutions

Ø  Do not disclose a plan and/or do not allow co-workers the opportunity to contribute to the decision-making process

 

 

2. Have the self-confidence to empower others

Observable behaviors to strengthen and consciously demonstrate include the following:

Ø  Hire the right people; deliver a clear message with appropriate tools, accountability, control and incentives

Ø  Delegate authority and decision-making

Ø  Share information and delegate challenging tasks to develop and stretch the team

Ø  Train, delegate, coach and give feedback. Incent team members to learn and understand the business as a whole, as if they were “owners”

 

Observable behaviors to strengthen and consciously demonstrate include the following:

Ø  Blame your team at the first opportunity. Always tell and never listen

Ø  Don’t provide feedback as to why something wasn’t done right

Ø  Centralize decisions and information

Ø  Discourage others from taking risks and stepping outside their normal roles on the team. Micro-manage

 

3. Respect others and always act with class

Observable behaviors to strengthen and consciously demonstrate include the following:

Ø  Allow others to have different opinions without belittling them. Give them a chance to explain their side of the story

Ø  Deal with difficult people issues in a professional manner

Ø  Respect individuals’ abilities and contributions to the business and help them when they have difficulties

Ø  Listen, understand, and then speak. Treat other employees and customers as you wish to be treated

 

Observable behaviors to strengthen and consciously demonstrate include the following:

Ø  Use email to criticize someone and copy others on the message

Ø  Dismiss dissenting opinions without listening to them

Ø  Fail to recognize a contribution/achievement or give credit to the wrong person or team

Ø  Carry on side conversations during a meeting to show you are not listening to the speaker

 

4. Are comfortable building diversely skilled, global teams

Observable behaviors to strengthen and consciously demonstrate include the following:

Ø  Get to know other functions in the company and use this to get a global or national perspective. Break down silos and partner across functions

Ø  Seek people with different backgrounds, experience, skills,  and culture to create a team that’s larger in ability and vision

Ø  Be participative and create an open information environment. Look for points of view to better analyze the whole scenario

 

Observable behaviors to strengthen and consciously demonstrate include the following:

Ø  Look inward and do not request counsel or collaboration from the global team

Ø  Sacrifice diversity for efficiency – don’t take the time to understand different points of view to more quickly solve a problem

Ø  Always seek input from a select, limited group and fail to integrate new or different people

 

 

 

5. Thrive on teamwork

Observable behaviors to strengthen and consciously demonstrate include the following:

Ø  Listen to others and contribute ideas that help the team reach its goal

Ø  Be willing to sub-optimize personal gain for the benefit of the team

Ø  Communicate and keep everyone in the loop. Continuously help everyone to understand the strategy, plan and the progress

Ø  Identify and support the role of each person on the team. Set team goals and rewards. Constantly strive to improve communication

 

Observable behaviors to strengthen and consciously demonstrate include the following:

Ø  Work as an individual. Have no reliance on or involvement with the team

Ø  Share little or no information with the team

Ø  Put yourself first. Think about “me” rather than “we”. Make important decisions on your own without buy-in or understanding of those impacted

Ø  Do nothing to discourage non-team like behavior

Personal experience using regular, 360 degree feedback offers you opportunities to secure valued feedback from your superiors, colleagues and employees on how you demonstrate the desired behaviors to inspire your team. Behavior change can take time and not all executives have the flexibility or self-awareness to manage through necessary changes. These five best practices have enabled countless executives to realize their personal potential and their teams to accelerate financial, customer, process, and people results.

 

 

 

About Bob Paladino:

Bob Paladino CPA, CGMA, Founder of Bob Paladino & Associates, LLC, (www.paladinoassociates.com) is a former executive and longtime thought leader and implementation practitioner in the CPM field. His firm advises boards of directors and executives and offers a full suite of CPM services for rapidly implementing and integrating proven best practices to drive breakthrough results. He contributes to leading research projects at several institutes and has established dozens of CPM offices and core processes for leading companies.

He is a highly sought-after speaker for industry and trade events and executive roundtables with experience in over sixty cities globally.

Bob can be contacted at: bobpaladino@paladinoassociates.com

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