Four Required Actions for All Leaders, Especially in Stressful Times

Post by Jerry Baker on May 15, 2017

If a leader wants their team to be successful, it is critical they own and accomplish the following actions:

Communicate Often

To be clear, communicate often means to do it repeatedly, habitually, and frequently. How many times have we heard that we must communicate, communicate, and communicate? And, that’s when things are going well, but it’s particularly critical in the worst of times.

  •  Your team needs to know positive things are happening. We all probably know what is not working, and unfortunately that is what everyone usually hears, but there are also positive things happening. Focus on the many good things and encourage the team.
  •  What are the plans to address critical issues? If you have a plan to remove barriers, let your team know about your plan and the progress made, as well as the new opportunities embraced. Everyone needs to know that their leader truly knows what is happening within the organization.
  •  If people have concerns or questions, encourage them to speak up. If their questions go unaddressed, their concern can easily grow out of proportion, becoming bigger than reality, if left unanswered. Encourage people to raise their concerns, but be sure to consistently answer them.

Get Up and Get Out

  •  When you are busy, it is easy to stay in your office and not get out where the work gets done. In the absence of being highly visible and proactive, the team can start to imagine all types of issues and unnecessary concerns. Get out of the office, be visible, see what’s going on, and talk to your team.
  •  When you delegate more, it will free up your time and keep your team more engaged. Delegation allows the team to not only fully engage and invest in the outcome, but also focus on where the company is heading.
  •  Discover the obstacles in the way and remove them. When you are among the team doing the work, the opportunity is provided to understand what’s really getting in the way of accomplishing things effortlessly and with great execution. Energy needs to be spent making necessary changes.

Stay Focused on Strengthening the Team

  •  When there is much going on we can lose sight of the bigger picture, the health, and competency of the team. An organization needs to be built to handle the demands created by the work while maintaining the capacity for growth.
  •  Succession planning is a requirement. The organization should be developing and preparing people for greater responsibility across all departments, not only within senior leadership.
  •  Create a plan to assess and fill positions with quality people. It is vital to develop a regular process to evaluate individual performance and create personalized plans to improve skills. Everyone should have a personal plan. With their personal objectives acknowledged, teammates will find more satisfaction in their current, and possibly future role.
  •  Consider recruiting an on-going function. Create a plan and process to continually recruit people at all levels so you can be prepared to grow and create the team required for growth.

Keep Focused on Critical Strategic Decisions

  •  Maintain momentum by staying focused on your strategic direction. Even the biggest of goals is reached one step at a time. Don’t take your eyes off of the end goal, even in demanding times. Remain focused on what needs to be accomplished to realize your goals.
  •  Take advantage of opportunities consistent with your strategy. Opportunities for growth can happen unexpectedly, but keep focused on the opportunities that align with your strategy. Too often, we find ways to grow or change the organization that can be off-strategy and can become a distraction that cannot be adequately supported. If it is a new direction (and, it can be good to think outside the box) then it should really be part of the overall strategy. Change your strategy and make a conscious effort to incorporate innovative tactics within the greater plan.
  •  Try implementing the above actions and taking time to focus upon each listed step. You and your team will gain clarity and unity as you work together towards the organization’s overall objective.

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Jerry Baker
CEO Mentor

Jerry Baker joined Building Champions as a CEO Mentor in 2009. He has experienced the impact of coaching firsthand as a client and corporate partner of Building Champions. He most recently served as CEO, President and member of the Board of Directors of First Horizon National Corporation and First Tennessee Bank.

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