Leadership Issues, Part 2: Rising To The Challenge
By Mickey Parsons Psy.D, MCC, BCC
(MMC guest master coach & blogger)
Over a period of 6 months, The Workplace Coach collected data from 109 business leaders about their leadership issues and concerns. We’ve paired our survey results with relevant coaching advice to support your success. In the second of four posts, we look at those areas where business leaders feel most challenged.
TOP 3 LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES
When we asked business leaders to identify their top leadership challenges, they identified three areas:
- Difficult conversations around performance and attitude;
- Motivating others;
- Being strategic (especially with hiring decisions).
Not surprisingly, these three leadership challenges are interrelated. For when leaders are strategic in their work, and when they lead motivated teams, the need for difficult conversations around performance or attitude invariably goes down, almost in direct proportion.
But that doesn’t mean those conversations shouldn’t happen. In fact, effective leaders have conversations about performance almost continually. The key is to be certain that everyone is clear about expectations, agreed-upon goals and measurements. Once everyone is onboard with the rules of the road, ongoing coaching, training and proactive feedback will ignite and maintain committed performance from employees.
It’s also important to make sure the people you lead understand their employers’ brand promise so they can represent the brand with confidence and authority.
Many organizations are sorely lacking in this regard. A Gallup survey found that only 41% of employees felt they fully grasped what their employer organizations stood for and what differentiated them from the competition. Employee education not only will remedy this it will boost motivation levels while providing important common ground for performance conversations.
Hiring the right people is also paramount to success. This is especially critical when hiring individuals to fill management and leadership roles. Yet most of us hire people who we like, with whom we feel an instant connection or who remind us of ourselves, rather than hiring for the job.
Successful leaders override these instincts and keep strategic goals foremost when hiring. For instance, they hire managers who are likely to care as much about performance as they do about the people they manage.