As leaders, what’s your threshold for risk-taking in the workplace? Should it be encouraged? Thwarted? Carefully monitored? After all, risks make things unpredictable.
They make people uncomfortable. And, they fail … a lot. So often leaders are okay if their people are risk-averse. At least when it comes to executing with reliability and consistency. The irony is that by not encouraging their people to take risks – smart, calculated ones – leaders and managers are hurting their organizations by playing it safe. Risk-taking leads to ideas and breakthroughs that can drive new business. As a matter of fact, the only way to be successful is to fail forward on purpose. Big S’s (successes) are only possible with Small f’s (failures).
So how does a leader invoke and support a culture of risk-taking? They need to be willing to hug the failures rather than dismiss them. They need to support and celebrate their people who are willing to take a chance on change. They need to story tell about the failures that illuminated the path to ultimate success. This all requires a strong and persistent culture change. But, here’s the good news. It’s possible! Here are five ways to help your organization become one that celebrates safe risk-taking.
1. Expect (and praise) failure
Let people know that while you go on this new journey – while you’re taking the risk of doing something new – failure is expected. The goal is to make failures small, fast and cheap, instead of long, slow and expensive. And always celebrate those people who took a risk and failed. It’s the perfect opportunity to confirm that risk taking is okay and presents an opportunity to learn from experience.
2. Empower “safe” risk-taking
Nearly 67% of American workers can name at least one thing that would prevent them from taking any kind of risk at work. So, leaders need to demonstrate what a smart or calculated risk looks like because most people just won’t do it on their own. And then when someone makes a smart risk, see #1!
3. Seek out challengers
Encourage your people to step back and look at the things “we’ve always done this way.” Is the way we’ve always done it really the best way? Remind them that you’re committed to taking risks – knowing some will work and some won’t – because that’s how you’ll generate the breakthroughs to propel your culture to greater heights.
4. Provide support
I’ve had so many people ask me advice on how to manage their teams and honestly, there have been a number of times I really want to say to them:
Leading means running fast enough to keep ahead of your people.
And if they don’t get what I mean, then I’d know we were in trouble.
The reality is that we all may go through phases of being a bad leader. It could be because the challenge the team is facing isn’t our cup of tea, or maybe we’re just going through a bad phase in life. It’s okay to sometimes be a bad leader – so long as you realize what’s going on. During these phases, you must not point fingers at your team mates, the organization or the leadership. Instead, accept that you have a personal challenge to overcome.
There are 4 signs that indicate that you need to work on your leadership skills:
• People stay for money
• They confide in other leaders
• You feel like you’re not heard
• You feel threatened
You’ll notice that the first two reflect how team members are acting whereas points 3 and 4 show how you feel because of these actions. To recognize that you need to improve as a leader you’ll see the signs in others and yourself.
1. People Are Staying For Money Only
It’s the first sign. When you feel like you need to increase people’s salary to get them to stay with the company. There’s still great truth in the belief that money is the least important motivator when it comes to retaining employees. If you’re able to engage them, challenged them and make their efforts feel valued, money is going to be the last thing on everyone’s mind. Of course that doesn’t mean you can underpay them – doing that shows you don’t value their input. But, it should never become a salary bidding war where employees are challenging you to increase their pay because of other “opportunities”.
2. People Confide Their Problems to Other Leaders
Have you ever been in a situation where you find out something about a team member from another team lead? Do you wonder why they went to another leader rather than come to you? Well it’s usually a pretty straight forward answer: Either they don’t respect you as a leader or they feel threatened with the information they need to share.
Read the rest here: http://paulkeijzer.com/4-signs-that-youre-a-bad-leader/
We tend to over-complicate things in life, and when it comes to defining what successful leadership looks like, we really, really, over-complicate it. Much of what constitutes leadership success comes down to common sense, but unfortunately it’s not common practice.
Searching the shelves of your local bookstore (do those still exist?) or doing a search on Amazon.com would lead you to believe that in order to be a successful leader you’ll need to find some keys, take the right steps, follow the proper laws, figure out the dysfunctions, embrace the challenge, ascend the levels, look within yourself, look outside yourself, form a tribe, develop the right habits, know the rules, break the rules, be obsessed, learn the new science, or discover the ancient wisdom. Did I say we like to over-complicate things?
I don’t think leadership should be that complicated. If you’re looking for leadership success, consider these seven simple truths (argh…I did it myself!):
1. There aren’t any shortcuts – Leadership is hard work and most of it is on the job training. Formal education and ongoing development are essential parts of developing your leadership competency, but don’t think you can transform yourself into a great leader by reading a certain book or taking a particular training course. Great leaders are built by being in the game, not by standing on the sidelines or sitting in the classroom.
2. Great leaders started by being great followers – Most successful leaders were successful followers at some point. They learned how to be part of a team, put the needs of others ahead of their own, and work toward a goal bigger than themselves. In our hero-worshiping culture we tend to place the spotlight on the individual achievements of leaders and not pay much attention to how they cultivated those winning ways earlier in their career. Learn to be a good follower and you’ll learn what it takes to be a good leader.
3. There’s no mysterious secret to leadership – Contrary to the titles of popular leadership books, there is no single, mysterious secret to unlocking leadership success (see truth #1). All those books that I lovingly needled offer valuable insights about various aspects of leadership, but most of them tell you what you already know to be true…which brings me to the next point.
4. You already know what it takes to be a good leader