One of the main reasons leadership is challenging is because you are managing a fast-moving conveyor belt of decisions. One decision after another is rolling off the conveyor belt:
- Should I remove this non-performer even though I have two other open positions?
- Do I shift the compensation plan to get the team focused on the right behaviors, knowing it could disrupt the culture and distract top performers?
- I just announced our new hybrid work expectations, and now my top performer is asking for more flexibility because of a family situation—do I allow it?
You can’t obsess over each one and slow everything down, but you don’t want to make knee-jerk decisions, either.
Leadership Mindset and Talent
The two key things that help a leader do this are their talent and their mindset.
Think of mindset as the instructions you give yourself to succeed and your talent as your natural ability to do so.
I have been working with a leader recently who wants to be known as a Positive Accountability Partner. She landed on this because it’s the right way to work with her team, but she found this mindset to be helpful to make the most of the three strong leadership talents she has.
She is strong in Command (competitive take-charge driver), Positivity (optimistic spark plug), and Relationship (enthusiasm and strong interpersonal relationships). She needs the constant reminder to allow her Positivity and Relationship to be firing at all times, to be sure they don’t get downed out by her Command.
If she continues to focus on being the Positive Accountability Partner, she will be able to light a fire in her team instead of lighting a fire under them. The instructions she is committed to giving herself to ensure she uses these talents effectively are to remind the team of the goal, celebrate the progress toward the goal, and then challenge everyone to stay on the path.
With this mindset and instructions she is giving herself, it makes the conveyor belt of decisions just a little easier to handle. She is at her best, and her team is at its best.