Four Essentials of a Successful Leader
“I don’t know where to start, and I don’t know what I’m doing,” Tom said in our first coaching session.
“What do you mean, Tom?” I asked.
Tom continued, “Ever since I was promoted to Lead Director, I feel overwhelmed. I don’t know how to lead the team, and I don’t know what they need from me. What’s more, I realize I don’t even know what my family needs from me. I feel like I am caught in a whirlwind, I can’t think straight, and I don’t know where to begin to address these issues.”
Tom was stuck. Throughout the coaching engagement with Tom, we created a plan and system to address his feelings and his ability to lead with excellence.
What did Tom discover?
Tom developed four essentials that a leader can follow in their professional, family and personal life. Tom experienced a new season of growth in all these areas as he focused on these four essentials.
Four Essentials of a Successful Leader
Essential 1: The Leader can Explain the Roles of Each Member
Whether you’re running a business or a family, every member needs to understand their role and responsibility. I watched a football game recently where the Quarterback of the team struggled to move the ball downfield. After the series of plays, the Quarterback went to the sideline to talk to the Offensive Coordinator. The TV camera panned to the Offensive Coordinator. You could read his lips perfectly, “DO YOUR [email protected]#$ ’n JOB!” During the next series, the Quarterback went out on the field and led his team to a touchdown.
After the game, the media asked the QB about the heated exchange with the coordinator, and the QB responded clearly, “Sometimes I need hard coaching to do my job.” I don’t suggest you drop the “f-bomb” on your family or at the office, but I know this, as leaders, we need to help our team KNOW what they are called to do and then HOLD them accountable to their responsibility.
Essential 2: The Leader Can Execute the Goals of the Organization
Leaders not only know the Mission, Vision, and Core Values of the Organization, they can lead the team through a process of accomplishing the Mission and Vision as they live out the Core Values. This is true in a business and at a family level. In my work with struggling families, a common dysfunctional theme is no clear mission and vision (who we are and where we are going), and the family is constantly violating their core values. A family with no core values is destined to dysfunction!
Essential 3: The Leader Can Expedite Meetings with Excellence
Communication is a key to outstanding leadership. Family or organizational meetings must be clear, concise, timely, and regular. I remember the first time I tried to have a family meeting after not having one for months. BOREDOM. My family tuned me out. I realized I needed to have a cadence of family meetings that included the following:
Timeliness, which required that I communicate with the family:
- That there would be a family meeting
- The date and time of the meeting
- The topic that we would discuss
- What time I expected the meeting to conclude
Structure, I had a plan for the meeting:
- I reviewed the talking points with Jen before our meeting and asked for input
- During the meeting, I invited the family to share their thoughts on the topic
- Mission, vision, and core values are reviewed (in a creative way)
Leaders, at home and in the office, can lead meetings that are good for everyone.
Essential 4: The Leader Can Evaluate Progress
What is monitored is acted on. Leaders constantly review the LEAD and LAG indicators. There are different reviews; daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly.
Several years ago, we had some significant credit card debt. Jen & I struggled with having the debt. Then we created a plan that involved monitoring our lead and lag indicators for our finances. We reviewed every dollar we spent (LAG) daily, weekly, and monthly. We also set goals on how much we would save each week (LEAD). Ultimately, we paid off the debt FAST because we monitored and communicated the plan.
Leadership (at home or the office) can be stressful. However, following these four essentials can alleviate some of the stress and help keep you focused.
Where do you need the most help in your leadership; home, office, or personal life?
What essential will you start working on today?
With Whom will you share your commitment?