The modern notion of diversity envelopes not only, race, gender and religious backgrounds, but also socio-economic and cultural differences, age and personality differences, skill sets, education … because all these differences bring diversity of thought. Diversity within an organisation is about the promotion of individuality, it’s about recognising the value that each individual has to offer.
The one thing that all highly-effective leaders share is a well-defined sense of purpose because this is what drives organisations – it’s like the fuel in the engine to propel everyone in the right direction. Without purpose how do we know where we are going? How do we build a compelling and sustainable business plan? How do we AND our people know what to do next? ‘Purpose’ feeds in to a company’s culture and ensures that team members feel as though they are contributing meaningful work to the end goal.
It seems that, today, change is inevitable. Often, though, it is resisted because it requires us to shift out of our comfort zone. Change brings about a fear of the unknown and a reluctance to face it head on. Great leaders are flexible leaders who are willing to embrace change. They understand that while it may be unnerving, it presents new opportunity to help everyone be more relevant, creative and strategic. They understand that change represents an opening to transform, innovate and ignite growth. A great leader motivates and empowers their team to adapt to change and to find ways to build on the new.
Fear of conflict is one of the most prevalent issues that defines office and organisational culture. Any environment that depends on the collaboration of different parties to achieve common goals can be rife with disagreements. So, how do you manage conflict as a leader? Whether you are naturally endowed with the ability to connect with your team members or you are trained to manage team dynamics, establishing a feedback culture to aid the effective resolution of conflict in different situations will ensure faster progress and results.
Leaders are expected to ‘get it right’, although it’s not always easy to determine what the right course of action is in all situations. Many leaders make the wrong choices, some resulting in highly damaging consequences.
There are organisations who appear to constantly be getting things wrong, ending up in the news for all the wrong reasons. Then there are others who are managed by ethical leaders who inspire their team members to follow suit. These are the leaders who continually appear to make the right decisions and take the right action at the right time.
I recently witnessed a senior leader speak to new leaders in his practice and share what he said was one of the most important bits of advice he had been given at the same point in his career as his audience. He was told to make time to think – even when life was so busy it didn’t seem there was a moment to waste in thinking because only doing would, well … do. Since hearing this, his discipline has been to carve out time every week to sit with a blank sheet of paper and simply listen to himself and what he wanted, to think through those things and craft ways to achieve his plans.
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