In previous weeks, I have commented that one of the hardest things to do is to lead the people we serve. Many authors have devised “simple” approaches that I believe have more to do with their promotional appeal than with the real world of leadership. By contrast, in actual practice, we quickly realize that providing direction does not prove quite so simple; quick-fix proposals don’t fit into the demands of real-life experience.
While acknowledging this dynamic, I have committed to outlining several essential elements that can be adapted to a variety of organizational contexts (can read part 1 here, part 2 here, part three here, part four here, part five here, and part six here).
Last time I explored the power of “affirmation and corrective coaching.” This week I am adding to our list the importance of promoting the faithful players.
One of the cultural factors in every organization is that the team always pays careful attention to the visible decisions the leader implements. And there is almost no choice more noticeable than the decision regarding who the leader promotes. In fact, when someone is promoted, the team will understand, or wonder, or speculate regarding the reason that the particulate individual was elevated to a new role. Was it favoritism? Was it friendship? Was it a relationship? Was it a #metoo inappropriate relationship?
Or was it because the person was faithful; because they did their job well and fundamentally deserved to be moved to the next level of responsibility?
In short, one of the fastest ways to build competence and strengthen the team while demonstrating effective leadership is to be extremely tactical with promotions; to only ever promote people who are faithful.
Time does not allow a full exploration of this element of decisive leadership. The goal here is to keep it simple.
Next week we will look again at the importance of emphasizing the Mission of the team.
Until then, stay strong, because it takes Courage to lead.
Photo Credit: Oliver Cole