This is a follow up to one of my most popular posts, “New Leadership Role? Here’s your 90 day plan.” My recommendations for a leader’s first 90 days included three mantras: learn, clarify, and align.
How a leader manages his or her second 90 days is more important than the first 90 days. My recommendations for a leader’s second 90 days include three different yet critical mantras: connection, accountability, and validation.
The leader’s fourth 30 days’ mantra: Connection
Leaders must not succumb to the temptation of managing people’s hands – the application of skills – alone. Leaders must attend to people’s heads and hearts, as well! This mantra is about authentic care and consideration of every employee. Relationships are the foundation of all good things in life and work. Authentic connection means leaders greet employees with a smile – and by name. Leaders listen patiently, to learn how others see the work, the processes, and the flow. Leaders treat others with dignity and respect, every interaction. They nurture positive relationships so as to inspire connection, every day.
The leader’s fifth 30 days’ mantra: Accountability
Setting clear goals is the foundation of good performance. Setting clear values expectations is the foundation of workplace dignity, respect, and inspiration. Once these expectations are set, leaders must observe closely, inquire kindly, and coach where necessary to ensure goals are met while living the team’s values, by every leader and employee. Simply announcing expectations – sales quotas or civil interactions, for example – doesn’t mean people will act on them. Leaders must hold staff to their commitments and use effective consequence management: praising aligned behavior and output while redirecting mis-aligned behavior or output.
The leader’s sixth 30 days’ mantra: Validation
All humans crave validation – that their efforts, their ideas, their commitment – is seen, valued, and thanks expressed. Leaders must embrace their responsibility to validate employee’s efforts as well as their accomplishments. Employees do really good things every day – yet most leaders find fault much more often then they find good. Where leaders validate strong efforts – even if such efforts haven’t solved the problem quite yet, employees dig in more, try harder, engage more fully to move the team forward. Leaders that generate feelings of worth in employees create a tidal wave of goodwill and discretionary energy.
The biggest secret about these six mantras (learn, clarify, align, connection, accountability, and validation)? #GreatBosses never stop doing them. They spend 90% of their time on these important activities and the rest takes care of itself (production, innovation, creativity, service excellence, etc.)!
What do you think? To what extent did your #GreatBosses invest time and energy in connection, accountability, and validation with you and your team members? Which of these mantras is your biggest opportunity with your team? Share your thoughts about this post/podcast in the comments section below.
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