Business leaders from all walks of life would likely agree on just how dynamic today’s leadership arena is. To survive in the extremely competitive scene (and maybe even keep your company afloat), you have to keep up with modern demands in D&I, L&D, employee engagement, resilience, succession planning, and data science, among countless other things.
As you might expect, this has sparked a rising demand for high-impact leaders that can effectively meet all these needs. According to a study by Deloitte, this desired level of leadership is currently quite hard to come by. The data shows that 44% of leaders develop talent for competitive gains, while 48% are committed to change and innovation. Only 60% of the leaders surveyed showed good business judgment and commercial acumen.
Overall, despite lengthy efforts by learning professionals, the efforts by organizations to grow leaders remain unsatisfactory. In this article, we look at exactly what defines a high-impact leader and some strategies you can implement to be or develop one.
Continuously Invest In Yourself And Your Team
The hunger for growth and development is what separates a high-impact leader from other types of leaders. These individuals are on a never-ending quest to develop themselves and those around them.
A huge part of this involves actively scouting and identifying potential leaders within your team. To help them grow further, you may consider placing them in an accelerated leadership development program to attend relevant training seminars on leadership. Remind your potential leaders that a commitment to lifelong learning is part of being a high-impact leader.
Introduce An Internal Leadership Program
A high-impact leader knows that the best way to learn leadership is by teaching leadership. And the most impactful way to do this is by establishing a leadership development program within your organization. Such programs are usually aimed to prepare the next generation of leaders on how they can better respond better to disruptive challenges.
A good leadership development program should be indiscriminate and open to the entire team from the bottom to the top. As a leader, it is important to be personally involved in the training. This way, you can spot and fish out exceptional learners. Alternatively, you can bring in external leadership professionals who are better skilled to teach such techniques to groups of people.
Bring Out Your Team’s Strengths
As we saw, a high-impact leader is keen on identifying the strengths that each member within the group has. Best practice is to position individuals where their strength will make the most impact.
People tend to have more endurance and enthusiasm doing something they are good at. They experience a deep passion for their work which, in turn, reflects on the entire organization. Additionally, since they don’t have to struggle much to excel, they are sure to deliver great results.
Trust Your Team With More Responsibilities
After your team has gone through the leadership program, you should observe their strengths and potential. Based on that, you can assign more responsibilities beyond their current comfort level as a challenge for them to grow.
After all, part of what makes a great leader is being able to take on challenges as they come. You’ll be constantly faced with issues that demand a rapid and appropriate response. Being presented with more responsibilities can help foster this skill and make it more natural to you.
Make Time For Your Team: Be Person-Centered
High impact leaders invest time to communicate with the teams they are leading. This way, they get a fresh insight into improving the organization or new ways of conducting business.
A good way to manage this would be to apply the 80/20 rule. The rule states that a high-impact leader will spend 80% of their time with the top 20% of their group’s leaders.
By focusing your time on team members critical to the organization, you’ll get feedback that directly impacts your organization. Feel free to schedule meetings, lunches and retreats focused on increasing performance.
Demand For Transparency On Results, Progress, Aims, And Defects
Transparency is vital to a high-impact leader. By knowing what is going on within your organization, you can devise strategies that can better it. Encourage your team to share their thoughts on how the organization can be better run and areas that need to be improved. In turn, be open and honest with them when it comes to organizational news.
This kind of two-way communication invokes trust and accountability for all people. It promotes learning and critical thinking.
Transparency will also help:
- Provide your team and customers an opportunity to participate in improving your organization and motivate change.
- Raise the capability improvement by getting access to real-time data.
- Track the progress on results and observe any corrections that need to be made.
- Shape the work culture into one of trust with a focus on eliminating weakness
Focus On Strategies That Can Best Achieve Your Organization's Goals
A high-impact leader is responsible for directing focus on high-priority issues within the organization. Establish a vision for your team and translate the vision into a workable plan. The trick here is always to leverage the most promising strategies and resources.
You can do this by:
- Reviewing the results of the most critical parts of the plan and eliminating any barriers affecting progress.
- Communicating to your team about the company’s vision on a regular. This way, everyone has a clear understanding of any objectives.
- Appoint the most effective team members to high-priority tasks and be on the lookout for high-potential team members.
- Designate resources according to the company’s vision. Do not divert resources to projects that are not aligned with the organization’s strategic plan.
As we saw earlier, there is a growing demand for high-impact leaders. They are like gems, honing invaluable prowess and skill. And usually, such qualities are rewarded handsomely. Hopefully, by implementing a few of the traits above, you’ll be a step closer to reaching that level.
At Sounding Board Inc, our primary goal is to provide insight and leadership coaching for a greater business impact. For more information on impactful leadership and how you can drive your organization’s performance, feel free to contact us.