As leadership training experts, we know that the key to maintaining a committed and engaged workplace is to be continually aware of the messages leaders send to their constituents. But finding time to encourage and inspire others can be challenging, and leaders often complain of not having time to "practice."
During a recent leadership event sponsored by Sonoma Leadership Systems, Jim Kouzes, explored this pressing issue and offered the following simple yet powerfully effective tips to help today’s leaders confront and overcome this challenge:
Daily Action: Thank each person on your team at least once a day for contributing to high performance.
Daily Practice: Ask "What have I done today that demonstrates the values that I hold dear to me? What will I do tomorrow to demonstrate my values?"
Weekly Practice: "What have I done this week to improve so that I'm more effective than I was last week?" Ask your team members to reflect on the same question.
Research shows that Inspire a Shared Vision is the most challenging of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®. For this practice, Jim suggests that we ponder these three questions:
- What is happening externally in our environment that impacts our organization?
- In 3-5 years from now, where do I see us as an organization?
- What can I do to make sure that we share a common view of the future?
Focusing and reflecting on these points and questions will help you further engage individuals in your workplace and build a culture of trust and collaboration.
Pat Schally is a sales and business development consultant with Flashpoint and editor of The Leader’s Almanac Newsletter. Her positive energy and belief that “leadership is everyone business” is the foundation of her work with The Leadership Challenge program. It drives her commitment to attract organizations and individuals seeking to develop stronger leadership capability. She can be reached at