Leadership can come in many shapes and sizes; there is no one size fits all leader. The best leaders tend to be malleable to those following them, making sure they know their team and how to motivate them on an individual level. Applying one approach to leadership towards all individuals presents a tricky task, though, because you also want to make sure the people around you feel like they exist in a fair and equitable environment. Taking the time to find the balance between equality and individuality is pivotal for any leader, and focusing on leadership skills has a profound effect on your companies success. There is plenty of evidence suggesting that leadership has a profound impact on productivity, and productivity is key to continuing to grow, develop, and sell your products or services.
An easy mistake for leaders to make; assuming working harder means being more productive. Again when you push a singular agenda, it fails to meet the group’s needs while simultaneously relying heavily on one signifier for success. Working harder doesn’t always mean your employees are solving problems any more effectively. Encouraging workers to push and grind harder when they are already working hard may de-motivate many of them. The easiest way to inspire your employees is to find creative and efficient means to work smarter, not harder. Employees always appreciate an effective solution to a problem and respect a leader who can provide tedious issues.
Leadership also sets a tone during what is presently deemed a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) time for most companies. By being a stable, steady, and understanding presence in your worker’s lives, you end up providing a certainty that isn’t consistently present in many other spaces. Predictability is generally a good thing, and most people crave it. Having a leader who knows how to answer questions and has consistent responses to problems within the office provides workers with the comfort of knowing what to expect daily. This comfort and ease at work allow employees to focus more on the task at hand and less on the outside world’s worries. But be careful; this tone-setting predicates itself on honesty and trust. If you pretend everything is acceptable within the company when there are potential problems, it will only sow mistrust and discontent. Be a space of comfort, yes, but remember that you are working with adults, and if there is bad news to be shared, it’s best to share it swiftly.
Leadership and productivity are inextricably linked. Working for a bad leader or someone you don’t trust is always a drag on your day to day work. Conversely, working for a good leader can leave you feeling energized, focused, and excited to produce for your company. As a leader, you should try your best to remember what it was like to be in the shoes of your employees. Everyone knows what it’s like to be at the bottom of the pyramid, so make sure when you lead, you do your best to empathize and connect with your employees so that you can provide them with space and culture that allows them to feel valued.