As leaders, making decisions and taking actions fall among many responsibilities we are tasked with. However, creating the environment where all members of your team are treated with respect, support and are included in the process is of equal importance.
Balancing empathy and understanding with decisions and actions is important and here’s what I think about it.
Podcast: “The long game” with Milos Topic – Episode 3 with Sharon Pitt, Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at University of Delaware shares her thoughts, ideas and experiences on building inclusive and diverse teams, nudging organizational culture in the desired direction and much more.
Sharon’s question for the audience:
► How are you doing work-life balance while working from home?
Leaders don’t care about being right. They care about doing the right thing and arriving to the desired destination with expected outcomes. It is about doing what teams need to advance, grow and improve, not about them having the final say.
Path to happiness is not always upward. Know yourself, be honest with yourself and then act accordingly in your life and career.
Personal growth, advancement and improvement is not always upward bound for everyone as not everyone will want to take on additional responsibilities and changes that come with that decision. When in doubt, air on the side of true self.
Don’t forget to have fun in all that you do. Enjoy life, move forward with purpose and intent and introduce some levity for yourself and others along the way. Life is beautiful, enjoy every moment you have.
How do I get better?
This question kept coming up in recent conversations with friends and colleagues and it has become apparent that one could do this by being more intentional about their own actions, thoughts, effort and energy instead of focusing on what others are doing. While you need to be aware of plans, strategies and actions of your competitors, that is NOT where your focus should be most of the time. Instead, focus on your own contributions, on your organizations and your teams and the rest will fall in place in due time.
While introducing change and new ways of thinking and doing things it is essential to manage the pace of change. This pace will be influenced by organizational culture, leadership, people and their collective comfort to reimagine how to move forward.
Change, growth and progress could all begin with you. Yes, you, no matter what your formal title might be today. While executive leadership teams have a very important role to play, change, action, leadership can be initiated across many places within an organization and are not limited exclusively to titles or corner offices.
If you believe that your team or a group can do better, begin influencing the progress and necessary advancements. Be the leader you wish you had.
As you begin a new job, there are many things to consider and do in your first few months. In addition to researching your new boss, leadership team, organizational reputation, products, services, financials (all of this BEFORE you accept a position of course), I have found the following things to be valuable as well.
First, do your best to meet as many people as you can to learn about their experiences, perspectives and ideas. During this process, listen, learn and ask questions. Clarify as much as you can and do not make assumptions. Instead, ask.
During this time, ensure clarity from your end as well. Communicate honestly and openly and make sure people understand where you stand on issues, ideas, leadership, ownership and accountability among other things.
Finally, focus your effort, energy and time on most impactful priorities for your role and your team’s potential contributions. The rest, delegate, delay or drop when possible. You only have 24 hours in a day, just like the rest of us, make the most of them. Good luck!
Lead by example and help other people whenever you can. Do it when you can, not when it is convenient…stick your neck out in support of those who need your assistance, understanding and empathy.