The evolution of leadership is happening. 2020 delivered a high level of uncertainty, extreme volatility and completely disrupted the day-to-day lives of every individual, both near and far. For months on end, men and women struggled to adopt new work protocols, adjust to elevated household responsibilities, and desperately sought to understand the path forward. The lack of consistency created never before seen instability, causing leaders at all levels to develop the new wave of sustainable leadership.
It’s imperative that the structure of sustainable leadership is built on focusing on what you can control. While outside factors and circumstances may be beyond control, what you can control is the cadence, and therefore the consistency in communication with which you connect with your teams. This helps create a sense of comfort as teams, employees, customers and beyond can at least find peace of mind knowing when they can expect to hear from you. In a leadership role of any kind, another key to sustainability is to become the voice of reason that strips away the “noise” and helps decipher the facts, as well as their implications. Choosing to take this approach allows a leader to better chart a path forward for all involved, no matter how turbulent the storm may be.
Additionally, it has become imperative to understand the motivating factors of those you lead. Learning what will and won’t motivate someone to complete a task, take charge or enact a purchase decision can help you unlock the formula that will move them effectively through the process. Having empathy is also important as the global factors at play have drastically impacted people’s motivating factors.
Here are three things you can do to level up your sustainable leadership:
- Control Your Cadence: Consistently communicate when you will release information. Deliver that information on time and seamlessly. This will help you earn trust.
- Separate Noise from Facts: When delivering large messages recap what the situation may be, clarify what it actually is, and explain what its impact will be. This will help ease fear and inspire faith.
- Take the Time to Understand People: Every person, every audience, and every employee is different. Invest the time in getting to know who your audience is so you can speak to their motivating factors and inspire the right kind of change.
As we have been reminded of in recent months, change is the only constant. This means we have to learn to flow with the tide and the highs and lows it will bring. The wave of sustainable leadership will continue to be in flux, so it is important to remain engaged and make course corrections as necessary to keep leading throughout the winds of change. Leadership at its finest is fluid and in-tune with the current times – while assessing information to create future action plans. It’s also important to note that leadership is an active practice, which means it gets refined in motion. It is a skill that is sharpened with every experience, interaction and decision.