We often think of the best leaders as the ones who stand up in front of their employees and deliver inspiring speeches. The modern workplace needs those kinds of leaders. We also need quiet leaders, as described by Art Markman in his recent Fast Company article.
Markman nails the challenges facing a typical organization when he describes the need for strategic vision. If we don’t know what our goals are, employees can easily drift along in the same old routine. Leaders are right to make noise and be enthusiastic when setting goals.
It’s the next step in the process that trips up many leaders and organizations. That step is all about executing the vision. Let’s say your goal is to increase sales by 20 percent. Great. Now, you have to help your team determine the best course of action to achieve the goal.
As a leader, it’s up to you to sit with team members and discuss a plan of attack. If the sales team says that a 20% increase in sales requires the addition of a new product feature, get to work. Allow your product team to add the resources necessary to incorporate the new feature quickly. Ask your marketing team to come up with a plan to support the new sales goal.
Through this process, you’ll want to monitor quality and productivity. Instead of micromanaging the people on your team, prompt them to look for ways to improve quality. Remember to praise what is being done well and encourage people to always be thinking about improved productivity.
Set an example by making sure your own work meets the high standards you are demanding. When you work hard to execute a plan, when you stay late to reach a goal, others notice. They’ll be inspired when you show, through your actions, that you are a part of team.