2016 was a bit of a whirlwind of shocks, surprises and information overload. What with Brexit happening in the UK, Donald Trump being elected US president, continued global economic turbulence and a barrage of new information and technology coming towards us at breakneck speed, many were left wondering ‘what does it all mean?’ by the end of the year.
So with people’s heads still spinning from a tumultuous year and seemingly no let-up in the pace of change, now more than ever there is a need for people to ‘connect’ with a meaningful purpose (both at work and in life) and align their values and strengths with that purpose.
So what do people at work need from their leaders right now? That will help provide them with purpose and meaning, a sense of certainty and confidence in the future?
Well in this unstable context, strong leadership means:
- Having purpose – build a vision that is connected with achieving something meaningful and purposeful in the wider world. This will give employees a sense of making a positive difference. Make that vision more than ‘wordsmithing’ and soundbites, make sure it’s from the heart.
- Communicating purpose – it’s one thing to be clear on your organization’s vision and purpose yourself but communicating it clearly and with conviction is something that many leaders don’t do enough of. Do it through words and more importantly through action, always linking back strategy and action plans to the vision and purpose for the organization.
- Engaging people – as well as understanding why their work matters, people need to see how their work can directly connect with the vision and purpose of the organization. It’s also imperative that they understand how best to use their strengths and skills to achieve the key outcomes for their roles. So create the HR and management infrastructure that delivers this. But keep it simple.
- Nurturing progress – once aligned with vision and purpose, employees will be supercharged to deliver their objectives and create value for the organization. But this needs to be noticed and appreciated by leaders, managers and colleagues in order for more to appear. So make a point of appreciating and nurturing those efforts wherever and whenever they happen, linking them back to the vision and purpose so that everyone is clear on ‘what great looks like’.
Following those simple steps will help people create their meaning and purpose, make sense of uncertainty in an uncertain world, and build confidence that they can make a difference.
There’s never been a more important time for strong, purposeful leadership than 2017. To find out how we can help your leadership go from good to great, click here.
Dr Paul Brewerton, Co-founder and Joint MD, Strengths Partnership Ltd
Originally posted on: http://www.strengthspartnership.com/blog/stay-strong-leader-uncertain-times/