This is the third in our three-part series of the Work of Leaders model. We have covered Crafting Vision by imaging a future state of the company and Building Alignment, which increases employee buy-in for the vision.
All the building blocks are in place, and now it is time to ‘Make the Vision A Reality’ by Championing Execution of the vision and leveraging the clarity, dialogue, and inspiration established during the Building Alignment stage. It is important to remember that leaders at all levels have a part to play in each of these stages.
There are three drivers of Championing Execution: Momentum, Structure, and Feedback. We’ll cover some key points of each below.
Momentum is driven by the example of the leader – leaders must never ask more than they are willing to give. It involves being driven for results and initiating action. Commitment to deadlines, challenging priorities, and helping people see new initiatives as part of their jobs keeps the project moving forward. A leader needs to be a catalyst who provides the necessary momentum, drive, and resources.
Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Planning, organizing and analyzing in-depth drive Structure. A leader must create an environment where there is open and timely communication across all functions. Team members need to know that planning is iterative and how their actions affect others. Not only is it important to have a plan, we must take the time necessary for in-depth analysis.
Communication is essential to execution, and Feedback is driven by creating a culture of candor and trust. Effective leaders let people know how they are performing, they address problems head-on, and they regularly make time to recognize contributions to encourage ownership and engagement.
In short, Championing Execution is important because:
- It propels the development of concrete strategies.
- It makes the vision actionable.
- It gives people a sense of achievement.
- It fulfills the promise of the vision.
- It provides the necessary momentum, drive, ongoing support and resources to ultimately bring the vision to life.
In our experience of working with hundreds of leaders, different styles are more inclined to have natural strengths. For example, a leader high in Dominance is often naturally driven during execution, but less inclined toward structure. On the other hand, a Conscientious leader is often more naturally inclined toward structure; i.e., developing a plan and analyzing in-depth. In our work with leadership teams, we have seen some teams who have a “leadership culture” represented by a strong drive, but lack the natural inclination to give meaningful feedback, such as more praise. Such a culture can seem very task-master oriented without an appreciation for the hard work their teams do. Eventually, team members can run out of ‘emotional steam’ due to the lack of praise and encouragement.
Once you understand where you have natural strengths and/or see where you are NOT naturally aligned with best practices, you can learn to intentionally invest more energy to perform consistently with best practices…AND improve your leadership!
Ready to put the Work of Leaders to work with you and your team? Call us today at 916-788-1094 and get started!
Did You Know? As an authorized partner for more than 14 years, we offer the Everything DiSC Work of Leaders Profile. This useful and easy-to-read profile improves self-awareness in key areas such as vision, alignment, and execution to help you achieve better outcomes as a leader. Call us today and find out how you can take the first step to becoming a more effective leader. We also offer other DiSC profiles, such as Everything DiSC Management, Sales, Workplace, and Productive Conflict. We are also an authorized partner for Five Behaviors of a Productive Team.