As a leader, you want to grow. To improve. To get stronger. Question: How can you strengthen your leadership? In a lot of different ways! Search “strengthen leadership” and you get about 221,000,000 results, including:
- 20 Leadership Tips to Improve Your Skills: “Appeal to values…. Celebrate small achievements”
- 9 Habits to Strengthen Leadership: “Establish a relationship with a mentor…. Be a mentor to others.”
- 9 Ways to Develop Your Leadership Skills: “Resolve conflicts…. Be a discerning listener”
- 8 Steps to Strengthening Your Leadership Skills: “Ask for feedback…. Cultivate your network”
- 7 Ways To Improve Your Leadership Strengths: “Identify your leadership strengths and weaknesses…. Discover your leadership style…. Set realistic goals for development”
- 6 Ways to Strengthen Leadership Skills: “Practice candor and collaboration…. Manage implementation without getting in the weeds…. Accept that innovation is messy.”
- 6 Ways to Strengthen Your Leadership in 2021: “Be interested in learning constantly…. Be more present…. Focus on what you can control.”
Right now, I’m focusing on things like asking for feedback. What about you? What are you focusing on in order to grow, improve, and get stronger as a leader?
I’m also focusing on being a better team builder or team coach. Tools that I’ve found helpful include:
- 3 characteristics of an ideal team player (model, video, book, assessment, )
- 4 disciplines of organizational health (model, video, book)
- 4 disciplines of execution (video)
- 5 dysfunctions of a team (model, video, book, assessment)
- 6 working geniuses (introductory video, video playlist, assessment)
- Conflict management styles
- Job descriptions
- Outward mindset (video, free course)
- Personal histories
- Personality types (test, personality type descriptions)
- Radical Candor (video, chart)
One tool I’m especially focusing on using this year is the GRIP Model (Goals • Roles • Interpersonal Relationships • Processes). I’m using it because I believe that effective teams:
- Have shared Goals.
- Understand what Role each member plays in achieving the goals.
- Have healthy Interpersonal relationships.
- Are clear about Processes for collaboration (decision-making, meetings) and communication (cascading, conflict management).
Next fall I’m especially focusing on the GRIP Model in terms of Roles. Interested? If so, how about facilitating discussions on roles?
- Overall team role: In what context does your team operate? What’s your team’s purpose?
- Job description role: What happens when you are clear/unclear about what’s in team member job descriptions? What’s in your own job description? What’s in the job description of each team member?
- Personality type role: What’s your personality type? What positive/negative roles does that include? (For me as an INTJ, my positive roles include strategist and innovator, and my negative roles include perfectionist.) What’s the impact?
- Conflict management role: When it comes to conflict, are you an avoider, a competitor, or a collaborator? (I’m a combination of avoider and collaborator.) What’s the impact?
- Working genius roles: Which of the 6 working genius roles does each team member play?: Wonder • Invention • Discernment • Galvanizing • Enablement • Tenacity. How do those geniuses help the team? When do team members play a working genius role at the wrong time? Which (if any) geniuses are your team missing?
- Feedback role: Is your team a role model of radical candor, ruinous empathy, manipulative insincerity, or obnoxious aggression? What feedback role does each team member model (radical candor, ruinous empathy, manipulative insincerity, or obnoxious aggression)? What’s the impact?
What’s next? Take action. Based on your team’s discussion, have the team develop and commit to action steps. Later, reflect on progress and determine next steps.
What about you? As a leader, how can you grow, improve, get stronger? How can you help your team grow, improve, get stronger? To what extent might discussing roles help your team grow, improve, get stronger? What’s next?
Here’s what I’m learning from The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business:
- “Cultural patterns of behavior and belief frequently impact our perceptions (what we see), cognitions (what we think), and actions (what we do).”
- “When interacting with someone from another culture, try to watch more, listen more, and speak less. Listen before you speak and learn before you act.”
- “Millions of people work in global settings while viewing everything from their own cultural perspectives and assuming that all differences, controversy, and misunderstanding are rooted in personality. This is not due to laziness. Many well-intentioned people don’t educate themselves about cultural differences because they believe that if they focus on individual differences, that will be enough.”
Here are blog posts related to strengthening your team’s GRIP:
- What’s your team’s “one word”?
- How good is your team’s GRIP?
- What kinds of goals help your team improve its GRIP?
- How can clarifying roles help your team improve its GRIP?
- How can enhancing interpersonal relationships help your team improve its GRIP?
- How can enhancing processes help your team improve its GRIP?
P.S. Bonus! Here’s a list of quotations from things I’ve read or listened to that contain the word strengthen(s), strengthened, or strengthening:
- “A strength is an activity that strengthens you. It draws you in, it makes time fly by while you’re doing it, and it makes you feel strong. And if you define a strength that way then the person best qualified to determine your strengths is you. You are the authority on which activities you lean into. You are the authority on which activities make you feel energized. Somebody else can judge your performance, or the quality and quantity of your work – but you, and you alone, can recognize your strengths” (Defining Strengths).
- “Most leaders want to use people to get results, but the best leaders are going to invest in leaders, helping them get better and strengthen[ing] their whole organization. Most leaders are going to spend time doing tasks, but not the best leaders. The best leaders aren’t going to spend their time. The best leaders are going to intentionally invest their time to achieve the desired results” (Think Investment Not Spending).
- “Strengthen others by increasing self-determination and developing competence” (The Leadership Challenge, loc 4411).
- “…when a leader asks their teammates or their teenagers about the root cause of their success, individuals reveal stories about what’s working for them. As a result, positive emotions are produced, individuals are more confident and committed to continue the positive actions that helped them be successful, and relationships are strengthened” (Positive Questions Create Positive Results).
- “Cultivating a sense of appreciation, and showing that appreciation, will make your work more fun and strengthen your relationships with the people you work with. If you’re a manager, showing appreciation is core to your job. The key is to be specific and sincere” (Radical Candor Podcast Episode 9: Showing Appreciation Makes Work More Fun).
- “Each action you take will either strengthen or weaken your credibility and your connection” (Cracking the Leadership Code, loc 2346).
- “[Conflict] can transform contention into collaboration. It can balance justice and mercy. It can unlock creativity…. It can strengthen our personal and professional relationships. It can solve deep-rooted problems that need to be solved within communities or organizations. And actually conflict can create peace” (Beyond Bold Webinar Series | Summiting Insurmountable Conflict).
- “There are five key components to being an effective leader in crisis situations, says Madeline Dessing of Korn Ferry: Calmness, confidence, courage, resilience and empathy. All matter, but empathy has a unique role in strengthening the resolve of people who feel near a breakdown state” (Overcome Social Distance with Empathy in Leadership).
- “Do I need to strengthen some aspect of my awareness? My mindset? My skills? Some combination of them all?” (Influence in Action, p. 127)
- “To increase your ability to respond more flexibly you must strengthen your focus on four things: [y]our emotional reactions…cognitive reactions…bodily sensations …[and] predilections, tendencies, and habits” (Influence in Action, p. 36).