By Adam Sprecher, Managing Director
Business leaders are often credited with being impressive strategists. But GREAT leaders also excel at engaging their employees, connecting them individually to those strategies and helping them perform at the highest level to generate results.
How can you develop a more personalized and effective leadership style that accelerates opportunity for your business? Here are three strategies to consider:
First, focus on inputs
Traditionally leaders have focused on their teams’ outputs. For example, a manufacturing line manager is responsible for producing a certain number of widgets while minimizing production time, costs and injuries, etc. These are all outputs.
If you can shift your focus to the inputs—the training people need to succeed, a culture that supports morale, etc.—there’s a much higher likelihood they’ll reach their outputs, and you’ll have a stronger team.
Next, invest in individuals
Are your employees doing things that excite and motivate them while driving toward your organizational goals? Make it a priority to check in with them individually to see how things are going. Suggestions and recommendations should fit the person.
To be an effective business leader, you must go beyond the standard annual review or weekly staff meeting. You’ll need to continually invest in face time and proactively assess what each person needs. What inspires them? What challenges them? What will drive them to be the best they can be?
Finally, get set for your millennial workforce
Within the next 12 months, the millennial generation will comprise the largest percentage of our workforce, and it will be that way for another 15-20 years.
This group approaches work with a more entrepreneurial mindset. They’re looking for a variety of experiences in their professional careers, which makes them the perfect target for a more personalized leadership style. Start planning now for how you’ll attract, engage and retain millennial talent.
Your efforts will be well worth it
While employees still need to have a clear understanding of their roles and your expectations in terms of results and outcomes, great leaders will build on this baseline and connect with employees individually. It takes effort, and requires intentional face time, but those who take the steps outlined here will no doubt see more opportunity and growth.
Adam Sprecher is a Managing Director in our Chicago office.