Leadership Choices for a Positive Future

Choice - where you place your focus - influences action. The person who taught you to drive an automobile told you to keep both hands on the steering wheel and look straight ahead. Diverting your attention to the right or left causes the automobile to move in that direction.

This principle - also known as Target Fixation or the Moth Effect - applies to other areas of human behavior as well. Have you ever had an encounter with a friend or family member that you knew was going to end up in an augment? Did your belief influence you to act in ways that ensured your conflict would happen?

Likewise, your choices as a leader can be the difference between a team that simply does what it is told and the volunteered commitment that leads to excellence. Here are four choices you should make today to achieve the positive future you desire.

Trust matters.
Trust is the foundation of all great relationships. Its absence creates a barrier that hinders cooperation and team work. Imagine what would be different in your organization if every person at every level could be trusted to do what they were supposed to do when they were supposed to do it the way that it was supposed to be done.

Relationships make the difference.
There are three tools with which to compete in the future: products, services, and relationships. There was a time when delivering a good product and service ensured success. Those days are gone. Quality products and services are the minimum. Relationships make the difference.

Successful relationships require commitment, time, and work. It is a truth that applies to long-term personal relationships and the way successful organizations relate to their customers, suppliers, and employees. Establishing relationships at work is not the same as selecting a partner for life. But imagine the difference if we were to apply what we know about building successful relationships in our personal lives to our professional lives.

Everything is Connected.
Success depends on your ability to create interdependent partnerships where everyone takes responsibility for positive results. Your customers blame the entire organization - not the department that dropped the ball - when their order arrives late.

Seeing and reinforcing the interconnectedness that exists within your organization transforms how everyone thinks about teamwork, talent development, communication, and accountability.

Everyone leads.
Leadership is a matter of performance not position. The person who sets a good example in your office is a leader. So is the father who proudly watches his daughter sell Girl Scout cookies in their neighborhood, and the teenager who holds the door open for you in the grocery store, even though his friends are snickering in the background. The best leaders help you move from where you are to where you need to be. Most important, they realize and cultivate the potential in others to be a positive influence regardless of their position.

Here are four things you can do immediately.
  1. Focus on yourself. Make sure that you are worthy of being a trusted influencer of those you wish to lead.
  2. Create the momentum for continuous improvement by being vision led and then committing to see reality more clearly. A compelling vision creates opportunities for ownership that can grow into partnerships. The creative tension that results from comparing where you are to where you want to be drives the recognition and motivation for positive change.
  3. Promote an organizational culture that focuses on results, relationships, and learning. Culture change follows performance change. Set specific, measurable goals for the results you want to achieve, the relationships you want to build, and the performance needed to take you there. Evaluate structures and systems to ensure alignment with purpose and objectives. Hold people accountable for the way results are achieved and not just the results themselves. Reinforce the learning habit by focusing on the whole, looking for the interrelationships that exist in a connected world, and asking questions that force you to learn from experience.
  4. Develop the leadership potential in yourself and others. Great strategies fail without great leaders at every level.

Your choices influence action. Isn't it time to be intentional about the ones that will lead to a positive future?

Randy Pennington is an award-winning author, speaker, and leading authority on helping organizations achieve positive results in a world of accelerating change. To bring Randy to your organization or event, visit www.penningtongroup.com , email info@penningtongroup.com, or call 972.980.9857.