Leadership has the potential to shape cultures, honoring its importance can shape a company into one with an ability to lift society in a meaningful way. Embracing leadership in lower levels of a company builds a culture of self-motivated people who are doing work they believe in.
It can also be a misused tool, lifting up a select few, while simultaneously suppressing the majority of workers at the organization. Employees can feel when there’s a culture of alignment and purpose.
How do you expand the leadership scope of a growing enterprise with effective accountability to ensure the team is leading with purpose? I’ve found these six foundational elements became essential for building measurable success.
Map out a clear scope of leadership
“Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind,” Brene Brown once said.
Supporting a thriving culture starts by taking the time to go deeper than C-suite in the organization to build on core accountabilities for key business functions. Mapping out a precise hierarchy allows the scope of leadership to be understood simply. It supports how communication will flow and initiates success from the beginning. In turn, when identifying measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) you’re laying out the player, the position, the court, and the milestones to lead the team to the championship.
Create visual accountability charts
Everyone has the opportunity to benefit from a map and a floor plan. This sets the tone for the leader, team players and illustrates responsibilities, showing where the hand-off from one seat to another takes place.
Support individual development plans
Individual development plans (IDPs) are a way to show employees that the organization cares and is invested in their growth. It creates a level of humanity that can be overlooked. They’re also a genuine way to create motivation. On average, companies that regularly implement IDPs see greater resilience, retention, confidence, goal-attainment, and overall happiness from their team.
Solo and group coaching has become a game-changer. We source coaches from within a professional network that has organically formed from training, local coworking networks, and referrals. A good place to start is through recommendations of trusted contacts made from within these connections.
Choose a coach who is a great listener, who asks tough questions, and inspires action. Our progress with coaching has been measured by monthly attainment of KPIs and through increased harmony of our internal team working together.
Commit to transparency
Commit to regular external company assessments, whether it’s around wages, HR practices, operational procedures and involve the leadership team. Connecting all levels of leadership to the whole story of the business allows them to become intensely qualified decision-makers on behalf of company shareholders. With this level of empowerment, you have an extension of founder/shareholder vision on the ground operating from an offense playbook. Without this ownership, you may have the majority of workers on the defensive, and this may invite unnecessary drama, setbacks, and other things that could end up draining profit.
Collaborate, starting with mission, vision, and values
A company with a mission, vision and values written by a few has less impact than one authored by a team. By inviting a larger team to the table from the get-go you have a close-knit group of employees who have ownership in all aspects of the success of the organization.
Additionally, coauthoring creates an engaged leadership team that can smoothly launch, generate, and finish annual strategic plans that are highly inclusive, challenging, and rewarding. That’s because the attention shifts from wondering why the plan is even there and instead the focus goes into building and supporting systems that deliver and sustain tactical excellence.
It is likely impossible to have an entire team that all agree on everything, however, by establishing a consensus structure the company has a fair way to navigate through disagreements. We established a 70% consensus for decision-making.
Be willing to let your team be in the spotlight more frequently than ever. Unless you’re committed to running operations, it’s much more effective to have a strategic plan to run the week-to-week of the enterprise. Teams that have clear directions can be kinder to one another. Kindness yields retention and retention fuels cohesion within the business. When systems are in place to reward all tiers of the organization, it’s a win-win.
Mercedes Austin is the founder of Mercury Mosaics.