Written by Guest Blogger, Paula Bell, CEO at Paula A Bell Consulting.
Last month I spoke on the importance of adding value to your organization. The article was focused on how Business Analysts can add value; however, leaders can help in ensuring all work being completed in your organization is adding value. You want to ensure you are utilizing your resources to their fullest potential the majority of the time. As stated in my previous article I’m a martial artist. When most individuals think of martial arts they first think of fighting, but martial arts is more than just fighting. It’s leveraging and exercising your mind. It’s understanding energy flows through your entire body and why you should not waste any of the energy. It’s a key point reiterated over, and over, and over again. Make EVERY movement count. You only make movements valuable to your protection. When you think about it, this concept is critical. The situation could be life or death. As stated before, I tend to ask myself, “Are the activities I’m performing adding value to my life, my family and the communities I serve?” “Are the meetings, or work I’m producing, adding value to the organization?” As a leader in an organization it’s also imperative my team is conducting value add work as I maximize and optimize on the strengths, and skills, of the team. Here are some tips I leverage as a leader:
THE LEADERSHIP WAZA (techniques)
Understand the value your team brings to the table
– it’s imperative as leaders we understand the value through talents, strengths and skills our team members bring to the organization. This will allow us to engage, empower and motivate them. In addition, understanding the value each team member brings will allow you to seek out advice on approaches to position your department more strategically in the organization. Yes, you heard me right, as a leader we should SEEK OUT ADVICE from our team. As leaders we do not know everything, nor should we. Hence, the purpose of our team. Leverage the team and understand what they bring to the table. Leverage their value to only do valuable work in the organization.
Actively listen – sometimes you don’t need to talk, but actively listen. Take time to listen to what others are saying. This will help you understand where there is non-value add activities in your organization. Leaders do not know everything. We can’t know everything because if was are truly doing our jobs as leaders we are not doing the day to day. That day to day is what our teams do, it’s what we hired them to do. Therefore, it’s imperative we listen to those who are in the trenches to provide the perspective and guidance on what is occurring in the organization. Your team is there to make your stronger and achieve organizational goals so empower them to do so. DO NOT hire for DIVERSITY but manage to ASSIMILATION.
Support the team to ensure value is added – ensure when you hear concerns that are valid you support your team member in helping to influence the change. The top down support is needed to encourage some of the change needed in organizations. Even if a team member has a different approach than you do, that does not mean their approach is wrong. Support them and empower them. You will be amazed how much that drives a team member to do great things.
Influence cultural organizational changes – take the time to help influence the changes that need to occur by modeling the behavior through proof of concepts on how to do work/activities better, as well as supplying clear examples of where value add is not occurring.