In the previous blog article, Rebecca Stevens defined a leadership edge and outlined why it’s important to establish your brand of leadership. In our upcoming series of blogs, we’ll focus on the four leadership habits: Sharing vision, sparking engagement, skilfully executing and sustaining success.
Defining Leadership Edge
To establish a sense of credibility and authenticity, leaders identify areas of strength and establish where they can offer the most value – this is otherwise referred to as a ‘leadership edge’ or a ‘brand’. Each brand of leadership will define how an individual approaches leadership habits.
The traits identified by leaders are considered to be the unique and powerful characteristics that can enhance their role as a leader, in turn, improving the overall quality of their practice.
Why is Your Leadership Edge Important?
There isn’t a fixed definition as to what constitutes leadership; it presents itself in many guises and people lead in different ways, with their style often influenced by the team that they’re leading and the company where they’re working.
Nonetheless, the market is inundated with competition and people are continually vying to establish their company as the market leader. Therefore, establishing your leadership edge has the potential to make your company stand out ahead of rivals. Moreover, promoting your leadership edge can also enable you to enhance your overall working reputation within your company.
For businesses to collaborate effectively, compatibility is essential – fraught business relations can seriously hinder working prospects and be prohibitive in the facilitation of targets. Establishing a clear-cut leadership edge and generating awareness of a distinct leadership edge instils self-confidence and self-motivation, negating the effects of imposter syndrome or self-doubt.
As part of your leadership edge, there are four leadership habits – a series of key constituents that when combined successfully, can have a significant influence on the success of both short-term and long-term aspirations within your organisation. These four facets will form the basis of our upcoming blog articles.
Our initial focus will focus on sharing your vision and the importance that a leader should attribute to sharing their vision and philosophy with their workforce to accomplish objectives.
Sharing Your Vision
It’s essential to recognise changes and trends that are occurring within your sector. These will shape your vision and plans when orchestrating your business plan.
Your plan should outline your vision, expectations, and how you intend to fully optimise business performance goals. Fine-tune this proposal and send to your staff and stakeholders.
When formulating your strategy, consider the following:
- What’s Your Definition of Success?
- What Are the Aims of Your Organisation?
- What Strategies Will be Implemented to Accomplish Your Goals?
- What Are Your Stretch Goals?
- What Expectations and Principles are in Place at Your Business?
- How Do You Propose to Conquer Key Challenges?
- How Will You Fully Optimise Your Team?
- Have You Accounted for Potential Risks?
When sharing a vision, it’s pivotal for leaders to outline their ambitions and their interpretation of success. Don’t be ambiguous; if your workforce and stakeholders can’t understand your intentions, this will hinder the overall success of your plans.
Introduce a system whereby you can monitor success and track whether targets have been fulfilled. When planning, follow the SMART system:
- SPECIFIC – Make clear goals that can be easily understood;
- MEASURABLE – Ensure that every goal can be measured;
- ACHIEVABLE – Don’t set goals that are too hard to achieve;
- RELEVANT – Make sure that your goals are pertinent to your company and sector;
- TIMELY OR TIME-BOUND – Enforce realistic periods and deadlines.
To illustrate how this looks in practise, we’ll follow Michelle, a CEO of a pharmaceutical company, through the four leadership habits.
Michelle’s business has aspirations centred around two core principles:
- Increasing product innovation;
- Increasing market sales.
Having understood her strengths and identified her leadership edge, Michelle is keen to share her vision for the company with the team and begin working together to ensure that she, along with her colleagues, can achieve the company targets and fulfil their goals.
However, before sharing her vision, Michelle acknowledges that her targets lack specificity and clarity. Therefore, she develops the initial plans, revises the initial targets and opts for the following vision for herself and her team:
- Introduce at least one new product into phase one clinical trials by July;
- Increase sales by 5% in the UK by the end of the financial year.
Leaders need to avoid ambiguity when sharing a vision. These revised targets are clearer and can be well-communicated by the CEO to staff members. Moreover, progress can be successfully measured, given the distinct stretch targets set by Michelle.
Having determined her vision and targets for the company, Michelle now has to communicate what the goals are, how they comply with the company’s overall strategies and how she believes her team can implement a system that will see the vision come to fruition.
For the company to succeed, Michelle and other senior management figures within the organisation must spark engagement amongst the team; this topic is the focal point of the next blog.
Unsure how to successfully share your vision with your team? Do you require advice on how to communicate your ethos engagingly? Call Co-Creation on +44 7876 024555 to speak with a member of our specialist team or email us to find out how we can help you effectively interact with your workforce.