‘What To Focus’ (WTF) on is the continual dilemma confronted by today’s leadership. He is faced with conflicting needs from his role with questions like, should I be more focused on the ‘Result’ or ‘People’; ‘Control’ or ‘Create’?
When he starts driving for results relentlessly, he finds that in the process of doing so, he is not able to concentrate on the people dimension. Sees that the workplace becomes competitive, people are stressed and teamwork and collaboration becomes a casualty. And if he does start focusing on the people, results start to stutter as people settle into their comfort zones.
Similarly when he is growing the team there is a need to bring in processes, controls and monitoring mechanisms to keep the team from derailing and if he does that more the casualty is ‘innovation’. People are caught up in compliance and keeping the status quo and slowly over a period of time become risk averse as any deviation to processes gets penalized.
So the question is ‘WTF’?
Leaders must in an increasingly complex world strike a balance between competing roles and here are the four dimensions they must do always to keep the team at peak performance levels.
Stimulating Communication – The leader must create a stimulating communication climate – where there is free flow of feedback amongst the team members, people actively listen to gain understanding of each other and the work they do together. Such climate should also create an enhanced sense of ‘sensitivity’ where there is mutual respect.
Trust – The natural outcome of such a communication climate is of ‘openness’ where people have no hidden agendas and ‘collaborate’ with a win:win mindset. Integrity is a key ingredient which leaders can demonstrate to enhance trust where they walk-the-talk.
Accountability – An enhanced climate of trust builds a strong circle of safety for the team members, where they can start focusing their energies on seeking out opportunities than trying to fight the internal threat of mistrust, political behaviors and unhealthy competition. When people feel safe, they demonstrate a higher level of commitment and spend time to develop their competence necessary to achieve results.
Results – When the leader creates a highly accountable workplace built on trust, he ensures that people strive for results without a sense of being pushed. It ensures that there is a high level of ownership amongst the team members and they are willing to work hard to achieve their goals.
Now are you clear ‘WTF’?