There has been a growing need for leader development in recent years. Many employees in current leadership roles are planning to retire and businesses are searching for ways to develop their high potentials. In fact, 77% of organizations reported that they were facing a leadership gap in a recent survey in 2019 (1). This is quite problematic if you consider that strong leadership has a direct link to higher rates of engaged employees and higher profits. This had led to an increased focus on succession planning and leadership development programs.
Recent events has made the need for quality leadership grow exponentially. Organizations are rapidly adapting to the situation which can create uncertainty and a more stressful work environment. These factors negatively effect employee morale, productivity and slow innovation when your organization needs it the most.
At Infopro Learning we have more than 25 years of experience in helping organizations create leadership training programs that align with their business strategy and develop leaders at all levels. In response to the increased demand for inspirational leadership we are sharing Infopro Learnings approach to driving courageous leadership throughout your entire organization.
There are 3 steps to promoting courageous leadership in your company culture. The first is to ensure that your coaches and leaders understand what courageous leadership looks like and why it is essential to the success of your organization. the second step is to teach the seven traits leaders will need. The third step is for your coaches to set goals and apply the skills they have learned to inspire leadership as well as productivity.
Step 1 Understanding Courageous Leadership
The first step in driving courageous leadership throughout your organization is to understand what courageous leadership is and how it works. Infopro Learning’s definition of courageous leadership is the intentional character driven practice of serving with positive intent for legitimate needs of others so they willingly work towards a common goals. This takes 5 different components including communication, influence, caring, service and a positive intent.
Each of the components are an essential part of courageous leadership. However, the most important component is positive intent. Positive intent requires several different aspects including the following:
- Honesty – Try to be as transparent and clear as possible. Honesty builds trust.
- Patience – Show self control even when it is challenging.
- Kindness – Be kind and give attention to others ideas and opinions.
- Humility – Be authentic without pretense.
- Respectfulness – Treating others with respect.
- Forgiveness – Giving up resentment. Holding grudges slows productivity.
- Results – Setting aside your own wants and needs to work towards a common goal.
Step 2 The Seven Traits Courageous Leaders Have
There are also seven different traits potential leaders must practice in order to become courageous leaders including the following.
- They do not side step realities. Recent events have had a significant impact on every industry in some way. Leaders know they need to acknowledge these changes to move forward.
- They no not ignore bad news. Courageous leaders do not ignore or side step hard topics and sensitive issues. This is especially important in recent months. Covid-19 has brought about a lot of uncertainty. Acknowledging challenges the situation has created is one of the first steps towards discovering solutions.
- They have real discussions. Leaders are effective communicators who can have even the toughest conversations respectfully.
- Leaders encourage discussions. They encourage conversations, debates and questions.
- Leaders can make bold decisions quickly using the information they have.
- Courageous leaders ask for regular feedback from their team.
- They address unproductive workplace behaviors head on.
Step 3 Setting Courageous Goals
Once leaders understand how courageous leadership works and the traits they will need to execute it effectively they can begin to set goals to drive courageous leadership throughout the organization. Coaches must first identify the development needs of the people they are coaching. They can then adapt their coaching style to better suit the needs of those who are being coached. Then they can apply the steps of the coaching process to improve employee performance.
Leaders are the driving force of agility, innovation and productivity. Forbes recently shared that leadership directly impacts revenue. In a study they conducted they found that the top 10% of leaders nearly doubled their organizations profits and that companies with poor leadership actually lost money (2). To learn more about how driving courageous leadership throughout your company can help you better navigate through these uncertain times watch the webinar replay Webinar Replay The Demand for Courageous Leadership during Uncertain Times