There are many natural processes that can greatly impact leadership effectiveness. And yet too often leaders make things too complicated. They rely on complicated models or artificial constructs that make a book author feel good but are in reality hard to apply. How many times has an employee rolled their eyes when they see a new leadership book on our desk?
DON’T stop reading, but DO remember that there are plenty of natural processes that can be applied to boost organizational effectiveness.
Before getting esoteric, try (or revisit) these natural processes:
It is natural for people to want to know they are valued and that they are doing a good job. Use acknowledgement to highlight that fact. A good example is “good job.” A better example is “your good work got us a lots closer to our budget. Thank you.” A great example “You are great at analysis and that helped us close the gaps and make the quarter.”
It is natural for people to want to get better by learning. Leaders can be that teacher that helps a person grow their capacity in tandem with getting great results.
It is natural to give and receive feedback. In terms of feedback choices we can give positive feedback, negative feedback or say nothing at all. In terms of engagement, saying nothing at all is by far the worst (but common) choice.
It is natural to grow and develop in two steps: 1) raising our vision for ourselves and 2) developing the skills to get there. My global career was to a large extent made possible by a college professor suggesting that a combination of Japanese and business may be valuable. My vision for myself jumped, I spent a couple years getting the skills, and I continue to enjoy global business success. A leader can be that spark for others.
Seek first to do the essential, effective and free. If you are feeling fancy, then drag out the books.