As leaders we often talk about how to engage our teams. Certainly, we need to provide ways for them to engage and be capable of making a difference. Engaged teams are typified by excellence, are results oriented and take initiative to resolve issues. These are the attributes we strive for when creating a team.
In addition to teams being engaged, leaders should evaluate their own engagement. Some assume leaders by nature are engaged or must be engaged because of their role. However, there are some leaders who are marking time, resting on what was accomplished in the past. They expect the team to carry the load, but they are casual about their own work and contributions. This process of being passive will lead to a decline not only in revenues but also in team commitment.
Leaders must be engaged in several ways. For example, they must be engaged in mission. They must be passionate about the purpose of their organization. Engaged leaders are marked by a drive to constantly pursue accomplishing that mission. They talk about the mission and inspire others to be passionate in this pursuit as well.
Leaders must also be engaged in living out values. Engagement means modeling our values, not just talking about them. Values communicate our character and priorities, and how we will make decisions. Unfortunately, there are leaders who talk about integrity but then are willing to cut corners just to earn more money. People will not trust or follow those who are not consistently striving to stand up for what is right.
Finally, leaders must be engaged with people. Leadership is about serving others. It is challenging team members to be their best, it is pursuing win/win solutions, and working in sustainable ways. We cannot lead without truly being intentional in our relationships with people. Accountability and difficult conversations are rooted in our commitment to the mission and to those we lead. If we were not committed to them we would just terminate their employment. When we challenge people to grow we are doing so because we want them to succeed and become the best they can be.
Evaluate your engagement in these critical areas to determine how strong your leadership is within the team and organization. Pursue mission, live out values, and prioritize relationships. Your leadership will multiply if you fully engage in these ways. Let’s do it!