Welcome, fellow leaders, to our weekly exploration of leadership principles.
Today, we switch gears and focus in on Rule 2 of our leadership framework: “It’s not about you, it’s about others.” This rule serves as a guiding light for effective leadership, emphasizing the importance of putting others first and leading with empathy, compassion, and purpose. Conscious Leadership is about bringing the human being and their inner life, back into the realm of work as we are not machines!

UNDERSTANDING RULE 2: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, IT’S ABOUT OTHERS

At its core, Rule 2 underscores the vital role that leaders play in serving and empowering others. It encompasses the 6 M Framework, where five of these “M’s” are dedicated to various aspects of managing and supporting others: Managing Others as a Coach, Managing the Work as a Manager, Managing communications and being a Change Agent, Managing the Teams as a Motivator, and Managing Public Opinion as an Ambassador.

1. MANAGING OTHERS AS A COACH: EMPOWERING GROWTH

As leaders, we must adopt a coaching mindset, guiding our team members to unlock their full potential. This involves providing support, positive and constructive feedback, and opportunities for development, empowering individuals to grow and thrive within the organization. Remember, coaching is not about you telling them how to do the job, rather it is about you asking open ended questions, to draw out what they think, so that they have a breakthrough, or discover an insight for themselves. It is also about them exploring their inner lives with you; which they bring to work and will have someone either perform at their topmost level, or quietly quit! Remember to lean into using the GRAILS framework to explore that inner life with them.
Part of your role is to empower others to reach their potential and coaching is a great tool to use that enables that. Coupled with that, you might also lean into training, mentoring or consulting, but remember, each of these are very different approaches and it is worth your while, learning about each of the key techniques to bring the best out of your team and increase their performance!

2. MANAGING THE WORK AS A MANAGER: FACILITATING SUCCESS

Effective management is essential for driving success within teams and organizations. From setting priorities and executing plans to managing budgets, leaders must ensure that the work is aligned with strategic objectives and executed efficiently to achieve desired outcomes. This is the everyday of management and is focused on the tasks, which at times can be transactional, but these things need to be done. As a leader, being available for your team to discuss the tasks and where they might need help, is critical, so make sure you are available. Utilise 1/1 meetings and team meetings to connect and discuss the work, but also to keep a team rhythm that establishes a working cadence. Identify some team operating agreements, to clearly and explicitly call out expected behaviours between you, that align to a set of team or organisational values. This is important to create a culture and establish a baseline, which you can give feedback against. Feedback is the gift and the door through which people experience exponential growth; use it!

3. MANAGING COMMUNICATIONS AND BEING A CHANGE AGENT: FOSTERING CONNECTION

Communication lies at the heart of effective leadership. Leaders must navigate complex communication channels, both internally and externally, while also serving as change agents, driving transformation and fostering a culture of openness, transparency, and collaboration. Communicate early, communicate often. You cannot over communicate, when it comes to change management. Communication is how you get buy in. Be strategic about it and plan your communication. Identify who the audience is, what the objective is and what channel to use when and how often. for communicating up, be succinct, focus on results, rather than the details; summarise! For communicating out, share visions, communicate to align and solve problems. For communicating in, share the details, share the context; good decisions come from understanding the context, or bigger picture. By share early and often, with detailed information, you will enable leadership on your team, so much so that they will be able to make the decisions, without having to come to you for everything. The other things to remember is to connect others to people in your network, leveraging your network for their continued learning and support, will help to you to scale growth opportunities.

4. MANAGING THE TEAMS AS A MOTIVATOR: INSPIRING EXCELLENCE

Motivation is key to fostering high-performance teams. Leaders must cultivate a positive work environment, promote teamwork, and provide recognition and support to motivate team members to achieve their best. As a leader, what is most critical for you to focus on is establishing psychological safety. Psychological safety is comprised of two things; vulnerability based trust, which is the ability to feel safe, to say what you think, without fear of persecution, ability to be authentic and know that others on your team have your back. Secondly, the other aspect is operational trust, which is your team agreements, as mentioned above. Essentially they are your operating agreements, what you expect of each other, values broken out as behaviours. If you establish these two elements within the team, you will establish psychological safety, which is a healthy environment in which to offer constructive feedback, through which people grow. To motivate others, you will also need to acknowledge and validate others for their achievements and circumstances; this is a practice you should lean into that has many benefits, including increased motivation and drive.

5. MANAGING PUBLIC OPINION AS AN AMBASSADOR: BUILDING PRESENCE AND CREDIBILITY

As ambassadors of their organizations, leaders must manage public opinion by effectively communicating the organization’s values, goals, and achievements. This involves public speaking, participating in industry events, and actively engaging with stakeholders to build trust and credibility. It might also include establishing and running, industry bodies yourself; thereby shaping the industry and giving back learnings and best practices. Doing this as a leader, establishes brand and personal presence and credibility in your chosen field, a worthwhile endeavour as you strive for excellence.

CLOSING THOUGHTS: LEADERSHIP WITH PURPOSE

In conclusion, Rule 2 reminds us that leadership is not about personal glory or achievement; it’s about serving others and making a positive impact on their lives. By embracing the 6 M Framework and embodying the roles of coach, manager, change agent, motivator, and ambassador, leaders can create a supportive and empowering environment where everyone can thrive.
Join me next week as we continue to explore the depths of Rule 2 by going through all the M’s mentioned above from the 6 M Framework. Until then, lead with empathy, compassion, and a genuine commitment to the success and well-being of others & their inner lives, so you can have them reach their potential!
Wishing you a week filled with impactful leadership moments!
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