The following leadership risks are what set apart the great from the good.
At Criteria for Success, we work with a lot of different companies. They operate in different industries, countries, states, and marketplaces. And, the best part of working with so many different businesses is that we get the opportunity to interact with their dynamic leadership teams.
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7 Leadership Risks You Should Be Taking
One of the most important aspects of being a leader is taking risks, being innovative and trying something new. Especially in today's climate, sticking to the status-quo can do your business more harm than good.
Here are 7 leadership risks you should be taking.
1. Don't be afraid to say something in a meeting that you think might be unpopular, but know in your heart it’s the right thing to say, and will contribute to the group.
This is important for many reasons. Most importantly, however, because it's this risk that sparks change.
Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is the thing that needs to happen. And, to be the best leader, it's your job to understand this and point it out. Put yourself in your employee's shoes: if their leader brings things to light for the betterment of the company, they will follow suit.
And remember, as a leader it can be hard to manage exactly what is going on day-to-day. It's your sales reps that know the dynamics of day-to-day selling best. Lead them to feel comfortable speaking up about things that may not be easy to address.
2. Lead the discussion when you aren’t sure exactly how it will end up, but trust your gut that it will get to the right place.
Believe it or not, leaders don't have all the answers. In fact, they aren't supposed to.
If you have the solution to everything, there's no room for anyone else to grow your business with you. Also, if you have the solution to everything, why spend so much on the employee salaries?
The truth is, not one person has the solution to everything. Leading a discussion isn't always about having the answer. It's about getting people to talk about a topic and getting excited about the unknown.
3. Step out of your comfort zone – i.e. stand in front of a group and lead a discussion, with all eyes on you.
Not all leaders love being in the limelight. While we may think of the “token” leader as being an extroverted, outspoken, and charismatic tycoon, it's just not always the reality.
Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Put the same expectations you put on your employees on yourself. You expect your employees to work outside of their comfort zones in order to learn and grow. So, do it yourself, too!
And, it might even be a good idea to admit to your employees that you are out of your comfort zone. Being vulnerable is one of the best leadership traits because it shows others that there's always room to grow. It shows that no one is perfect!
If your employees see the leadership risks you take, they will follow suit.
4. Declare a future for your company and for yourself that's big.
Sometimes, you need to dream big to make it big.
The best leaders can work towards a future that may not always seem predictable. However, the future is always bright. And the best leaders know how to work towards a bright future.
It all comes down to the small, everyday tasks and attitudes you have. These small things add up to a much bigger whole.
5. Interact with people’s bigness, rather than with their smallness.
In other words, see bigger things for people than they see for themselves.
Leadership is truly about helping your employees grow, learn, and succeed. And in order to do this, you must be able to see their strengths and weaknesses.
The goal is to pull out as many strengths as you can, and put them to work. To be a great leader, you need to see potential and guide people to act on it.
Not all leadership risks need to be outlandish!
6. Give people tough love, and tell them the truth about where they are falling short.
This leadership risk is crucial for good management.
Feedback is crucial. Both positive and negative feedback help mold employees into future leaders.
In order to be a great leader, you're going to have to give negative feedback.
Remember, giving any kind of feedback is an art! However, a lot of leaders have head trash about negative feedback. We recommend asking employees, “do you mind if I give you some feedback?” before jumping in.
This question turns the conversation from you “reprimanding” the employee to “coaching” them.
7. Raise the bar for yourself and for others.
The best risk a leader can take is to let their employees take risks.
If you're open to your employees failing, the possibilities are endless. True innovation doesn't come without failure. In fact, failure is what creates innovation in the first place.
Enable your team members to discover growth for themselves. Encourage them to try new things and new methods. You'll be surprised just how much you all learn in the process.