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Because Real Progress Begins with Leadership

You may or may not have noticed, but I have made the very intentional decision to change the name of this LinkedIn Newsletter. And the reason is simple. I’m here to help you achieve real progress in your organization, and that starts with leadership. I want to help you enhance your leadership teams, solve your people-problems, achieve your goals, and experience rises in revenue. And that’s what my Leadership First Approach™ framework does.

I really love working with leadership teams. Afterall, leadership is the cornerstone of organizational success. The impacts of leadership (both positive and negative) are felt throughout every aspect of a company. This influences employee performance and retention, affects customer satisfaction, and ultimately impacts overall revenue. So I use a Leadership First Approach™. It’s my vision for the future of Leadership Development. We know that “sh*t rolls down hill,” so let’s focus on creating a strong foundation at the top levels in order for the rest of an organization to thrive.

Leadership team challenges show up in many forms.

Sometimes challenges are obvious, sometimes they are sneaky. But no matter what form they show up in they are destructive. When leadership is an underlying problem, it creates a ripple effect that hampers progress and development within the whole organization. The problems that result from ineffective leadership should not be tolerated just because “it doesn’t hurt bad enough, yet” or you haven’t needed to max-out your dose of antacids.

Here are a few that I am hearing right now:

  • A lack of upfront communication that’s resulting in confusion and disputes
  • Poor collaboration and frustrating team dynamics are causing setbacks
  • Team members are demonstrating avoidance and dodging conflict
  • Leaders are misaligned on goals and acting on their own agendas
  • Overlapping roles and lack of real ownership are causing delays in decision-making and momentum
  • Everybody is blaming Somebody when Nobody is doing what Anybody could be (heard this one before?).

Addressing leadership issues is a prerequisite for creating an environment where employees can thrive and real organizational progress can be achieved. Afterall, it’s leadership teams that have all the control. They make the decisions, set expectations, and determine what resources and support are provided (or not). Therefore, effective leadership is integral to fostering outstanding organizational health and progress (also known as “organizational kick-ass’ery”)… Alas, the Leadership First Approach™ (LFA).

Some leaders go about it all wrong.

They are so focused on prioritizing investments in employee development as a means of “recruiting and retaining talent.” And while I of course support employee development, the approach that I suggest will foster greater fulfillment, retention, and investment in organizational success. More so than just offering employee benefits, compensation plans, and mis-guided teambuilding events (confused why the axe-throwing outing didn’t make things better?).

Ask yourself, “what if leadership is a root cause of the people-problems we see?” You have to ask this, because in order to create meaningful and lasting progress, leaders must fix their own issues before they can effectively address employee-team issues. To be clear, the LFA Framework does not neglect employees, and does not deny that everyone in an organization needs support and development. It emphasizes that progress and development must begin at the top in order to create solutions that stick.

If you’re not convinced yet, here’s one more thought to ponder.

As a leader, you are in a position to direct and serve your employees. Effective leadership is not about power or authority, but about supporting and nurturing those within your guidance. And with this in mind, outstanding leaders prioritize their personal growth and development, in order to be able to foster their employee-team’s progress and success.

Before reaching out to uplift others, you must fortify yourself. By nurturing your own growth, you can create a foundation for genuine empowerment of those you lead; You can shape high-performing teams rather than just high-producing ones (the important difference is outlined toward the bottom of this newsletter).

And while a strict commitment to leading through service and prioritizing others before yourself is admirable, you must create an equilibrium between personal growth and collective progress. The Leadership First Approach™ encourages you to claim your role and set your foundation first, and then carve a trail that propels your organization onward.

Afterall, as the leader you’re always going to work the hardest. You have the most responsibility and accountability on your plate. And in order to handle that (and do it well) you need to start within, and address your leadership first.

If you work hard as a leader, you deserve better than to be last.

So why wouldn’t you embrace this approach?!

By addressing your leadership problems first, you enhance bad-ass’ery organization-wide. You experience a cascade of advantages like:

  • Aligned decision-making bringing the organization to peak performance.
  • Collaborative relationships that leverage effective communication.
  • Confidence and trust that results in accountability and conflict resolution.
  • Innovation and creativity that lands you where you want, faster and easier.
  • Revenue increases driven by loyal employees and a growing client base.

The success of your organization requires that you address your leadership problems first.

Make the Leadership First Approach™ your greatest advantage this year.

Onward,

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