Leadership Influence using LEADDER

Yes you read it correctly! It is LEADDER an acronym to increase your Leadership Influence. This acronym was shared during a practical and inspirational talk by Carla Harris, Vice Chairman and Managing Director at Morgan Stanley delivered during the Global Leadership Summit this year. Carla is one of the most influential women on Wall Street, Carla Harris was named in Fortune Magazine’s list of “The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America”, Fortune’s “Most Influential List” and Black Enterprise’s “Top 75 Most Powerful Women in Business.” She elaborates on the acronym of LEADDER on how organizational leaders could become tenacious, thoughtful, transparent and transcendental. Along with  reading this article, let’s reflect on actions that one can try differently to become a leader of greater influence.

Leverage. Carla reminds leaders that there is no monopoly in the best ideas within a team or organization. Someone around you most likely has the next new idea. People have the intellect. They want to give you the best out-of-the box ideas. Create the environment where they feel like contributing. As a leader, you need to leverage your team and other relationships. Leadership is a journey from Execution to Empowerment. You need to feel comfortable to give away your power.

Reflect: What workplace environment, forums and channels exist for new and innovative ideas to be heard from all members of your team? What in the culture, system and process could be hindering your team to share their best ideas?

Efficiency. As the leader, you need to be clear about success. Make things clear for people. Define what success looks like.

Reflect: So what current metrics of success and productivity exist for your team and how do you track and celebrate performance? As you read do reflect to write your list.

Authenticity. Authenticity is at the heart of your power in leadership. The easiest way to penetrate any relationship is to be your authentic self. Carla used her ability to sing and other activities to relate with her clients beyond professional conversations. She suggests to have a proprietary way of dealing in your relationships. Build an authentic connection. This will inspire and motivate your team and people whom you lead to bring in their authentic self. Being authentic gives you the leverage.

Reflect: So what unique skills, vision, passion, or personality of yours currently serve as a positive influential factor on your team? What uniqueness of your have you currently kept isolated from your leadership influence? Don’t forget to share with your team the information you wrote from the above two questions?

Decisiveness. The price of inaction is more costly than making mistakes. So part of your role is to make decision even in the absence of incomplete data. So identify one decision that you need to make.

Reflect: What barriers, fears, or uncertainties are currently preventing you from making this decision?

What information, resources and insight from other people must you engage to make this decision? By when must you make this decision?

Diversity. Carla shares that innovation is the most competitive parameter in business today.This  innovation requires diverse input. Therefore there is need for experiences from diverse perspectives. There has to be focused intentionality about being diverse. Make diverse people accountable by asking the right questions.

Reflect: How diverse in opinions, perspectives, and personalities is the team that makes the majority of your big decisions? Whose differing opinions, perspectives, or personalities must you invite to ensure diversity exists? You may like to make a list and discuss this with your team.

Engagement. Be engaged with your people to understand them. Be inclusive so that everyone values being heard. Even in a virtual world, use technology to engage.

Reflect: What actions or behaviours from your end as a leader may increase engagement in your team or what actions or behaviours  could be decreasing engagement.

Risk-taking. You must be comfortable taking risks. Fear has no place in your success equation. It certainly takes courage to take risks .Courage as we know is not the absence of fear but taking action  despite our underlying  fears.

Reflect: So what fears could be impacting your current influence as a leader? What future is at stake if these fears win, and prevent you from achieving your leadership potential or achievement of your vision?

Create a summary of your responses from the reflective questions to develop an action plan to increase your leadership impact.



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