As the world moves toward re-opening, a remarkable opportunity is also opening for leaders to re-claim and re-shape the culture of their team and organization. With crisis comes opportunity. Using the 5 Levels of Leadership as a model, leaders can take intentional actions to fully engage their teams as they return to the new normal of business.
Start with Level 2
Level 1 in the 5 Levels of Leadership is called Position and means that your influence is entirely dependent on the fact that you are the boss; you have the title. This is not an effective way to lead and why we encourage leaders to enjoy the fact that someone saw leadership potential enough in you and gave you the title and move quickly to Level 2. Level 2 is called Permission and is where leaders are investing in relationships to increase their level of influence with the people on their team. Level 2 is the starting place for the culture you enjoy as an organization.
To re-claim and re-shape your culture consider these Level 2 actions:
- Connect intentionally with every person on your team
- Talk openly about the crisis and what you learned as a team
- Share personally about your journey during the crisis
- Collaborate with the team on a new standard of excellence
- Communicate with clarity your purpose and mission
- Confirm and verify your core values – add or change as needed
While relationships are essential for generating buy-in, you must move to Level 3 with the individuals on your team. Level 3 in the 5 Levels of Leadership is about producing results together with your team. A strong team culture is cultivated when you generate results together.
To re-claim and re-shape your culture consider these Level 3 actions:
- Reflect on learnings from the crisis and design new operating procedures for the team
- Consider what’s now possible
- Rethink roles and responsibilities to serve clients better
- Rethink team dynamics to serve clients better
- Communicate the value that each individual brings to the work you do
- Get small wins early to build momentum over time
What Really Happened?
Another thing intentional leaders do in crisis situations is to observe how the individuals on their team responded in the crisis. Many of the executives we work with report seeing less than stellar responses from some members of their team. In many cases, it was attitude related but could have also been how the individual function under stress. This reveals another Level 3 action for leaders – coaching and mentoring. When you coach the people you lead on behaviors you have observed, you increase your level of influence with them by showing you care and want to help them improve.
When crisis or adversity occurs, leaders have a fantastic opportunity to rethink how they communicate with their team, how they serve their clients, and how they bring their products and services to market. By climbing the 5 Levels of Leadership, influential leaders can motivate and engage their teams in ways that generate a winning culture across the organization.
The John Maxwell Company would be honored to come alongside you and your team in a coaching capacity as you navigate the course set before you. Learn more about our Executive Coaching here and let us know if you are interested in having our team customize a coaching program that is the right fit for your team.
Perry Holley is a coach and facilitator with the John Maxwell Company’s Corporate Solutions Group as well as a published author. He has a passion for developing others and seeing people grow into the leaders they were intended to become.