Welcome to 2023’s first edition of The Filter! How’s the New Year treating you so far? If you’re anything like us, odds are you’re already navigating more than a few resolutions.
At iProv, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve our craft. We’re firm believers that in order for a team to achieve its best, it’s up to leaders to set the right tone— both professionally and emotionally.
In the spirit of the New Year, we asked our team to share what they think strong leadership looks like. Here’s what tops our priority list:
A leader’s job is to create a culture and a set of shared beliefs. This can only happen if they show up every day willing to share an authentic piece of themselves and their core beliefs – they have to be passionate enough to let people know why they give a f*ck, but remain vulnerable, transparent, and accepting when needed. When a leader is genuine about who they are and what they value, it trickles down throughout their team.
Leadership is anything but stagnant. As your organization, team, and evolve, so must your tactics. Simon Sinek has some great nuggets of insight on this mindset, including: remaining a student of leadership, creating incentives that matter, demonstrating desired behavior, and adequately enabling accountability.
This attribute also keeps things moving on the customer front— a fluid and ongoing method for acquiring new business is critical. We can use a steam engine as a metaphor here: no matter what, you always need to be putting new coal in the furnace.
Leaders should exhibit assertive compassion by acknowledging and addressing the stress placed on their team— particularly women teammates who may have to juggle stressors their male counterparts might not experience (the pressure of childcare, for example). In She Thinks Like a Boss: Leadership, researcher Jemma Roedel details the unique professional strengths women leaders tend to have, such as successfully fostering inclusive working environments and guiding mentees more effectively than male mentors. Even if you’re a male leader, there’s plenty to be learned from the female experience in the workplace.
After a few years in leadership, it can feel like you’ve reached the end of your rope for professional development. Stuck on where to grow from here? It’s time to start looking for more learning opportunities. Whether it’s digging into something new at your organization, shadowing others in a similar position, or something else entirely, there’s never a downside to having additional knowledge or being overqualified. Plus, leaders who seek out learning opportunities open themselves up to business possibilities that they wouldn’t otherwise discover. Put simply, good leaders are good leaders.
It’s one thing to personally value principles like purpose, passion, and empathy, but it’s another thing entirely when leadership uses them to drive a business. TOMS shoes is a great example of this – their founder Blake personally pioneered the “1-for-1” concept that many companies now use today. This article with their Chief Giving Officer dives into how values can drive a successful rebrand.
For a leader to be well-rounded and excel within their role, accepting personal failures is a necessity. This openness not only serves as an example that failure is sometimes inevitable, but also demonstrates that failure can posture a team for the next great opportunity. To fail with grace yet use that failure to grow is a perfect way to set a great example, both as a leader and as a human.
Leading a team is a lot of pressure, but we’re big fans of the clean slate offered up by the New Year. Now is the time to figure out who your team needs you to be in 2023!
What else is in your organization’s pipeline this year? We’re on hand to strategize around any marketing and advertising plans you might have— sign up for a free consultation to get started.