“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” — John C. Maxwell
How many people do you know that talk a good talk, but don’t walk the walk?
Or, how many people do you know have a bunch of ideas that you know will never see the light of day?
They can pontificate all day long, but the idea of turning those ideas into work that could be done, is foreign to them.
Or, how many people do you know can plan all day long, but their plan is nothing more than a list of things that will never happen?
Worse, maybe they turn it into a team sport, and everybody participates in the planning process of all the outcomes, ideas and work that will never happen. (And, who exactly wants to be accountable for that?)
It doesn’t need to be this way.
A lot of people have Hidden Strengths they can develop into Learned Strengths. And one of the most important bucket of strengths is Leading Implementation.
Leading Implementation is a set of leadership skills for making things happen.
In the book, Hidden Strengths: Unleashing the Crucial Leadership Skills You Already Have, Thuy Sindell and Milo Sindell share 8 skills for the art of execution.
Let’s step into the 8 leadership skills for making things happen…
The 8 Leadership Skills for Making Things Happen
It includes the following leadership skills:
- Leading Implementation
- Coaching and Mentoring
- Customer Focus
- Monitoring Performance
- Planning and Organizing
1. Leading Implementation
This skill involves the effective execution of strategies, inspiring action in others, and achieving exceptional results.
Leaders who excel in this area can align the right people with the right tasks to deliver outstanding outcomes.
- Am I effectively communicating the strategy and inspiring action in my team to achieve exceptional results?
- Do I have the right people in the right roles, and am I ensuring they are working on tasks that align with our goals?
- How do I handle setbacks and obstacles in the execution of our plans, and what strategies can I use to overcome them?
2. Coaching and Mentoring
Successful leaders possess strong coaching and mentoring skills.
Coaching involves helping individuals solve problems and become self-reliant, while mentoring provides guidance based on personal experiences to help others achieve their career goals.
- Am I actively helping team members solve their own problems and develop autonomy in their roles?
- Have I provided guidance and insights from my own experiences to assist others in their career growth?
- How do I foster a culture of learning and development within my team, and how can I improve my coaching and mentoring efforts?
3. Customer Focus
Leaders with a strong customer focus show empathy and work to understand their customers’ needs and desires.
This skill enables businesses to create and retain customers effectively.
- Am I consistently seeking to understand our customers’ needs and desires?
- How effectively do I ensure that our customers are well-served and their problems are solved?
- What steps can I take to further enhance our customer-centric approach and build stronger customer relationships?
Effective delegation empowers both individuals and leaders.
Leaders who delegate well allow team members to excel in their strengths, ultimately achieving more with less effort.
- Have I empowered team members to take ownership of their projects and excel in their roles?
- Am I effectively balancing my workload by delegating tasks to others who are capable of handling them?
- What strategies can I use to improve my delegation skills and help team members rise to their full potential?
Being effective as a leader means keeping promises, effectively communicating actions and results, and building trust among team members.
It also involves the ability to articulate plans clearly and motivate others to join the journey.
- Do I consistently deliver on my commitments and effectively communicate actions and results to stakeholders?
- How can I enhance my ability to articulate plans clearly and motivate others to take action?
- What steps can I take to build and maintain trust among team members and colleagues?
6. Monitoring Performance
Leaders skilled in monitoring performance create learning loops and provide feedback and guidance.
They can bring clarity to chaos, identify bottlenecks, and track progress toward objectives.
- Am I effectively tracking and measuring the performance of my team, projects, and objectives?
- Do I provide regular feedback, guidance, and coaching to team members to help them improve?
- How can I create a more systematic approach to monitoring performance and identifying areas for improvement?
7. Planning and Organizing
This leadership skill is about turning strategy into execution, converting ideas into action, and implementing practical plans that lead to tangible outcomes.
Effective leaders create pragmatic plans that help everyone understand their roles and responsibilities.
- Do I efficiently translate strategic goals into actionable plans that lead to tangible outcomes?
- How well do I communicate these plans to team members, ensuring everyone understands their roles?
- What strategies can I use to streamline the planning and organizing process for better execution?
Thorough leaders pay attention to detail while keeping the big picture in mind.
They understand how each step contributes to a project’s success and are committed to seeing it through to completion.
- Am I paying sufficient attention to detail without losing sight of the bigger picture?
- Do I understand how each step contributes to the success of a project or task?
- How can I maintain a balance between focusing on the details and keeping the end goal in mind to ensure thoroughness in my work?
How To Practice the 8 Leadership Skills for Making Things Happen
Let’s say you want to work on these leadership skills. The first thing you need to know is that these are not elusive skills reserved exclusively for the elite.
No, these are commonly Hidden Strengths that you and others around you already have, and they just need to be developed.
If you don’t think you are good at any of these, then before you rule yourself out, and scratch them off your list, you need to ask yourself some key reflective questions.
Here are the questions to ask yourself:
- Do you know what good actually looks like? Who are you role models? What do they do differently than you, and is it really might and magic or do they simply do behaviors or techniques that you could learn, too?
- How much have you actually practiced? Have you really spent any sort of time working at the particular skill in question?
- How did you create an effective feedback loop? So many people rapidly improve when they figure out how to create an effective learning loop and an effective feedback loop.
- Who did you learn from? Are you expecting yourself to just naturally be skilled? Really? What if you found a good mentor or coach, one that could help you create an effective learning loop and feedback loop, so you can improve and actually chart and evaluate your progress?
- Do you have a realistic bar? It’s easy to fall into the trap of “all or nothing.” What if instead of focusing on perfection, you focused on progress? Could a little improvement in a few of these areas, change your game in a way that helps you operate at a higher level?
Improve Your Ability to Execute and Pair Up with the Right Partners
I’ve seen far too many starving artists and unproductive artists, as well as mad scientists, that had brilliant ideas that they couldn’t turn into reality. While some were lucky to pair with the right partners and bring their ideas to live, I’ve actually seen another pattern of productive artists.
They develop some of the basic leadership skills in themselves to improve their ability to execute.
Not only are they more effective on the job, but they are happier with their ability to express their ideas and turn their ideas into action.
Even better, when they partner with somebody who has strong execution, they amplify their impact even more because they have a better understanding and appreciation of what it takes to execute ideas.
Like talk, ideas are cheap.
The market rewards execution.
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