6 High-Priority Skills To Be An Actionable Leader
The CEOs who succeed in our fast-paced world become actionable leaders by continuing to grow personally and professionally. I believe that leaders who stand out in a saturated crowd are those who continually push themselves to develop new skills to enhance their ability to lead. And, those who take risks as well as are willing to admit mistakes, yet keep growing.
71% of organizations don’t feel their leaders can successfully lead the company into the future though more money is being spent on leadership development than other types of corporate learning (source: Infopro).
Best-in-class leaders don’t become great by accident. They invest energy and time in their development to ensure that they’re moving their organization forward. Actionable leadership requires developing skills to increase employee engagement, improve team collaboration, and to embrace change as it comes.
At East Tenth Group, my team and I believe that an actionable leader is one who:
- Continuously seeks out opportunities for growth.
- Values employee engagement and respect between teams.
- Motivates their teams by leading by example.
I believe strongly in putting high-value leadership skills into action – so much so, that we’ve developed East Tenth Group’s Balanced Leadership™ Framework, designed to help emerging and current leaders develop and strengthen their capabilities.
6 Skills to be an Actionable Leader
To cultivate the skills you need to be an actionable leader, we believe that if you prioritize the following 6 skills, your teams and organization will simply become better:
1. Actionable Leaders Communicate With Clarity
Being specific in the direction, guidance, and expectations that you give your employees helps ensure that they can stay engaged and interested in the task at hand. When discussing upcoming workloads or new projects, actionable leaders create a clear framework for team members to work from, and provide chances for collaborators to input their ideas and ask questions.
The ability to clearly communicate both expectations and directions while taking time to listen to new ideas not only helps streamline productivity, but it creates space for increased understanding. I suggest that leaders download our Leading Teams eBook to discover actionable advice on how to effectively communicate with team members.
2. Actionable Leaders Consistently Support Their Teams
A supportive work culture and environment sets the pace for increased employee engagement. Providing professional support by removing barriers to success and creating a diverse working environment to help employees both set and reach their professional goals.
Consider the following ways that modern actionable leaders can create a supportive working environment:
- Allow for employee autonomy: Trust is a critical asset of a supportive working environment. Give your employees the opportunity to make decisions, share ideas, and set their own schedule for a productive work day.
- Take away fear from the professional equation: Your employees shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes. Rather than watching every move that an employee makes, support them from a distance and give them space to innovate and explore different routes to success.
- Treat employees like they’re humans, not numbers: Whether you’re a C-Suite executive the manager of a smaller team, it’s critical that you treat your employees like the high-value humans they are, not just cogs in a wheel. Make time to chat and catch up with team members, and practice active listening to ensure they feel heard.
3. Actionable Leaders Use AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly taking over the world of modern leadership. Those who are able to keep up with these technological advances and apply them in their workplace are the actionable leaders who are transforming organizations around the globe.
For leaders looking to implement facets of AI in their workplace, it’s important to look at the technology and its impact from all perspectives before launching such complex software.
Take time to do your research, acquaint yourself with the range of capabilities AI provides, and ask your team the right questions to know what technology will help them communicate, collaborate, and work together more efficiently.
4. Actionable Leaders are High-Touch
Although actionable leaders are constantly looking to level-up their team’s technical capabilities and processes, focusing on maintaining a high-touch leadership style increases the human capital of a team, and an organization.
Invest the time needed to discuss goals and feedback with your team members, rather than only reviewing performance on a quarterly or annual basis. By regularly checking in with your employees, you can cultivate meaningful relationships, keep individuals motivated, and identify gaps between your leadership style and your team’s motivation.
Increasing your emotional intelligence is a key factor in being an effective high-touch leader. When you give yourself the opportunity to fine-tune your own emotions, you can provide a superior and trusted support system to your employees. Characteristics of an emotionally intelligent and high-touch leader include:
- Practicing active listening
- Adapting to unforeseen change
- Communicating effectively
- Managing personal and professional stressors
- Providing relevant and constructive feedback
5. Actionable Leaders are Change Agents
In any team or company, change is inevitable. People enter and leave positions regularly, new business goals are set, and technology advancements change how processes are conducted. Actionable leaders are responsible for ensuring change management practices are up to date and innovative.
From developing a high-value succession plan to discussing what employees would like from onboarding and continuous training, it’s up to adaptable leaders to overcome challenges and manage change effectively.
6. Actionable Leaders Practice Mindfulness
As a commonly referred to concept in leadership, mindfulness encompasses a range of skills and capabilities actionable leaders utilize throughout their day. By being mindful in your decision-making, problem-solving, and communication, you can better serve your team.
Not only does mindful leadership allow you to manage your team better and cultivate professional connection, but it lets actionable leaders take the time they need to nurture their own mental and physical well-being.
Mindfulness is an extremely personal practice, and when implemented throughout both professional and personal circumstances, superior leaders are able to perform better, manage expectations, and embrace change.
Mindfulness can make you a better, actionable leader in a number of ways, including:
- Cultivating clear communication strategies
- Being more kind to both yourself and others
- Improving team collaboration
- Increasing employee engagement and productivity
Through the use of these 6 high-priority skills, forward-thinking and actionable leaders can lean into change and transform their leadership style and overall workplace experience.
If you’re looking to connect the dots between leading a business, leading teams, managing others, and managing yourself, our Balanced Leadership™ Framework is designed to help you refine your skills and put engaging leadership tactics into action.
Are you ready to embrace change and initiate actionable leadership techniques? If so, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.