A team can tenaciously pursue business goals while still having a sense of comfort and fun. The problem is not many managers know how to lead in such a way as to get this best-of-both-worlds scenario. However, in an article for Harvard Business Review, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman use their data collected from over 60,000 leaders to pinpoints six traits of the managers who really do achieve both:
- Communicates clear strategy and direction
- Inspires and motivates
- Establishes stretch goals
- Has high integrity and inspires trust
- Develops others
- Is coachable
Makeup of the Exceptional Leader
Obviously, these exceptional leaders are going to understand strategy and make sure that everyone working for them understands it too. They communicate clearly enough that their people are never left frustrated about fuzzy goals or direction. The emphasis for the team is on delivering results, and the team knows what those results must be. The authors describe this as leaders having an ability to “push.”
They likewise describe being able to inspire the team as an ability to “pull.” Inspiring leaders make people responsible for lofty goals, but they also make those people believe that they are fully capable of hitting those goals. Establishing stretch goals is an extension of that notion—it is a means of enticing and exciting people to reach for more.
In order for any of the above to be possible, leaders must exhibit integrity. Shady, shifty people have seldom ever inspired anyone to do anything—not for positive reasons, anyway. But when good-natured, trustworthy leaders ask for something, people feel compelled to comply.
Ultimately, great leaders know how to develop others and to further develop themselves. They ask for feedback because they understand its value. And about developing others, the authors describe it like this:
- Drives for results.Leaders who care about the development of subordinates and who also take the time to develop these people reap the benefits in the results produced. Well-trained people are far more productive.
- People skills.Most people want the opportunity to develop new skills and competencies. Leaders who are focused on helping team members develop are always viewed in a very positive light. Developing others has the twofold impact of elevating performance and creating a culture that is fun and engaging. It also attracts more people who want to work in it.
If you can embody these traits, then you are well on your way to becoming an ace manager with an ace team. You can view the original article here: https://hbr.org/2017/06/how-managers-drive-results-and-employee-engagement-at-the-same-time