The LeadershipZone for better leadership

Get into the leadershipzone – practical tools and ideas you can use to improve your effectiveness as a leader or manager

Five Fundamentals for creating your LeadershipZone

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Following on from last week’s blog about ‘responsibility’, I’ve been reflecting on what this really means for leaders.  My vision is that LeadershipZone tools pro-actively support leaders to lead, achieve and succeed – by which I mean:

  • Lead: fully take on board your responsibilities, for what you do, how you do it and who you are as a leader.  This also means taking responsibility for communicating well, motivating and developing your people. These last three are not optional extras, by the way.
  • Achieve: together the team accomplishes its goals, such that every project, programme and initiative is attained at a reasonable pace.
  • Succeed: everyone thriving on the challenge they face, taking individual responsibility for their goals,  such that every member receives recognition for their contribution and works in an environment of success and celebration.

My organisation, The Forton Group, has a definition of leadership which is that individuals are personally successful; they enable success in their teams and their organisations, as well as appreciating their wider leadership impact on society.

This week’s theme is about creating that ‘zone’: the environment in which leaders can enable their people to thrive and be successful.  And if you’re a leadership or executive coach – you can use these tools to bring out the best in your clients.

There’s a theory gaining pace that willpower is a finite resource: the more we’ve drained our energy and determination in one field, the less is available for others.  For people who need to exercise more, expecting them to be restrained with the chocolate bars or high-sugar drinks afterwards is asking for too much: they’ve already used up their willpower.

Similarly the role of the leader is to make create the environment for success and make it as easy as possible for team members to be successful and achieve their objectives.

So how do we make it easier for people to succeed?

Here’s five fundamentals; starting with the physical environment, beyond the desk/chair/computer/phone basics (which all need to be in tip-top condition).  Create an environment where

  1. The team can focus on the task in hand: this may mean agreeing –
    1. Set times when they work in silence
    2.  Places where they can go to concentrate on a task
    3. Flags or other ‘Do Not Disturb’ indicators
  2. By contrast, does your team have times and places where they can actively interact – share ideas, chat and chill out?
  3. Do team members have a place – away from their desk – where they can eat and drink?
  4. Create a dedicated ‘Project Control Room’ or similar space, where the WHOLE project can be laid out and left out – visually or physically – and progress monitored.
  5. Finally, enable access to technologies which allow them to map out their ideas, share and debate these with colleagues.  This might be
  • Whiteboards or flipcharts
  • Digital technologies for virtual sharing
  • Or good old fashioned pen, paper and sticky tape…

Now I can hear people out there talking about slashed budgets and no spare money for expensive extras.  My challenge to you is to be resourceful and find ways of achieving what you and your team need to be successful – without adding to the bottomline.  Who says a ‘project control room’ has to be an office at high-end rates for example?  Many silicone valley projects were born and raised in peoples’ garages.  I look forward to hearing what you, or your clients have done to create the fundamentals of a LeadershipZone.


Author: Helen Caton Hughes

Leadership and Team Coach based on inspirational and practical tools. Works with leaders around the world; trains coaches to International Coach Federation standards. Passionate about finding best ways for leaders to inspire themselves and get the best from their teams

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