In my last blog I set out 5 fundamentals for creating the Zone in which leadership happens and your team can deliver.
Being in the LeadershipZone is primarily about being focused and the role of the leader is to create an environment in which your team can focus and achieve.
Why is focus important?
Leaders are busy people: with so much going on it’s easy to get distracted by the multi-media messages being pushed our way. Setting a clear focus on priorities and seeing the competition between priorities is an important ‘must-do’ for a leader.
Once we know what our priorities are – whether that’s day to day,or whatever timescale we’re setting – it’s so much easier to deliver. As a result, people know what the vision is: they know what success looks like – because it’s been clearly set out. ‘Vision’ isn’t motherhood and apple pie, it’s a clearly set out picture of the direction and purpose for the team, department or organisation. It can be a single, specific target, or it can be a longer term challenge. Either way, focus helps keep everyoneon target.
Communications are vital to help keep focus. As well as communicating key messages, the leader needs to understand what keeps his or her people in the zone. ‘Focus’ means different things to each of us, because of our different workstyles, communications and learning styles.
My number 1 recommendation is that the whole team are able to focus on the task in hand: this may mean agreeing –
- Set times when people can work in silence
- Places where they can go to concentrate on a task
- ‘Do Not Disturb’ indicators
It’s also important to remember that, while the overall challenge may remain the same, there is often a need for ‘course correction’. Our flightpath may change as we travel towards our goal andso the leader is regularly questioning whether we are on the path needed for goal attainment – and shifting the flightpath as needed.
The LeadershipZone isn’t just created, it’s maintained by leaders and refreshed regularly. Focus is a vital tool for this.