Leading With Direction

Leading With Direction


leading-with-directionConnect with those you lead, and give them the inspiration, insight, and direction they need.”
Karen Nutter, The Power of EQ: Stronger leadership through emotional intelligence


In my February newsletter I talked about how I use the new year as an opportunity to make changes in my business and personal life. While sometimes daunting, the chance to regroup, develop new goals and objectives, and create a plan for success is a “must-do” for all businesses that want to continue moving in the right direction.

There are many processes and options to consider when making changes in order to move forward, but all will fail without the strength and stability of good leadership. On the other hand, when a company has a leader who is skilled in determining and providing direction, employees are more likely to remain engaged and productive. However, good leaders don’t simply tell people what to do, how to do it, and when to have it done.

Good leaders:

  • Stress priorities first so the team knows what to expect, as well as what to do. Remember, people can’t meet your expectations if they don’t know what they are.
  • Remind each person of their individual goals, as well as the goals of their team and the organization as a whole. It’s critical that each member of the team recognize how their work, and that of everyone at the company, is important to individual and group success.
  • Give instructions instead of orders. Good employees should be able to identify what needs to be done and how. Allowing them the freedom to make decisions will not only empower the employee, it will take some of the stress off you.
  • Engage in a dialogue. Good communication, including active listening, is important when providing direction. Nothing slows down positive momentum faster than an employee who feels unacknowledged and disrespected.

When coaching managers and executives, I recommend they gain some insight into their own behaviors and motivators, and then identify those of their team in order to communicate more effectively with each person. When a leader understands how to interact with different people so each can acknowledge and relate to the message, time is not wasted as people try to interpret goals.

Overall, a good leader must identify the most effective way to communicate with their team using terminology, body language, tone, and incentives to motivate each person individually and as a group. When this happens, employees are more motivated to take responsibility for the success of the organization, and a business can flourish.