It's a truism that the boss makes the weather. I used to work for a boss where the forecast was usually cloudy with a chance of rain and lightning.
Needless to say, I was often wet … or maybe you can chalk it up to being wet behind the ears.
In my experience, most of us underestimate that fact that no one is more influential than we are when it comes to our teams, and there's confusion about our role and what's expected of us.
We are teachers, motivators, interpreters.
We set the tone, cast the shadow.
We control the flow of information.
We create dialogue (or not).
We are the central hub of change, quality, efficiency and innovation.
The most effective leaders know that their ability to get people focused and moving forward, to get people engaged and motivated, to get people working with a sense of urgency and moving a little more quickly all hinges on their ability to communicate.
Where are we – as leaders – uniquely qualified to help and what should our teams and bosses expect from us?
Here are the four "musts" for any leader:
Seek out and provide context for organizational information. Ensure that your team clearly understands how their priorities and goals fit into the company's overall priorities and goals. When a mistake happens or a project gets off track, ask yourself, "What context did not I provide for my team?"
Make information relevant by translating information so employees understand how they fit in and what's in it for them. Help them see how what they do contributions and is meaningful for your team and organization.
Provide job-related information so your team receives essential information to help them do their job effectively. Research shows that you're the preferred source – bar none – for job-related information.
Provide information and feedback on individual performance and other employee-related matters such as recognition of achievements and contributions, or ways to be better.
In almost all cases, only you can provide the information employees crave in a way that makes it meaningful for them, and gets them connected to your team and organization.
Whether you do it – or should I say, Weather you do it – is up to you. As I always say, change and improvement begins and ends with us. With this power and influence comes great responsibility.
How's the weather with your team? In what ways could you help to better set context or make information even more relevant?
– David Grossman