Due to the pandemic, the world is put on a status of uncertainty. Leadership roles in workplaces– whether on-site or remote– have been challenging. Leaders struggle on how to become stronger and effective because of these challenges.
On today’s episode, we’re privileged to have Tom Kolditz, a retired Brigadier General who led the department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at West Point for 12 years. You will learn how to become an effective leader in the face of uncertainty, and also learn methods for building trust, staying outwardly focused, being seen as human, and building hope among your team members.
Trust: The Basic Building Block of Leadership
Management is not a walk in a park. It requires a lot of facts and knowledge. Management work without policy and resourcing. However, the most important tool is trust. Fostering trust with your team members and trusted advisors will make your leadership workload lighter and will establish a culture of cooperation and mutual support.
Building Trust in Your Organization
Tom makes three important recommendations for leaders to focus on to build trust.
- Don’t be too animated — Leaders who are inexperienced in crisis leadership tend to over-motivate their people. They cheerlead too much.Effective crisis leaders use a quiet, calm and confident approach. They role model focus and clarity around managing the crisis–even if that means not having all the answers.
- Be outward-oriented — When dealing with uncertainty,focusing on the solution to the problem is a good way for a leader to control their own emotions and understand how to control their people’s emotions.
- Be seen as human — When your people are miserable or afraid of uncertainty, they need to see you as a human being. You need to reduce your social distancing as a leader. Be there when they need you in a non-standoffish way. Be one with the crowd and they will see they’re being led by a human being.
The Qualities of a Strong Leader
Strong leaders paint an optimistic way of problem solving and moving towards solutions together.These types of leaders show how things get done. These leaders typically demonstrate a high value of respect and command. People tend to listen to them.
While other qualities such as loyalty, courage, and integrity are helpful, they are insignificant compared to the most important quality that a leader must possess, which is competence.
Leadership Starts with Mindset
Being a leader starts with the mind. If you think that you are a leader, all of your actions–no matter how big or small–will go into onboarding skills and emotions that align with being a leader. Leadership can be taught, and leaders can be trained. The Doerr Institute’s leadership programs have had great results where students seek more leadership roles when a leadership coach is guiding them. It only means that anyone can be a leader. Leaders are made, not born.
Who is Tom Kolditz?
Tom Kolditz is the founding Director of the Ann and John Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University. The Doerr Institute was recognized in 2019 as the top university leader development program by the Association of Leadership Educators, and named the 4th Leader Development Program in the world by Global Gurus, London. Prior to Rice, Tom Klditz was a Professor in the Practice of Leadership and Management, and Director of the Leadership Development Program, at the Yale School of Management.
- Tom Kolditz — https://doerr.rice.edu/faculty/tom-kolditz
To learn more about Effective Leadership Strategies download this episode now.
Online Courses for Leaders Leading a Team From Anywhere:
Check out these online courses for remote leaders from the Team Anywhere Team.