For the past 2 years, the work world has experienced chaos and uncertainty because of the pandemic and the Great Resignation. Leaders struggle with team members who are less confident and engaged in the workplace. Consequently, leaders are developing and adopting new solutions to manage the virtual and hybrid space.
In today’s podcast episode, we interview Robert Mixon, Senior Executive Leader and Founding Partner of Level Five Associates and Co-author of the best-selling book on Amazon, Cows in the Living Room: Developing an Effective Strategic Plan and Sustaining It. Today’s topic is focused on the following Big 6 Leadership principles: set the azimuth; listen; trust and empower; do the right things when no one is looking; when in charge, take charge; and balance the personal and professional. These six principles will help team members deal with chaos and uncertainty inside the organization as they Team Anywhere.
What Surprised Robert Over the Last 2 Years
Robert mentioned in the podcast that the tribulations over the past 2 years have changed how organizations and teams deal with high anxiety. The anxiety of COVID, people, war, and inflation have presented a litany of challenges that leaders are trying to navigate.
The Big 6 Leadership Principles
According to Robert, there are six (6) guiding principles that can alleviate chaos and assist leaders and teams in dealing with uncertainty in organizations and teams.
- Set the Azimuth – This is the cardinal direction of the team and the organization. It has four components: our mission, our intent, our values and our culture. These answer the questions: who are we, what do we do, why do we do it, and what do we believe in. These guiding platforms create alignment and uniformity inside of an organization.
- Listen – Leaders should be able to listen to their team members with the intent to understand, not to listen with the intent to reply. Robert also discussed the importance of the two-second rule which states that you need to give yourself two seconds before responding to anyone. It also gives leaders an opportunity to be thoughtful and respectful in their responses.
- Trust and Empower – Robert said, “Empowerment is the embodiment of trust and trust is the glue of life.” Robert explained that there are two types of organizations: Palm Trees and Fir Trees. For Palm tree organizations, decisions are made at the top. In contrast, in Fir tree organizations, decisions are made by the people who have boots on the ground. Robert said that Fir tree organizations have the healthiest cultures thereby increasing confidence among team members to make decisions.
- Do the Right Thing When No One’s Looking – Leaders should be the role models for always doing the right thing even if no one is looking. For Robert, it is a journey of frequent self-assessment. With the hybrid nature of work, one should develop the discipline to stay aligned with the company’s set azimuth.
- When in Charge, Take Charge – As opposed to being loud and profane, Robert said that leaders should have tactical patience and learn how to be good bad news takers. People want to be around leaders who process information in a thoughtful and rational way.
- Balance the Personal and Professional – Robert mentioned that balance is all about the four levels of energy–physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional. Leaders need to regularly assess their own “battery charge levels” in the four areas, and then help others assess theirs as well. This is what Robert calls a daily audit.
A Leader’s Way of Translating Value into Behavior
According to Robert, values are what brings an organization together and guides each team member to act in unison towards a common goal. However, Robert emphasized that it is paramount to convert this value to a tangible belief that comes to life in a measurable way. Anything that can be measured can be improved upon and gets done. The translation of these values into actionable behaviors ultimately creates a powerful force moving in the same direction.
Using Power Questions to Trust and Empower Team Members
Trust and Empowerment is one of the Big 6 Leadership Principles that Robert role models within his organization. Question architecture–the way a question is formulated by a leader–should elicit information a leader can use to invite the right answer and maintain a mindful dialogue. Below are some power questions that leaders should use in their arsenal.
- What is the biggest challenge you’re facing this week?
- What are your dreams?
- What is your destiny?
Using power questions is one surefire way to gain trust and empower team members in a connected and meaningful way. As dialogue emerges, the leader can then ask follow-up questions that demonstrate true listening and connection. Such an interchange can be used in one-on-one meetings or in groups.
Who is Robert Mixon?
Major General Robert W. Mixon, Jr. has achieved over three decades of extraordinary leadership success in diverse organizations. In 2014, Mixon started his own leadership company, Level Five Associates. Previously, he commanded the 7th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, Colorado. He retired from the army in 2007 and then served in executive leadership positions in both for-profit and not-for-profit companies.
General Mixon has positioned Level Five Associates as a thought leader in all facets of business strategy, finance, and operations. He has become a trusted advisor to a number of outstanding companies in diverse fields. He’s also a published author in several key aspects of business excellence.
- YouTube — https://www.youtube.com/c/LevelFiveAssociatesLLC
- LinkedIn— https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertmixon/
- Website —https://www.levelfiveassociates.com/robert-mixon-jr/
- Facebook— https://www.facebook.com/LevelFiveAssociates
To learn more about the big 6 leadership principles, download this episode now.
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