Are You Hindering Your Team by Being an Effective Leader?
Being effective is something we all want in life, but it requires us to focus on results. Find out why this can sometimes hinder our progress.
Over the past years, we have seen a rise in tools and resources helping people become more effective. We can now take notes online, use our phones as reminders and even get robots to do our mundane jobs.
All of these are great and allow for more effective working. To be effective, you must repeatedly get desired results.
Your team are there to assist you on this journey to a result that will be desirable for everyone. Although not every part of the journey will feel great, the end goal is hopefully desirable enough to keep going.
If there is one thing all leaders want to be known for is achieving desirable results. We all want to be effective, and for the most part, it is a good thing to aspire for.
However, whether you are a leader or not, I have not met anyone who does not want to be effective. We all pursue lives where we are using our time, tools and resources wisely to generate desirable ends. But there is a dark side to doing this.
As time has gone on, we are becoming less patient to wait for those results. Let me give you a few examples in your own life where you may see this happening:
- You get upset when you can not get something for next day delivery
- You check your notifications all the time and try to respond right there and then
- You feel the urge to jump in when someone is talking to get your point across instead of letting them finish
- You are always thinking of the next thing to do
These can all work to your benefit, but they are very results-focused. We like being results-focused because we feel great when we get something done. Even just checking your notifications release dopamine and makes you feel great.
However, the working culture is changing drastically, and people no longer want to work just to achieve results. They want to feel as though their work is purposeful and will develop themselves whilst doing it.
So, here is the main reason why effective leaders can be to their team’s detriment. However, I also recommend something at the end of this article to help balance effectiveness as a leader.
Your Team Need You to Live In the Present
As effective leaders, we try our best to remain focused on the end goal. Results are a vital part of our DNA and give us a sense of fulfilment when things go well.
If you have experienced any of the examples of impatience in your own life, it is because you had a result in mind. You were frustrated because you felt less effective than you wanted to be.
Although your team care about results too, they also want their leaders to be present with them. Things like having a conversation before a meeting, attending training sessions and listening to complaints may be unproductive.
For future results, many of these present-day tasks are tedious. That is why we get distracted by notifications and want to cut conversations short.
For an effective leader, results are the most important thing. Unfortunately for them, results are not the only things that matter. And all of this fluffy stuff in between like:
- Providing personal development time
- Team breakfast and catch-ups
- Listening to your team voice problems for 20 minutes that can be solved easily
- Picking up a phone call that only needed a message
Can all be seen as unproductive and a hindrance to your goals. But at the same time, your team want to speak with you and hear your voice. They want you to be involved in their personal development even it has nothing to do with your results.
So, how do effective leaders combat seeing these tasks as unproductive? It is the wrong mindset to have and can lead to more detriment than good. Yes, you may achieve results, but you will be disliked and leave a stain on your leadership because of it.
You Need to Slow Things Down
In a world that is moving so fast, we can often feel like we are chasing it. We have to get to the next meeting on time, we need to get rid of that notification, and the delivery needs to be here by this time.
It is hard to be effective as our results are becoming more and more difficult to achieve. Now everything feels like it is needed to be done yesterday.
However, if we do not slow things down, we will miss the essential things that matter. Connecting with others and learning skills unrelated to work is fun and vital for team building.
Therefore, I would advise taking time out in your own lives to be present. Learn to accept the present when it comes about by controlling your urge to get to the result.
Take note of your emotions and how you feel, and learn why that is. Think about if the way you are feeling is valid. After all, most things we get upset about will not bring an end to our world.
You must start to adopt the ability to remain peaceful at the moment and forget about the results for short periods. At the end of the day, we are people, not programmed robots.
We can not expect to be effective all the time, and this is part of the problem. As leaders, we set a lot of high expectations of ourselves forgetting we are human. Yes, we are forward-looking and see a world with our vision in it. However, we must appreciate the time we have now too.
You have probably heard this enough, but it is true. The present is all we have. And it is indeed all anyone has to make a difference. So, why spend the present thinking all about the results in the future.
We need to allocate time for that too, but we must not forget to live our present moments to the fullest. Engage in conversation, take joy in learning and fully indulge in listening to your team.
You can live a life of effectiveness whilst also enjoying every moment in the present. When we focus too much on results, the present always feels like a waste of time.
However, when we enjoy the present for what it is, we can become leaders that value our team’s growth and connections. If anything, these are more important than the expected results.
I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.