Executive Leaders: Are You Showing Your Team the Coastal Erosion?

Executive Leaders: Are You Showing Your Team the Coastal Erosion? 150 150 Jennifer Ledet

As a business professional, a team member, a CEO, or senior level executive, do you know clearly what the big picture is for your team? What are the long-term goals and objectives? If you don’t know, why not ask? Being clued into the big picture is crucial in business.

On a recent helicopter ride, I was able to see my neighborhood and familiar sites from a completely different perspective. In fact, things looked so different from this vantage point that I had trouble figuring out where we were. (Never mind that I am directionally challenged anyway!) Thankfully, the pilot pointed out some landmarks to help me out.

I was able to clearly see how coastal erosion has affected my state of Louisiana from this vantage point. I was able to see the big picture and why efforts to preserve our coast are so important. When you are living in the coastal erosion, you cannot see it, but from above, it was quite a shock.

As an executive leader, do you keep your staff and colleagues “in the loop” as to where you want the team to go? Do you show them the bird’s eye view and let them in on maybe even the not so great happenings? Or are your employees simply living within the coastal erosion, blind to the daily degradation?

A number of studies have shown that one of the biggest sources of employee satisfaction is knowing where their contributions fit into the big picture or the overall success of the organization. Employees like to know that they are making a difference! If employees don’t feel they’re contributing or don’t know how their work makes a difference, then they will be more likely to become disengaged.

For instance, my client, Stanley, accepted a promotion to oversee a new division of his company. Shortly after taking over, he scheduled a staff meeting, bringing in to his office all of the people who now reported to him. He gave them an overview of the current status of the company, where they were heading, and, most importantly, what his expectations were. With this “aerial view” of the company, he explained how each could best contribute to the achievement of the company’s goals. He did not sugarcoat the hard facts, either. He told them where some serious work needed to be done.

Stanley announced that these meetings would be held twice monthly and each person would be expected to provide status reports, updating everyone on their area of responsibility. He encouraged the sharing of information amongst team members so that suggestions and advice might be offered to help each other out.

Stanley later reported to me after that first meeting that team members were floored by this new practice. He received feedback and numerous emails from staff, telling him how much they appreciated this method. He didn’t think much of it, but apparently, these team members had never really felt “in” on things before. They felt valued when their leader took the time to clue them into where they were and where they were heading.

Whatever your job entails, never underestimate the value of stepping back to look at the big picture. And leaders, don’t forget to let your people in on the overall plan and scheme. Even when the outlook may not be great, people would still prefer to know the reality of the situation than to be left in the dark. Plug employees in to the power of the big picture!

What will you:

  • Start doing?
  • Stop doing?
  • Continue doing?

to show your team the aerial view? Share your action steps by posting here. Your colleagues can benefit from your plan to be a better leader.

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8 of the Best Kept Leadership Communication Secrets

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Jennifer Ledet, CSP, is a leadership consultant and professional speaker (with a hint of Cajun flavor) who equips leaders from the boardroom to the mailroom to improve employee engagement, teamwork, and communication.  In her customized programs, leadership retreats, keynote presentations, and breakout sessions, she cuts through the BS and talks through the tough stuff to solve your people problems.

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