Leading Where You Are PlantedBy AccentCare | September 02, 2022
Leadership is not reserved for those with certain titles. Each member of your team has the power and permission to lead where they are planted. To be the best at what they do and embrace the strengths of those around them. Transformational leadership unites followers by “raising the level of human conduct and ethical aspiration” (Burns, 1978, p. 20). Collectively sharing in ownership and responsibility to reach organizational goals, much like that of a symphony or sports team. It takes a collective effort to achieve the goals of the group, and those goals must be more important than the self-interests of any one individual. So, how is this put into action?
The diversity of a group reflects its strength. We all come from different backgrounds, cultures, areas of expertise, etc and that diversity is critical to the success of a group. Strong leaders embrace the strengths of those a
round them to realize the full potential of the organization. Imagine an orchestra of one instrument playing the same note, or a baseball team full of pitchers. It doesn’t work nearly as well as a diverse group with various skills and strengths. Push the boundaries of what is conventional and be a disruptor, an innovator towards a better experience for both patients and teammates. Compassionate and transformational leaders understand the importance of having a team with varying strengths and points of view. This is where change and growth happens.
Leadership starts with listening and building relationships with those you are serving. Your peers, your care team, yo
ur own leadership groups. Listen to the issues presented and allow solutions to be fostered amongst the team. What has already been implemented? Do we have consensus amongst the team? Is one person uneasy about an intervention where another person feels more confident? Is there a team member that needs an opportunity to contribute? Active and humble listening leads to trust amongst the group and creates a safe and compassionate space for teamwork. Humility also helps us recognize and honor the gifts in others as valuable to the united mission. Everyone’s voice matters.
Any team collaboration requires trust to be successful. A pitcher must trust that the catcher will catch the ball and the defense behind them will stop any hit. A conductor must trust that the percussionist is going to see their cue and follow the tempo set for the ensemble. A physician must trust that the care team is going to follow and implement orders given. Trust is built through agreed upon goals such as winning a game, performing a piece of music or providing excellent patient centered care. We rely on mutual and reciprocal trust between team members and leaders to successfully reach our unified organizational goals. This type of relationship results in teams that have higher commitments to change, which contributes to innovative behavior and organizational success (Michaelis, et al., 2009). Trust is built and can be repaired, but it is non-negotiable in leadership.
Celebrate and Express Gratitude
The joy of winning is the honor of sharing it with those that contributed to the success of the group. Celebrating the successes of individuals along the way improves trust, satisfaction and team cohesion. It feels good to be a part of a supportive team. We cheer each other on along the way so we can all celebrate the success of the group, together, when goals are reached. Imagine a dugout where no one cheers for a base hit o
r a care team without positive feedback. “Thank you” goes a long way towards building trust. Write a note of gratitude to a teammate. Call out seemingly small “wins” as they are seen. Cheer for your team throughout the process and empower their continued success. It doesn’t take a title or position of authority to say “thank you!” or “nice work!”.
There is a saying in cycling, “If you want to be faster, ride with someone else”. We bring out the best in each other when we show up with commitment to the goals of the group and trust in one another to do the same. Honor and embrace the strengths of those who are different from you, listen to the feedback and ideas of your team, trust that the united vision is above that of the individuals and celebrate the little wins that happen every day along the way.
Michaelis, B., Stegmaier, R. & Sonntag, K. (2009, December). Affective commitment to change innovation implementation behavior: The role of charismatic leadership and employees’ trust in top management. Journal of Change Management 9(4): 399-417.
Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.