On the Business is ART podcast this week at the TrueChat Network, guest Andrea Davis, co-founder and partner at Flashpoint Leadership Consulting, discussed “Leadership’s Impact on Employee Engagement.”
Among the items Andrea discussed was The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner. First published in 1987 and now in its sixth edition, it has long been one of the gold standards in the study, discipline and art of leadership.
Indeed the book Business is ART and the subsequent business planning and strategic management software Plan Canvas have some of their roots in Kouzes’ and Posners’ 5 leadership practices.
5 Practices of Leaders
Those practices include:
- Model the way
- Inspire a shared vision
- Challenge the process
- Enable others to act
- Encourage the heart
Where Leadership Often Falls Short
Leaders, managers, supervisors and entrepreneurs often put their heads down and start making a mad dash forward, thinking the sprint will put them ahead of game. This mad dash makes it easy to forget any or all of the 5 practices of leaders, but the one that is often forgotten, even in the slow walk, is the fifth one – encourage the heart.
Yet, arguably, it is the most vital in creating a company culture / environment that creates and nurtures employee engagement. It is so much easier for an employee to be engaged in their work and in their employer’s business when their heart is encouraged.
What Does it Mean to Encourage the Heart?
“Encouraging the heart” goes beyond words.
Words like “you know I care about you, right?” and “you’re doing really great work” are important – vital. But they are perceived as insincere, empty, and even offensive when they are not backed by action, or worse, backed by action that is to the contrary.
As a leader, it isn’t good enough to say you aren’t good at this stuff. You have an obligation to get better at it.
Those who follow want more. They need more. You have to learn to encourage the heart, even if it is a difficult, unnatural thing for you to do. If not, you will lose them.
Consider These Options
If working on your ability to encourage from the heart is a priority, Plan Canvas has a number of options for you to consider. Here are two of them:
- Register for Plan Canvas for Individuals at no cost to develop and continually work on a personal development plan. We do recommend you work with a coach on your personal plan.
- Join others in our online, monthly mastermind / peer group where we tackle one another’s business and personal challenges while holding each other accountable to the actions we agree to take. In addition to the monthly online group meeting, it includes 1-to-1 consulting and a subscription to the Plan Canvas for SMB Contact us for a free initial consultation. $169/month.
And of course, if you are looking for much more comprehensive leadership consulting that includes all 5 practices identified in The Leadership Challenge and more, contact Andrea at Flashpoint Leadership Consulting.
Note: No one at Plan Canvas is a paid spokesperson for Flashpoint – we just think they are really good at what they do, and are happy to share their information.