Random Musings on Leadership

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We think a lot about leadership here at the Daedalus Group and some of those thoughts are even worth sharing! So, from time to time we’ll bring you some of our Random Musings on Leadership.

Do you know the mission?

When I help organizations create mission statements and goals, I normally hear comments like, “we know what our mission is” from the leadership team. When I ask them to tell me, they quickly realize they don’t all have the same idea of what that mission is. If the leadership team doesn’t have a firm grasp of the organization’s real reason for being, how do they expect their teams to be engaged in accomplishing it?

Is money becoming a motivator?

Just asking that question makes me uncomfortable but I see more and more “best companies to work for” type surveys that emphasize pay and benefits, with real motivators taking a back seat to tangible benefits. When I drill down I find that such things as opportunities to learn new skills, challenging jobs, and a belonging atmosphere are still there and survey participants usually rate them higher than pay and benefits. The problem I see is that the continued emphasis on tangible benefits leads many to think those benefits are more important. Effective leaders understand that while money is an important tool to meet basic human needs, engaged teams and a motivational workplace result from meeting intrinsic needs like a belonging atmosphere and meaningful, challenging work.

Making my job easier

Years ago a boss told me he didn’t have a lot of knowledge about my area of expertise or what my team did. He said that he was relying on me to accomplish some pretty difficult objectives. He made his own values and expectations clear and laid out the priorities. Though I had not wanted the position I found myself in, and was privately very unsure of my ability to succeed, that simple expression of his leadership philosophy made the job much better. He demonstrated that the leader doesn’t have to know everything to be effective. His approach made the job easier and following his example also served me well in future leadership roles.

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