In today’s episode we interview Dave McKeown, author of The Self-Evolved Leader. In this week’s episode, Dave talks about how successful hybrid teams need to have more conversations than they might think as we figure out the hybrid work environment. Additionally, Dave discusses how the pandemic shifted what leadership styles are working. The old “here’s my vision, follow me” approach no longer works as leaders are called upon to embrace the unknown and create a unified vision with their team.
Successful hybrid teams will have to view the unknown future as a growth opportunity for themselves and their team members. These teams will recognize that embracing uncertainty is the best environment for everyone to develop. When these team members become Self-Evolved leaders, they will take the opportunity to reach out, ask questions, and challenge their team members as they all grow together and navigate teaming from anywhere.
Leadership Styles Changed in 2020
Even before the brink of the pandemic, the older leadership style of the powerful and confident leader with the strong vision that called for others to follow was becoming less effective. The older style of “I know what the future is, follow me” caused a form of skepticism from realistic employees. With the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, that leadership style became irrelevant almost overnight. As employees began to work from home, not a single leader could say they knew what the future held.
This caused a new leadership style to become more powerful - a leadership style that is more authentic and that embraces the fact that leaders don’t always know everything. The leaders that became more successful were the ones that were asking “How are you really doing” and “How can I help you right now”. The Servant Leadership style instantly became the new norm.
Leadership today is about not being able to lead with true certainty. Leaders need to know how to lead with a degree of uncertainty and create a shared future over being the one with the vision.
In the hybrid workplace, our leaders need to focus on achieving goals and making sure team members are developing. Balancing these two focus areas is harder with remote work. Leaders need to be highly intentional about creating symbiotic conversations that create mutual relationships between remote and in-office employees. Leaders need to avoid the easy approach of returning to the office and then tagging on remote workers. Leaders are called upon today to create a whole new design for work.
They Have Conversations that Create Team Flow
Conversations that create team flow should encourage teams to take on new tasks so that the leader can shift into a more strategic mode. This allows team members to take the load off the leader's plate, and therefore allows the leader time and space to add value right back to their team members. Leaders should consider what tasks they can give away—even if it involves spending some time coaching others—in order to then gain more strategic space.
What tasks can give away, even if someone needs a little support so that they can grow, allowing you more time in the strategic space?
They Have Conversations that Create Shared Responsibility
The hybrid work environment simply can not rely on email. Hybrid teams must ensure they have good tools and systems in place. The work has to be looked at, talked about and executed in a way that everyone can access at any time. In this way, there is a shared responsibility to get things done and fill in the gaps.
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