When you look up Command Leadership, it’s described as more rigid and hierarchical than other forms of leadership. Look instead at commanding leadership. After all, true commanders are ready to lead their teams, and true leaders are commanding, inspirational directors. Consider the critical nature of leadership. Commanding leadership of your team is not about what you, yourself, can do. It’s not about giving orders either. True commanding leadership sets goals, then pushes or guides their team into creative problem solving. At CommandReady, we include distinctions that help supervisors and managers develop into the best commanding leaders they can be. What follows is a brief overview of topics covered in one of our leadership modules. It has reminders that have already helped hundreds of other leaders refocus on the priorities.
So, What’s The Problem?
The first step in setting goals, is to identify the problem that needs to be solved. Setting the goal or goals is critical, but it does not need to be laid out in minute detail. It should be an overall plan for the goal you and your team need to achieve. You can involve your team in fleshing out the details of how you will reach the goal. After identifying the problem and setting the goal, the next step is to identify essential resources for achieving the goal.
Ascertaining your Needs
Once you set your goal, it is natural to want to explain the best way to achieve the goal to your team. Instead, take a step back. Leaders who encourage input from their team, by asking for ideas, and then using those ideas, foster stronger teams. Instead of micromanaging in this stage, create a list of everything you need from equipment to funds, from human resources to training. Know whether you have what is needed to achieve the goal, but let your team determine the details of how to reach that goal.
A friend of mine has a favorite adage from Franz Kafka that applies here,
“It’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have.”
You have the power to make sure the goal is attainable by making sure you have the resources necessary to achieve the goal. Your team has the power to do the work that will achieve that goal.
Don’t Forget the Proper Training for Your Team
Is your team sufficiently trained in the skillset needed to achieve the goal? If your team has the proficiency needed to complete the task, then it is time to act. Often, new goals require some additional training. Will you do that in house or do you need to outsource the training? Are the available funds sufficient to complete any additional training for your team? Have you guided your team toward independent creative thinking and problem-solving skills? Your plan needs to take all of this into account.
Trust Your Team to do the Work.
Commanding Leadership is not about achieving the goal yourself, but leading your team to achieve the goal. You already push your team to achieve. For your team to develop critical skills and creative thinking, you have to trust them to do the work. Your biggest accomplishments are measurable through the efficiency and achievements of your team.
Instead of asking yourself how you should solve the problem, ask yourself what your team needs from you in order to solve the problem. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up and help them get back on track when they are way off. It does mean that you are in a supervisory position, and help them by asking about their plan. Your questions can lead them through the process and help them identify issues themselves.
Commanding Leadership Means Constantly Growing
At CommandReady, we work with military leaders, law enforcement leaders, corporate leadership, business entrepreneurs and more. Our programs were created to help others navigate the maze of leadership pitfalls as all of us strive for personal growth as well as leadership growth.