“The level of your Leadership IQ will have a direct impact on the performance capacity of your people now, and in the future.“
Which list do you see yourself on? That was a bit of a trick question. The truth is that most of us spend a bit of time on each list. What yields a lower Leadership IQ is when you are not aware where you reside “most” of the time. The lack of awareness provides diminishing returns. You are not measuring the impact, whether positive or negative, that you are having on your people.
Building Capacity into Your Team
It’s no secret that a strong leader will take the time to invest in professional development so they can become better at what they do. However, next level leadership investment involves a commitment to learn how to help others go to the next level in what they do as well. Just yesterday, I was on the phone with a client who has a very refreshing approach to this. He spends a fair amount of money on the development of his employees and the results speak volumes about the health of the business. He could sock that money away for himself. However, he is more interested in longer term, generational investment than he is in buying more toys that he first owns and then, own him. A wise leader understands that it’s not just his/her ability to get the ball over the finish line. What’s important is how a leader supports and equips the team members to get the ball over the finish line that matters most.
This creates a multi-level advantage for your company. You grow yourself, you grow your people and your company grows as a result of the first two actions. Not only does your company grow in profits, it grows in strength and capacity at all levels. Then, you have the ability to adapt to new, different or adverse circumstances, to remain resilient when necessary and innovative as you face the future. No one could have prepared us for the current crises that are wiping many companies out of business. However, while some are dying, others are thriving.
The New Hybrid Workforce
I recently spoke with an executive who told me that their company is the strongest that it has ever been. At first glance, that would seem impossible. Before COVID-19 their whole sales team traveled to visit clients to sell the product. Then they would go back again to install the product a few weeks later. Well, the pandemic stopped all travel for a month and the entire sales team was sent home. They had no idea what would happen next. The team kept meeting with clients, only they met virtually and began closing more contracts than when traveling. Once the contract was closed, the equipment was sent out and they walked through the set up with the client via video call sessions. The client was happy and the company saved an enormous amount of money they would have spent on travel. This did not happen by accident. The company did their part to equip the team to be confident partners in serving the clients and contributors of ideas before they needed them.
I asked them if they would go back to the old way of travel once the pandemic was over. Their response was a strong “NEVER.” That company is now positioned to be a legacy company that will survive long after the founders are gone. The Founders are high Leadership IQ people who understand what it means to develop themselves and their people. From day one of the business, they were building capacity in their people by giving them opportunities to give input, to contribute ideas, and to share ownership, not only for outcomes but for direction and growth. They also allowed them to share in the problems, mistakes and failures of the business.