Recently, I shared with you some of my thoughts on how the most innovative leaders and companies are learning to shape their business culture and environment to their advantage. As part of that discussion, I want to focus on the leaders and behaviors that help transform organizations into thrive engines of innovation.
It’s no coincidence that leaders in such thriving organizations are not afraid to take risks, and are able to embrace failure to deliver tangible results. They feel the same pressure to do more with less that other leaders feel too, but creatively find ways to manage workloads while at the same time work to build effective and empowered teams. One of those is Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, who recently revealed his secret to success: the people that keep the company running:
Usually they themselves end up investing long days, and often even nights, to help ensure that their teams are working on the right things, are effectively working together and are relating well to peers and customers. They are committed to do the right thing and will often sacrifice to make that happen.
In today’s fast paced business environment, it is very easy to miss trends and opportunities, as well as fail to recognize worthwhile challenges or obstacles if you are constantly fighting fires. I have observed many leaders step back and think, and then often rethink, how they are advancing their efforts and how they can make course corrections as needed. They are honest, but also critical of themselves and their team, and are always open to new ideas and the possibilities of better ways forward.
I am fortunate to interact with many of these types of leaders on a regular basis and realize they have learned in their careers that in order to create a competitive advantage, the attitude, personality and behavior of themselves and their teams are among the most important traits needed to enable success and deliver impactful results.
These leaders know that behaviors such as empathy, optimism, motivation, integrity, and humor can positively impact their people, and ultimately their company’s success. However at the same time they also realize their leadership behaviors must be consistently demonstrated so that they are seen as sincerely “walking the talk.” He or she also recognizes and effectively rewards and motivates team members to think and act innovatively to deliver solutions that have the potential to succeed.
The bottom line is that these true leaders strive for a positive impact all across their company, from their teams, to their employees, their customers, and even themselves.