Hi! I am Kirsten Voege. My leadership philosophy has been fine tuned over the years. Organizations need dynamic, visionary leaders. I believe there are three key elements of success that every leader can (and should) embrace.
My leadership philosophy has developed over the years. I know a lot more now than when I first started out as a manager. When I first was a manager I had just a few direct reports. Here, I will share the three key elements of success. I believe a successful leader can tap into these elements to build growth at any organization. A successful leader will use these three elements. They will promote company growth. Drive culture. And build a dynamic organization. Leaders need to focus the organization on three key elements of success; teamwork, training & innovation.
Elements of Success #1
The power of teamwork.
When on a great team, anything is possible. These teams have secured new business wins. Great teams have engaged contributors; teams and individuals that take ownership of projects. I believe communication is key to the teamwork element. Leaders need to share with their teams. They need to communicate goals and share what success looks like. Likewise, team members need to share with their leaders. Conversations need to happen. The lines of communications must be open and clear. Clarity and transparency help to build the element of teamwork.
Challenges are part of leadership.
My direct reports and I have encountered challenges and established best practices. My leadership teams have organized and (re-organized) departments. We have guided transitions. Things don’t always go smoothly. But, if there is transparency and communication, challenges can be overcome. When challenges are overcome, teams can flourish. Also, when individuals feel that they are in the loop, they are empowered. When teams are empowered; great things can happen. As a result, empowered teams lead to more successes and even wins!
While a member of the executive leadership team (ELT) I had many responsibilities. I prepared revenue projections. And created business plans. I built staffing plans. The ELT set annual business goals. The annual goals didn’t get announced in a closed door, only top-level or hush, hush secret meeting. We conducted quarterly business reviews to keep our entire team informed of overall company goals. Managers formed committees to enlist everyone in the next steps, including celebrating our accomplishments and talking about the business challenges. Through it all, we listen and learn and grow.
Since I have been a part of exceptional teams, I know there is nothing better than being part of a great team.– Kirsten Voege
Elements of Success #2
Training, Training, Training.
Early in my career I recognized the power of training. As a result of this I initiated a weekly training for the group. When other departments heard about my training program, they wanted in. So, I invited different people to attend different week sessions. Eventually….it led to me starting a company-wide training program. Woohoo! Success.
To keep growing, professionals need engaging, expanding training. When I was overseeing the training program we talked about everything. Including email and phone etiquette, ways to use research to negotiate a deal, tips and tricks and how to organize data for a pivot table. After the sessions the conversations continued. Everyone was excited to get back to their desks to practice whatever they learned that day.
No formal training? Don’t worry.
If your organization doesn’t have an official training program, don’t worry. Certainly, it isn’t the end. Because you can kick-start your own training. Take a class online. I have audited online courses from Yale University and Wharton. There are incredible classes you can take, online seminars you can join, and youtube videos you can watch.
Also, find a mentor. There may be an industry mentoring program. Otherwise there could be a local, community based program. If not, reach out to someone you admire, see if they would be interested in being your “un-official” mentor.
Explore community groups, also meet-ups.
Another idea, look for industry events on eventbrite. Finally, join a networking group.
Elements of Success #3
In addition, I believe in promoting innovation. Innovation is critical. Diversity leads to innovation. Diversity of thought leads to innovation. Curiosity leads to innovation. Sharing leads to innovation. Moreover, innovation is key to supporting and driving business initiatives. As a result, I have built and retained dynamic, high performance teams. After all these years of practice, I am pretty skilled at hiring. Indeed, there have been some hiring duds. Eventually, if the pressure is on, any duds who aren’t performing, will self select, and bail.
Nevertheless, I have success working with, encouraging and promoting remarkable individuals. A key to leadership is recognizing innovators and letting them succeed on their own. Certainly, someone who is truly motivated and has the skills, can crash through glass ceilings. Unquestionably, a leader has to enable innovation. Encourage the employee with a great idea to just go for it!
Above all, an organization needs decisive and imaginative individuals. As a leader, I love to work with empowered individuals. I love to encourage individuals. Their participation leads to contributions. Contributions lead to ideas. Imagination, curiosity, and participation leads to innovation. That is to say, a collaborative culture leads to innovation.
So, these are my thoughts on the 3 key elements a successful leader needs to embrace. What do you think?
Resources for anyone looking to up their leadership game:
Want to learn more about how to promote innovation? Check out this slideshow on 12 Young Founders from Entrepreneur.
Perhaps you will also consider taking Design Thinking for Innovation, a course that can be audited from UVA on Coursera.
- Wolfpack, by Abby Wombach
- The Secrets of Great Teamwork, Harvard Business Review
- Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
- The Four Hour Work Week Tim Ferriss
Kirsten Voege is a business development and marketing consultant. Voege works with Founders and business owners. Through the consultancy, she creates marketing promotions and builds strategic partnerships. Voege calls it marketing to drive business growth. To learn more, visit Kirated Communications, at Kirated.Co
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