No matter what size business you lead, as you grow, you face challenges. Expanding your business and improving your bottom line requires an adaptive leadership style; as your company gets larger, you have to work through others to get things done.
So how do you marshal the efforts of employees, bring everybody together around common goals when you don’t see them every day, or even every week, or month! Good question! Step one is to be intentional about that. You have to think through the message you’re sending, who needs to get that message, and how. And you need to understand how they’re getting the message – and how they view you as a leader! You need to know what impact you’re having on people you don’t see every day.
And that’s precisely why we set out about a year and a half ago to understand what enables leaders to have impact. We conducted extensive research to pinpoint the qualities embodied by exceptional leaders, defined by the elusive term “executive presence.” The result of our research? The Bates ExPI - a multi-rater assessment that measures a leader’s effectiveness through 15 specific facets of leadership.
In an ExPI assessment, you might, for example, learn that people see you as visionary. You might learn that they believe you connect well and are attuned to others, a quality we refer to as resonance. On the other hand, you might find out that as the company has grown, they don’t see you as actively involving others, or welcoming points of view, a quality we refer to as inclusiveness. Or, they may be wishing they were getting more timely information so they could coordinate action, a quality referred to as interactivity. And when you think about it, how can they get the job done, if they don’t know what they don’t know!
The point is … you don’t know what you don’t know. That is until you’ve had the opportunity to get the view from others. If you’re like most leaders I know, you are striving to be the best you can be, for yourself, for your company, and frankly, to make whatever contribution you can make to the world.