I've written about the ever-evolving landscape of leadership and how it's changing over time. But it turns out you'll be saving more than just projects and revenue by enhancing your leadership in the workplace...you'll be saving the health of your people.
Despite the idea that business must be cut-throat in order to achieve results, work days are being lost due to more and more employees taking sick leave and extended leaves of absences due to stress on the job...in fact, nearly 550 million work days to be exact according to The American Psychological Association. And in a large-scale study of over 3,000 employees conducted by Anna Nyberg at the Karolinska Institute, results showed a strong link between bad leadership behavior and heart disease in patients.
So how do you begin to be a better leader - one that promotes happiness, psychological safety, and health in the workplace? Below are a few key behaviors that are important for a great leader:
Enjoy what you do - it's contagious: Know your zone of genius - and make sure you're in the right job for you. If you're challenged and fulfilled at work - those around you will feed off your positive energy.
Inspire don't micro-manage: Set a vision, share it and encourage people to contribute to it...then give them the space to run with their ideas. No one likes to be micromanaged. Micro-management is the death of inspiration - make sure you're not doing it.
Be aware of your unconscious biases and ensure you're inclusive: Ever looked at someone who was good looking and think they were successful? Or immediately felt connected to a job candidate because they went to the same college as you? Our brains are wired to make u gravitate towards people who are similar to us. These are all unconscious biases or unconscious feelings we have towards other people that typically influence our judgment and decision making. Know your biases and make sure that you're not letting them drive you. When you're a great leader, you must be able to see the greatness in everyone - and sometimes your biases will prevent this. Be conscious of them and re-wire the ones that aren't serving you.
Put People First - Customer 2nd: In Vineet Nayar's book Employees First, Customers Second, he explains how turning the old adage of the "customer is always right" on its head sparked a revolution at HCL Technologies. By nurturing your employee's needs you promote a culture of trust. They'll feel motivated and inspired and will feel encouraged to do their best thinking.