Ahead of the curve. Faces adversity headlong. Role models. Along with qualities such honesty, integrity, passion, decisiveness, wisdom and many other ideals, these are the phrases that people think along the lines of when talking about leaders. Be it a high-level manager or a rank-and-file employee, leaders manage resources, approach challenges, take advantage of strengths and compensate for weaknesses in their company to create favorable outcomes.
Any management consultant will tell you that there isn’t a clear-cut way or process in becoming a great leader. In fact, no matter what kind of leader you are or no matter how unconventional your strategy gets, being a great leader is an impossibility in a world where everything isn’t just black and white. Here are a few unconventional leadership strategies that might not always work, but have put up great results in the past for other businesses.
Stepping back to let others take the lead
Sometimes, being a good leader is simply about being a follower or a mediator in achieving goals. By letting others take responsibility and providing them the support they need, managers exhibit their trust in their employees, which can boost morale and open up new perspectives in approaching challenges. Stepping back is about listening to others and pooling together insights and ideas that can lead to solutions that people can actually get behind (since they were part of the entire process).
Often, leaders are guided by metrics and results. After all, what matters in the end is that you reach your goals, right? Not really. Sometimes, the means by which ends are met take center stage rather than just the plain end results. Procedures and protocols exist to reduce exposure, maximise resources and ensure quality in every aspect of a business. By creating processes and properly guiding people through them, leaders can embed the value of a systematic and all-inclusive business process.
Playing devil’s advocate
Sometimes, challenging the ideas of employees and colleagues is the best way to further cultivate and develop those ideas into their most potent forms. Playing devil’s advocate is about quality checking and finding out holes in ideas and decisions. If an idea can’t stand up to scrutiny, it’s probably not that good an idea, right?
Innovation and reckless abandon
Most leaders are afraid of shifting the status quo and taking big risks. While being fearful of failure and resorting to traditions and best practices have their place in businesses, sometimes businesses need to take big risks to learn from the resulting experiences. Innovation comes from daring to be different and looking for alternatives that others discard so easily.
No matter how unconventional your leadership strategy is, what matters is that it suits your business and its company culture. True leadership is about providing what your company needs and pushing your colleagues to greater heights.
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