Out-Centric Leadership Skills
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
Effective managers of the future will be less hierarchical and will need to increase the communication and collaboration between everyone in the workplace. This shift from “top-down” management to “alongside” structured workplaces will include out-centric strategies that will focus on developing employees and teams so all members of the business can be active and valued contributors. Managers will want to listen rather than dictate so they can meet the needs of all team members and empower them to become the best they can be in life and in work. Here are some key behaviors that can help you become an out-centric leader:
- Start with a clearly communicated vision and select a few key priorities and metrics for the department to focus on. This will help you tell a story about what your department is trying to do and how it is contributing to the whole. This “story” should resonate with all employees across your team.
- Out-centric leaders make sure everyone knows the "why" behind their work and this sense of purpose is one of the keys to motivating employees. Help connect the dots from the company priorities down to the goals of your team and each individual so they can see the context and purpose of their daily work.
- Ask the right questions. Instead of just looking at figures on spread sheets, ask employees for their unique insights and perspectives. What issues do they see from their vantage point? What direction do they think is important to keep things on track, or to be successful in the future?
- Make hiring a strategic priority so you can be on the lookout for individuals who can bring significant value to the organization and your department. Don’t leave the hiring solely to HR to simply fill an empty seat.
- Know who your valuable employees are. An out-centric leader can always name the top performers and understands that she must stay close to those team members who create the most value for the company. Continue to invest in their development and work to align their talents with the organization's goals.
In the future, leaders who can influence, inspire and bring people together are the ones who will outperform the competition and shine. Mastering these habits is a great place to start.