A Lesson on Leadership from SHRM 2015

July 07, 2015 by Raymond Lee

A baseball team suffers without a good coach. An orchestra falters without a good conductor. A business fails without a good manager. In any group, the quality of leadership determines the quantity of success. And according to author, researcher, and leadership expert Marcus Buckingham, a good leader is paramount to success.

As a keynote speaker at the 2015 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference in Las Vegas, Buckingham highlighted the shift in what leadership means for the modern workplace. He believes that the modern workplace should stop focusing on the best leadership and instead focus on what the best leaders do.

Then what do the best leaders do? Most importantly, they communicate – especially with their team members. Buckingham emphasized the importance of a leader regularly “checking in” with his or her employees. While a seemingly obvious task, it is one that easily gets overshadowed by the many other things a leader has to do. Buckingham insists, however, that if a team is to work effectively, a leader needs to ensure the whole team knows the best way to work toward its goal. In addition, a leader needs to make sure each employee is using his or her own strengths to accomplish the goal most efficiently (a central focus of Buckingham’s book and strength assessment system StandOut).

A leader must keep up the balance between the unified team purpose and each individual’s role within the team. To do so, Buckingham’s company TMBC has released eight questions centered on both the “We” (team aspects) and the “Me” (personal aspects) that team leaders should be asking their employees. The questions are:

These questions allow team members to self-reflect and allow leaders to understand their employees. They make sure employees know that their leader is listening. They also make sure leaders know the standing of their employees. Simple check-ins from a leader can make all the difference in the work a team can accomplish.

These questions and Marcus Buckingham’s overall leadership ideology are valuable tools to promote the focus, effectiveness, and happiness of employees in today’s modern business world. Do your company’s leaders follow these leadership communication concepts?

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee is the President of Careerminds, a global outplacement company based in Wilmington, Delaware. He has over 20 years of human resource, outplacement, and career consulting experience. He has his bachelor’s in psychology and holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University. He is active in SHRM and ATD. Raymond’s been featured on SiriusXM Business Radio, CareerTalk, and the Wall Street Journal and he’s published a book titled, Clocking Out: A Stress-Free Guide to Career Transitions.

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