What is the most important role of a leader? Preventing drift and staying on track. Preventing drift in our own personal leadership behaviour and ensuring that we don’t go ‘off track’, preventing our teams from drifting off our target and goals, preventing financial drift – so much of a leaders and managers role is about preventing drift! Leaders and teams that drift do not meet expectations, and are often inefficient and ineffective in what they do. A team can drift off task easily – particularly in times of stress and if the team leaders struggles with difficult conversations.
What is Leadership Drift?
Drift is when you set a path, course, vision or purpose – and you start to move away (consciously or unconsciously) from what was planned or agreed. Drift manifests itself in a number of ways:
- Not being clear in the direction you, the team and the business are heading,
- Not getting ‘everyone on board’ and agreeing on the behaviours required to stay on track,
- Not being clear on the behaviours you want (and cheering them on!) and the behaviours you don’t (and correcting them quickly),
- Not walking the talk on your own behaviours and holding yourself to account (or letting others hold you to account)
- Avoiding small and awkward conversations on standards, goals and behaviours until they become large, difficult conversations (when you have ‘drifted’ well off track), and
- Not clearly communicating milestones, wins and near misses in performance.
To prevent drift, you first have to have a clear understanding of your goals, your targets and the behaviours that you need to achieve them. You also need to have a willingness to interact and engage with your team daily, encouraging and praising good work (yes, even if it is ‘their job’) to stay on track, and coaching and correcting when you drift.
Are You Drifting As A Leader?
Ask yourself a difficult question or two:
- Where has your performance drifted? What will you do to correct it?
- Where has your teams performance drifted? What has been your place in letting it happen? What little correction can you make today?
- Where has your business drifted? At the start of the new FY, what course can you set to correct it?
The First Step To Correct DRIFT For A Leader- Know Where You Are Now
Are you drifting as a leader? Are you or your team ‘off track’? If you are unsure whether you are drifting or not, you should complete the Velocity Leadership CheckPoint.
25 behavioural leadership traits, focussed in 5 distinct leadership capabilities – a ‘must know’ for any leader or team looking to drive high performance and stay on track for the long term. If you haven’t completed the CheckPoint, get in touch with us today to arrange an appointment. Read through the comments and feedback from those that have – many say that it has had a profound effect on how they lead and perform within a team.