As we move beyond disruption in the labor market, we can be optimistic. Highs and lows naturally come in waves, so when the highs do happen, we need to be prepared to capitalize on them. Making the most of these great moments will propel you further, even leading to rare opportunities you may have otherwise missed out on. No one wants to leave potential wins on the table, so how do we make the best moves?
A growth mindset enables you to take advantage of these highs. Just staying above water won’t be enough to find the most success beyond disruption. The optimal path involves building your teams and organization so you can round the curve at the most opportune moments. It’s up to leaders to steer the ship exactly where it needs to go.
Create a Strong Sense of Direction for Your Teams
Direction and attitude are often the most critical dimensions for leadership teams. When your employees and team members lack a sense of direction, it’s easy for them to feel rudderless. This can lead to a lack of focus and engagement. Similarly, when the direction is there but the attitude is hostile or otherwise lackluster, teams won’t feel as motivated as they could be.
A strong sense of shared direction comes from leaders who know where to go and how to get there. When you see an untapped opportunity in the market or when the stars begin to align for a potential winning project, guide your teams to make these wins down the line. Even if you can’t realistically accomplish these goals in the short term, if they’re lucrative enough for future growth, take the risk and prepare for them now. Be sure to keep clear, consistent communication around these risks and goals. You’ll get ahead of the competition that much faster, and your teams will appreciate your foresight.
The strength of this direction also comes from a great attitude. The best leaders know how to motivate their teams with shared optimism. Reassure your teams that you’re on the right track and that the work they’re putting in will pay off. If anything happens to be amiss, guide team members in the right direction while continuing to stress the importance of your stated goals. Early course corrections will keep everyone on the right track.
Find Shared Purpose Between Your Organization and Your Teams
Working toward future goals is always worthwhile, as long as they align with your organization’s purpose. Going after that lucrative sale might not be so lucrative if it doesn’t make sense for the business as a whole. Your teams’ goals and purpose should naturally align with the company.
When you’re able to pursue projects that feel right for your business, your teams will notice the synergy. They’ll be able to integrate the organization’s purpose with their own. This is how you’ll find the most success. Whether that’s creating the best sustainable products or providing world-class services to your customers, the smart move is to ensure your teams’ goals work in tandem with your organization’s intention.
Maintain a Genuine Sense of Trust and Connection
When your teams trust you as a leader, they’re more willing to embrace your ideas and work harder toward the desired outcome. Ideally, they should feel connected with each other as well, empowering them to collaborate as a strong unified front. Creating a safe space for your teams keeps them agile and adaptable, bringing out their best ideas and their best work.
There are two core behaviors you can model to build trust in your teams. First is constructive conflict resolution. This is when you surface issues openly and honestly, then address them in a way that doesn’t make things personal or damage relationships. Being an empathic but firm leader during challenges will increase trust, improve innovation and create better problem-solving on your teams. Secondly, practicing servant leadership can help you build trust because you’ll prioritize understanding the needs and growth of team members as individuals. You’ll then use this knowledge to guide and support these needs alongside the teams’ overall goals. By being a servant leader, trust is increased as team members feel valued, respected and engaged in their work.
Nothing is possible without great teams and teamwork. Your ideas won’t get off the ground and aspirations won’t become reality. But when you have rockstar teams that trust you and your leadership, that’s when the magic happens. Guiding and directing your teams through disruption and beyond can lead to exponential growth in the future. When you have a vision and foresight that your teams believe in, your business will come out on top in the end—no matter how long it takes.
Originally posted to the Forbes Human Resources Council blog here.