Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

The power of leadership by dialog and involvement

Posted in strategy and planning by Timothy Platt on January 17, 2011

I have recently posted two installments to what is becoming a small and informal series on effectively leadership:

The power of leadership by example and
The power of leadership by open door.

I add a third posting to this set here and my focus is on communications and making them effectively two-way.

Effective leaders know the limitations to what they know and to their hands-on skills. They do not simply dictate their own best solutions, even if they do make the final decisions as to which paths and solutions will be followed. They ask opinion and involve the people they work with.

• This opens the door to a wider range of experience and insight, and can bring immediate hands-on experience with the issues under discussion into the discussion.
• This instills a sense of belonging and ownership for the solutions and approaches that are selected. In this, it is not as important that the approach championed by a particular member of the team be followed, as it is that they be heard and that they have a chance to share their insight and concerns.

These three postings in fact all connect together as part of a single leadership style and approach. I offer them as one that experience has shown me to work, and long term, and in the face of business challenge. In that, it is when a business or other organization is challenged that leadership style becomes important.

As a final thought here I make note of what I know to be obvious to all. We have all been going through a difficult period, and for both businesses and industries, and for local, national, regional and global economies. The challenge this creates makes it more likely that a new or established business will fail than it does that a new startup or early stage will succeed, and certainly when the overall numbers are considered.

Look to your business processes and operations, and to your strategy and planning. Look to see how competitive your products and services are and for cost-effective ways to make them more competitive and look to your business’ marketing and communications to the marketplace. But look to how you lead too, and with an eye to improving internal communications both in and out of your office. Keep your door open to insight and information, and to opportunity from within your organization itself. Everyone there has a vested interest in the business they work for succeeding. And lead by positive example.

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