Every leader is different, and one way to understand those differences is by discerning whether your leader has more of a “business focus” or a “people focus” leadership style.
A business-focused leader shows they are more outcome-focused: goals, KPIs… that is where their eyes and communications focus. This sort of leader is all about measurable success per the goals that have been set for them and their team. In order to succeed around this focus, they need to be very very clear and direct and available communicators who emphasize the bottom line, quality and timeliness.
A people-focused leader also values quality, but they are more focused on the people in their team as a whole. They communicate to foster inspiration and positive team development to create healthy interactions in the workplace. They believe that continually achieving challenging goals must start with a focus on the people who do the work, how they are thinking and feeling. They also emphasize outcomes but more so they focus on ensuring that individuals are experiencing satisfaction, feeling buy-in and ultimately high motivation that will enable the results.
Both of these leadership styles are useful, but our experience in working with hundreds and hundreds of highly successful leaders in the workplace shows that the ideal style is a dual-focused leader. This leader naturally has a natural tendency that skews toward either a business or person-focus as their first set of thoughts. BUT over time, they have cultivated their leadership style to blend the positive qualities of BOTH styles. Not an “either-or”, but rather an “AND”.
This kind of leadership doesn’t develop overnight but rather takes a consistent, concerted effort to yield results.
You will have to go through some trial and error to determine what methods of developing dual-focused leadership will work best for you and the other leaders in your organization. Every leader has to start somewhere, we recommend starting with a focus on small practical daily interactions where you look to incorporate both.
Here’s how to begin developing a dual leadership focus in your daily life:
Practice - Pinpoint a specific situation that you want to lead well in - this can be anything, from a new project launch to a simple conversation with a team member.
List the business intentions that need to be front and center in this interaction.
- What outcomes are necessary?
- What constraints are important to consider?
- What timelines need to be communicated?
Now, list the people-intentions you have for this interaction or project.
- How do you want your team to feel when you communicate with them?
- What impact do your words need to have to create the desired outcome?
- How can you equip your team to do their absolute best in this situation?
And lastly, always - How and when are you going to check in around both the business and people intentions? How are you going to reinforce and coach around the progress that has been made to date and their thinking for the future?
Combining both lists gives you a powerful start to being a leader with dual focus!
It may feel tedious to approach your leadership with such a detailed eye, but the payoff will be completely worth it in the long run. When you go into an interaction with a dual focus leadership style, your team will walk away feeling both equipped and encouraged, confident in their abilities and they will be crystal clear about the path to success.
There isn’t a one size fits all approach to dual-focused leadership because every person has different natural leadership tendencies. While one leader in your company may need to focus less on numbers and more on their team, another leader may need to do the exact opposite. The beauty of this dual leadership practice is that they can both achieve the same superb results using the same process, despite their leadership differences!
If you want a Coach to help speed your leadership discovery journey, schedule a call with EngagedLeadership today! We can’t wait to help you and your leadership thrive.