What do we mean by balanced leadership and how does this enable us to create a highly productive workforce? Balanced leadership is a combination of strength and warmth, where the leader employs both technical competencies and the softer “people” skills. Examples of technical competences, or strengths, include the skills usually listed on a resume, strategic planning, project management, goal setting, as well as industry specific training. Soft skills, often labeled as warmth skills, include the ability to communicate effectively, the ability to inspire, listen, and get along well with others.
Cultivating the ability to convey warmth is a secret sauce for leaders. A work force often under intense pressure to meet deadlines and feeling the stress of the job can create challenges. Yet, using balanced leadership to create a highly productive workforce and assist in solving these challenges is very possible.
Consider the Ants.
Here’s an example of a highly productive workforce. Ants, although small are incredibly hard working. If you have ever noticed a colony of ants, you see orderly lines of workers, often carrying heavy loads. But there is more to the inner workings of this organization. Like any highly productive workforce, they are united toward a common purpose—in their case, survival, growth and reproduction. They behave with a common focus which creates a superorganism.
In an ant colony, there are teams of workers, each using their unique skills and ability to drive toward the mission of the organization. The queen ant is the leader of the colony, but she relies heavily on her drones to sustain the colony. Since every ant knows his or her job responsibility and the contribution they deliver to the organization, the purpose is easily achieved.
Benefits of Using Balanced Leadership
A leader who models balanced leadership provides the structure necessary for highly productive teams to evolve and succeed. Respecting the talents of each individual and recognizing their contribution will continually motivate team members and sustain them through turbulent times.
Members of an organization’s workforce look to their leaders for a clearly articulated vision, and a clearly defined implementation process. Balancing these technical strengths with the ability to build relationships with staff provides the best results.
Effective leaders balance both strength and warmth. Take time to value staff members and communicate how they are moving the organization forward. Studies show that technical skills, intelligence, education and experience accounts for 15% of workplace success. 85% of workplace success comes from people skills! Balanced leadership not only allows for conveying strategies and goals being set. It also encourages continual professional growth within the workforce. It’s a huge payoff.
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