Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Learning The Softer Side Of Leadership

Learning The Softer Side Of Leadership is a blog post from Fast Company magazine. When I first saw a link to this post, my initial reaction was another soft and sappy article about holding hands and chanting together. I decided to click through anyway and see what the meat of the post was about. Turns out I really enjoyed the read and thought it would be worth sharing.

Our company, Hopkins Printing, has been going through a lean transformation for the last three plus years. It has been a difficult and time consuming process that has resulted in some great gains in productivity, engagement and improvement. One of the pieces we have added is an annual strategy session that results in three top goals that then drive department and personal goals for each person in the company. This is where we are in alignment with "Learning The Softer Side Of Leadership" because it focuses on getting everyone in the company aligned with the strategic goals of the company. The hard side of leadership is the daily activities and the "to do's" that consume so much of our time and energy. The soft side is trying to keep the mood and the attitude of the team moving in a unified direction.

Below is the headline for the blog post - "Leaders' primary objective is to empower others to make decisions and take actions that are aligned with the organization’s vision, purpose, and strategy. These nuances are the softer side of leadership, beyond the technical skills that you have already mastered." This statement gives the overall purpose of the post. Our job as leaders is to get the entire company moving in a unified direction. This is the softer side.

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