Leadership Hacks That Make an Immediate Impact
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If you’re running an advisory firm, you’re a leader. As your firm grows, your leadership skills become more important. Yet, relatively few advisors are trained to lead.
There are many studies that provide aspiring leaders with sound guidance on how to manage your firm, and how to create a happy, collegial and productive environment.
Motivating your colleagues and staff is a critical skill. A recent study found that positive messaging was more effective than messages based on fear in persuading participants to wear masks for protection against COVID-19.
The study found emphasizing protection for others and focusing on unity, personal experiences and the underlying rationale for face coverings were most effective at achieving compliance. Personal stories from individuals affected by COVID-19 were particularly impactful.
Conversely, negative, threatening or overly instructive messaging was deemed less effective.
Other studies (summarized here) found that positive reinforcement of behavior makes it more likely that behavior will be repeated. Those studies found, “ample evidence supporting the motivating impact of simply feeling appreciated for a job well-done.”
Efforts to punish someone for perceived undesirable behavior (like docking pay for chronic lateness) are less effective. Better results are achieved by addressing the source of the problem and adding positive reinforcement, like permitting the employee to work at home or assigning a parking spot closer to the office entrance.
To motivate your employees, heed this advice: “managers help people see themselves as they are; Leaders help people to see themselves better than they are” (Rohn, 2014).
Other leadership hacks
This article provides a wealth of information about additional leadership hacks that foster a productive, collegial work environment. They include:
- First-class benefits;
- Adding humor to the workplace;
- Making it easier for employees to exercise;
- Tuition assistance; and
- Availability of childcare.
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A walk in the park
I see a lot of stressed advisors. There’s a simple hack that relieves stress and promotes happiness.
I recently suffered a personal loss. I co-founded a private company more than two decades ago with a wonderful person who ran the company. I was largely a passive investor. He died all too young from complications of a chronic disease. While his death was not entirely unexpected, it still came as a shock. I was deeply upset and feeling generally low.
I made a change to my daily exercise routine. Instead of going to the gym, I started taking long walks. I’m still sad, but my walks were immediate mood enhancers.
A recent study validated my experience. The study involved 60 healthy older adults. They took weekly “awe walks” for just 15 minutes, over an eight-week period. An “awe walk” is “a stroll in which you intentionally shift your attention outward instead of inward.”
The group that took the “awe walks” reported greater joy and positive emotions during their walks and were generally happier than the control group. They also perceived less stress in their daily lives, and diminished negative emotions.
If you or your colleagues need a quick “happiness fix,” consider scheduling a regular “awe walk.”