3 Reasons Why Leadership is about Looking Inwardly

Today in conversation with a leader, she mentioned how everyone else was to blame – different team members, partners to the business – she took no responsibility for the part that she plays in it all. I called it out pretty quickly and we had a VERY good heart to heart.

Self–awareness is beyond critical as a leader. We must recognise when we’re overstepping boundaries, miscommunicating, laying blame, lacking initiative, stuck in old ways, and avoiding key issues.

Taking responsibility for one’s own actions and way of thinking is paramount.

It doesn’t mean we can then always not make mistakes or “get it right”. Stop needing to get it right or worrying about getting it wrong. Shoot for finding “the ideal” way as a leader – making progress. Think ideal for right now, where the team is at, the business is at, and where it needs to go.

Here are three of my top tips for ensuring you shift the focus to reflect inwardly, instead of placing the blame elsewhere.

Tip 1 – Set the tone for the business:
Tourism leaders set the tone by embodying the values, mission, and vision of the business. This sets the atmosphere for the team and is essential for creating a positive and productive work environment. If the business says ‘Customers’ are really important and yet, on a day to day basis, there is no focus on relationship building in the sales process over the phone or online, no rapport at front desk or a welcome or acknowledgement by senior leadership/business executives, then are they truly valuing customers? If the leader walks past customers in the corridor or walkways of the resort and ‘ignores’ them, then do they ‘truly’ value customers?

If they don’t provide effective and timely communication with their customers – is that really valuing the customer? If the leader says communication is really important, yet doesn’t hold regular 1-1’s, cancels team meetings, is constantly late to meetings (without providing the team with an updated timing), or actually does keep to schedule out of respect for everyone’s time – what is that really communicating or miscommunicating?

Many team members start to believe that leader is really ineffective with time management and unconsciously they feel that their leader doesn’t care about them and so perhaps why should they care as much either? It starts to drive complacency, and an atmosphere of “why bother, it’s not that important, they (the leader) doesn’t really care, so why should I?”

Tip 2 – Drive business growth:
Tourism leaders are responsible for driving business growth, and this requires leaders to be proactive, innovative, and adaptable to change. If we’re constantly reactive, chasing our tails, firefighting instead of being proactive or if we think we have to stick with the way things have always been, or how the business has always done it, we’ll struggle to keep up and maintain or drive any business growth. For us to drive this business growth, we need to be open-minded, even growth-minded, focused on continuous improvement across all departments and areas of the business.

This is regardless of what sector you’re in, or what region, state or country your tourism product or service is located in. As tourism leaders we cannot lay blame to the economy, the airlines, our RTO or even other products and competition. Take ownership of driving business growth through developing oneself personally and professionally; looking inwardly, so that the business can develop.

Tip 3 – Develop new skills:
To overcome the challenges of the tourism industry and drive business growth, leaders must continually develop new skills. Whilst we will all have natural strengths, we also have gaps in our capabilities. Some call them weaknesses, I call them gaps. These gaps come from where we may over-utilise our thinking (it can be dominant) and perhaps we under-utilise other areas of thinking. We want a balance of thinking that suits our role, the growth phase of the business and ultimate needs of individuals, them team and business. So we have to stop, reflect and assess; what is needed for me to achieve X or Y in this business this year.

Perhaps it might be about managing priorities, time management, or timely decision-making. Maybe managerial courage or conflict management. For some, perhaps managing through systems, negotiating or problem-solving. We all have strengths and challenges with our thinking that drive our behaviours and ultimately how we experience our working environment, and importantly how others perceive us. Sometimes our intention of how we’re being as a leader, can be very differently perceived by our team, our industry colleagues or peers. Therefore we need to hone our skills, and refine our capabilities so that we can be effective and efficient as a leader.

How are you tracking as a leader?
If 10/10 is you’re being highly effective as a leader and 0/10 is you’re being highly ineffective as a leader, how do you think you’re tracking?

How do you measure it to know? Do you have a system for measuring your success as a leader?
If you were to ask the same question about your leadership effectiveness of your team members, what do you think they would say about you?

If you were to ask the same question of your customers, what do you think they might say about your leadership?

If you were to ask other partners, suppliers, products that know you and work with you, what do you think they might say about your leadership?

Is it time to look inward for some self-reflection?

We highly recommend using our Thought Code profiling tools to self-assess as an individual or as a team and/or for the business, likewise our 360 profiling experience is a great way to stop, reflect and review feedback from self and others.

Genevieve “M Matters ”

P.S Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you develop and work on your business leadership capabilities:

  1. Grab a free copy of Smash Indecision and Overwhelm, 4 Steps for Better Business Leadership E-book
    It’s the road map to overcoming doubt and indecision, how to deal with “overwhelm” to improve your business leadership capabilities. —Click Here
  1. Join the Tourism Business Leader’s Facebook group and connect with like-minded leaders focused on building highly effective teams
    It’s our Facebook community where smart leaders get to learn more about creativity, leadership and performance for tourism business success. —Click Here
  1. Join our Tourism Pro-Team Program
    Helping tourism business leaders develop their skills to improve engagement, accountability and performance of the team. If you’d like to work with me so you can stop being reactive, have the difficult conversations and drive performance to get the results you want and know the business need then…message PRO to me here and I’ll get you all the details.
  1. Let’s get the Whole Team Together
    Would you like a different perspective and someone else at the front of the room or on zoom/teams to lead regular and consistent team building, accountability, and engaging learning experiences, that drive results and outcomes for individuals, teams, and the business? If you feel a little challenged with everything going on, maybe sounding like a cracked recorded saying things repeatedly, or actually not 100% how to motivate and inspire the team, given the current nature of business, it may be useful for us to chat. Message TEAM to me here… and tell me a little about the business, your team, and what you’d like to work on together.

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