The basic task of any leader is to create outcomes for their organizations. The nature of any type of business doesn’t really come into play, all business is created to produce results. It incumbent on the leader to be focused on performing at an optimum level and in turn allocating the resources and talent their teams to produce at their best. In order to create the space to create these outcomes, leaders must make clear boundaries and hold to those lanes.
Boundaries defines the leaders role. These boundaries clarify the reality of the leader’s duties and responsibilities. In every business, success or failure of the company stops at the leader’s desk, however, they cannot also be responsible for the roles of every person who reports to them, which is atypical of a micromanaging. Leaders cannot perform the tasks of everyone on their teams. Leaders must be crystal clear about their own set of tasks and those on their teams. Each person must know their role and perform.
There are three key boundaries for leaders to set:
- Organizational boundaries. The leader creates organization clarity so that each person is aware of their specific role on the team. Well-defined structure is key. There is a specific role, responsibility and expectation that are crafted for each team member to fill. When this is lacking, the team members has confusion about the part they play in the success of the company. While structure is needed, so is flexibility, there must be room for creativity and personal style within the structure. Nothing is so rigid that it cannot bend a bit. However, what cannot bend is the framework to which the role is created for the team member. That structure must be sturdy and strong.
- Learn When To Say “Yes” and “No”. The best leaders have mastered the art of knowing when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” Request for allocation of time, money and resources are at the heart of a leader’s day. Each of us as leaders experience these request over and over again. Our job as leaders is to handle this delicate dance with grace and a firm hand. With boundaries in place, we know when can agree to and what we cannot. Our boundaries allow us to elevate the guilt from saying no when we know that we cannot take on a project or to a person that may not be right for a position. When we are clear in our boundaries, our focus is clear, our mission and vision has clarity as well. We know the decisions we make are grounded in our ability to say yes to what makes the best business sense for our needs.
- Conflict Management. Conflict is always a path of pitfalls for many leaders. Whether it is performance issues or behavior or attitude problems, leaders face a reality of that in their daily dealings, conflict will happen. Effective leaders with clear boundaries have the upper hand in such dealing by being direct and honest yet caring in such situations. The best leaders can have the hard talks that come and maintain alliances. Boundaries keep you ahead of the game in such situations and help you tell the truth when the truth needs to be spoken.
Boundaries are another way leaders lead from their core values. Leaders stay in their lane, know when to agree and when to speak the truth for benefit of all they serve. To #bealeader is know that your boundaries set the foundation for rock solid leadership.