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Cultivating Excellence: The Journey of Leaders To Being ‘For All’

By Michelle Ferrari - GPTW® Mexico


By Michelle Ferrari | Director General - Tue, 09/26/2023 - 12:00

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In the realm of organizational transformation, leaders who steer their workplaces toward excellence are the catalysts for change. This metamorphosis is not one-sided — it is a synergetic relationship where the organization's evolution fuels the potential for these leaders to become true "For All" leaders. A "For All™" leader is one who molds a positive, consistent workplace experience, fostering trust in their team's capabilities, skills, and competencies.

Every successful and vibrant organization needs inspiring leaders who not only lead, but also guide and empower their team. Leadership goes beyond a title or position; it lies in the ability to positively influence others and a genuine commitment to driving collective growth. When leaders are dedicated to nurturing their team and building relationships based on trust, the foundation is laid for a work environment where ideas flow, innovation is fostered and challenges are overcome.

Beyond this, a "For All™" leader cultivates an emotional connection between team members and the organizational culture. They possess the ability to craft a coherent, effective strategy that permeates all levels of the business. Essential in their role is the art of listening to their associates and pursuing a path of continuous improvement — a journey that seamlessly integrates cultural transformation into everyday operations. Such leaders inspire others to utilize their influence to generate magnificence, propelling their companies and the individuals within them to new heights.

Michael C. Bush, Global CEO of Great Place To Work®, stated that one of our major goals is to inspire leaders to use their influence to foster greatness for their companies and the individuals within them.

Leaders with a vision for change are destined to transform their environment. It's an intricate blend of specific elements, encompassing teaching, training, discipline, and above all, experiences that ultimately shape a way of life, serving as an example for others, always geared toward positive leadership.

Did you know that leaders hold 50% responsibility for creating excellent workplaces? While the remainder is split between organizational practices and employees, leaders shape the "hows" of an organizational setting. The distinguishing factor between companies in the same sector lies in their employees, their leaders, and how they tackle challenges, as well as talent retention in work environments.

Offering training, mentoring and coaching programs allows employees to expand their skills and knowledge, making them more valuable and motivated. A culture that values and supports the growth of each individual not only drives excellence, but also fosters a sense of belonging and commitment to organizational goals.

What doesn't grow, declines, underscoring the importance of identifying areas of improvement for our leaders. This is why establishing a culture of measurement is imperative, not just for goals or performance indicators, but also for cultural metrics. Above all, listening to your employees and leaders is key. This must be an elemental tool.

There are countless measures we can implement to support leaders and elevate them to the next level. However, focusing on building trust between leaders and team members is imperative. Learning to establish work relationships grounded in credibility, respect, and fairness are essential components to achieve this evolution and transform into a "For All™" leader.

Great Place to Work has identified five levels of leadership to become a "For All" leader:

  1. The accidental leader, who achieved their position through good results but requires training in leadership.

  2. The unpredictable leader, whose management style may be inconsistent and favoritism-driven.

  3. The transactional leader, who is on the right track but inconsistent. Their focus on achieving KPIs hinders the development of personal connections necessary for employees to feel empowered and engaged. They stick to doing their job and nothing more.

  4. The good leader, who might perceive achieving their goals as a responsibility that solely falls on them. This leads to creating barriers that prevent them from being open and vulnerable.

  5. The "For All" leader, for whom leading by example is paramount. They do what they say. They have the ability to inspire loyalty, performance, and growth in everyone around them. They recognize that their position and results wouldn't be possible without others; they don't consider themselves more capable or intelligent. They lead with openness and flexibility. They never stop growing and improving in both hard and soft skills.

The methodology championed by Great Place to Work Mexico serves as a blueprint for this cultural metamorphosis. It empowers leaders to foster improved relationships with their teams. This transformation doesn't solely stem from top-tier positions; rather, it flourishes through the synergy of teamwork and a shared vision. The journey from being an emerging leader to a "For All" leader is marked by a continuous acquisition of skills, driven by the desire to lead and inspire others.

This path is paved with the principles of leadership and cultural transformation. By understanding and implementing these principles, leaders nurture an environment where individuals flourish, and collective success is celebrated. When employees are inspired to lead, committed to contribute their best and backed by a support network, human potential is unlocked to its fullest extent.

Photo by:   Michelle Ferrari

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