Leadership Compass

The Importance of Practicing Promise-Based Leadership

Last Updated: Jun 8, 2022 | Leadership

Knowing how to skillfully bounce back when things don’t go as planned should always be part of your leadership strategy. But there’s a difference between failure and a lack of trying, or what’s more commonly known in the business world as failed execution.

With all of the dynamics that exist within teams, failed execution can take seemingly countless forms. Eliminating these snags requires reevaluating our leadership tactics and being more aware of what our people want and need to perform their best.

How do we encourage all of the moving cogs to synchronize, execute fully, and optimize the true potential of the team? Find out as we explore a leadership approach that hinges on a motivator we can all get behind: a promise.

Promises and Personal Accountability

Merriam-Webster defines making a promise as the act of“assur[ing] someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something; undertake or declare that something will happen.”

Promises revolve around accountability, and if you think about it, there’s a small promise either to ourselves or to others attached to every action we do at work. Having our own commitments keeps us personally linked to our motivation so we can effectively move a project forward. It ensures that our slice of responsibility is held up and that we improve next time when we drop the ball.

Promise-Based Leadership and Productivity

Leadership CompassIf you’re feeling stuck with your teams’ progress, getting back to promise-based leadership can reunite contributors with a source of energy and creativity. When each person is responsible for a promise, they’re more likely to feel a sense of purpose and urgency, two essential factors for taking initiative.

Establishing a series of promises has the power to bring team members closer, connecting one contributor to another. When a process requires one person to complete a task by a certain time so it can move to the next step and the next person, there’s more meaning and motivation attached to holding up your end of the bargain. Knowing that other people will be effected as a result of how you treat the promise encourages follow through.

Promises Create Structures for Success

In our work with teams that are confronting challenges, we teach two ways to move work forward. The first way is to make a promise to yourself, a personal oath that you’ll do XYZ by a set date.

The other way work gets done is to make a request of someone else to make a promise—for example, “Will you get me that report by Friday? When will you call him? When will you have the location set for that event?” Calling forth a promise from another person allows others to know and commit to a piece of the project.

With promises in play, employees are more engaged in their work, feel more connected to the project and team, and are more likely to follow through. When a chain of promises initiates, the result is what we’re all looking for: well-executed success.

Offsites Are Where Promises Take Shape

If you have a team that feels like its spinning its wheels, implementing promise-based leadership can help you reach a new level of team performance. Offsite facilitations are a great vehicle for evaluating a team’s current standing in order to move past obstacles, bring everybody onto the same page, and apply a promised-based process.

Download our free eBook The Executive’s Guide to Offsite Facilitations for all of the promises you need to make to create an offsite that puts your team back on the road to success!

The Executive’s Guide to Successful Offsite Facilitations

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