When executives ask me how to build a successful team, I always start with the same question: “What is your rhythm?” Rhythm in leadership is an interesting concept because it shows that you can’t be a great leader unless you have a rhythm. The reason why this makes sense is that it is part of human nature to desire predictability.
Rhythm is a natural quality that we all have, get and appreciate every day. We all go through cycles of energy, focus, and flow. The best leaders can create a rhythm that inspires and empowers their employees to act with energy, focus, and flow. This type of leadership is what I call “rhythm in leadership.” Rhythm in leadership creates a rhythm that inspires and empowers your employees to act with energy, focus, and flow. It’s being able to keep the beat of your business such that everyone else can follow along, find their groove and become inspired to do great work. Rhythms in music can inspire us emotionally and make us want to dance or sing, but rhythms are also based on mathematical patterns. The most common of these is the four-beat rhythm (or measure) commonly used in Western music.
The best leaders understand the importance of creating a natural rhythm for their team members by building consistency into the day-to-day actions of their businesses. By creating consistent rhythms, you will be able to keep the beat of your business such that your customers will find it easy to follow along, find their groove, and continue being inspired by you.
Let’s dive into how to create this rhythm of leadership.
What is Rhythm of Leadership?
Rhythm in leadership is the same as pulse. Pulse is the speed of your heartbeat- it is what keeps you alive. Rhythm of leadership is what keeps your people alive by keeping them engaged. It is essential to understand that people are not engaged by what you say; they are engaged by what you do. And when you do something different than that they can predict, they get scared and start worrying about why there was a change. They worry because they don’t know how to predict your actions anymore. The inability to predict your actions makes them disengaged from the work that they were doing before the change happened.
Rhythm of leadership is what I call the consistency you create in your leadership. It has to do with the way you walk into a room, the way you gather input, the way you make decisions, and the way you converse with others. Lack of rhythm in leadership is one of the leading causes of stress in organizations today. There are three reasons for this:
- Lack of consistency
Consistency is important. If you change your tone and approach, it will confuse your team. Change can be good and often necessary, but when you do make changes, be consistent about them so your team will know what to expect next.
- Lack of predictability
There is an epidemic of stress being reported in the workforce today. It’s an epidemic costing corporations billions of dollars every year and one that can be traced back to a single source: The absence of predictability.
Researchers found that the most stressful jobs are where workers find the least predictability in their day-to-day tasks. It is more than simply having to work extra hard or be creative–it is not knowing what you will be doing tomorrow or even today. This lack of certainty reduces workers’ self-efficacy or belief in their ability to do certain things.
- Lack of clarity
When things are clear, and there isn’t a lot of chaos, people will be more likely to stay on task. They also might be more productive because they don’t have to worry about not knowing what they’re supposed to be doing or if their efforts are being wasted. It can be easy for some employees to get distracted when things aren’t clear, so creating a rhythm in leadership will help keep everyone focused and working together.
Why does rhythm matter?
Strong leaders need to be consistent with their words and behaviors.
The benefits are great. People do not like change, and they do not like disruption. They like predictability and want to know what to expect from their leaders. A rhythm makes it easy for them to do so, but it also allows them to have a chance at knowing what is expected from them as well. You can clearly define your business goals and expectations when you have a rhythm. You can design more efficient processes and organize your team so that everyone knows what their part is and how they work together with the other parts.
Rhythm is the key to effective leadership. Taken from my personal experience, here are five benefits of having a rhythm of leadership in your organization:
- You recognize problems early on before they become big problems.
- You inspire your people.
- You get results by empowering others through their strengths to achieve their potential.
- You communicate effectively with all levels of staff in the organization – also when things aren’t going well.
- You create a culture where accountability is a way of life – not just another slogan or buzzword – because it’s built into your values, beliefs, and behaviors.
Once leaders have mastered their internal rhythm, they can develop those around them. This inner understanding of their role as a leader allows them to inspire people by helping them understand themselves better; how they fit into the bigger picture; how they can maximize their strengths; how they can make more money; how they can get promoted; how they can create a better work-life balance; and most importantly, how to motivate people to achieve their goals!
How can we create a rhythm of leadership?
The leadership rhythm keeps the whole team moving in sync and inspires them to be better every day. Rhythm is the key to effective leadership.
The rhythm of leadership is a combination of knowing what needs to be done and doing it well – at the right time, with the right people, and for the right reasons. It’s about understanding why you should do something, when you should do it, and who. It’s about knowing and understanding the people that you’re leading – their strengths, weaknesses, and motivations – so that you can empower them to achieve their full potential.
Here are some tips on how to create your rhythm in your organization:
- Create a rhythm by finding out what matters to your customers and communicating those values to your team. This will give your team a sense of direction and purpose, and it will also help align everyone towards the same intentions and goals.
- Tie everything back to what matters (your values and goals). This makes it clear to everyone what is their roles within the organization.
- Plan ahead, every week, month, and year so that you’re always one step ahead. For example, plan every week for each team member as though they are going away on holiday for two weeks. What can you delegate now? What can’t wait until they return? And what needs to be set up before they leave?
- Be consistent with your patterns of leadership and predictability so your team can count on you being there when they need you and knowing what will happen next.
- Create a schedule for meetings. When meetings are scheduled and adhered to, people know when they are expected to be present. They can also plan their time more efficiently because they know when events will occur. When people know the schedule and have created their rhythms around those events, they can work more efficiently without being asked to stick to a schedule.
There are different ways to create a rhythm in your leadership style, but you should make sure you have one.
When you create a rhythm for your leadership style, you free yourself from having to control everything going on around you. When people know what’s expected of them and how they fit into the bigger picture of your business, then they can be proactive in doing what they do best. A leader who can delegate responsibility so others can do their best work creates a strong foundation for success for their company.