PACED Leadership and How You Can Use It

The 5 Actions of PACED Leadership and How Can You Use Them

by Sara J. Baker, Ed.D.

We are in the middle of a leadership reformation.

Leaders around the world are realizing that the traditional ways of leading no longer work. The old style of top-down leadership is being replaced with a new way of leading based on five powerful leadership actions, which we call PACED leadership. These five actions, when put into practice, will help you see growth in your team, a positive shift in the culture and less stress for you.

The Leadership Reformation blog and online leadership development courses were created specifically for leaders who are ready to take their leadership to the next level by learning how to incorporate these 5 actions into their daily leadership.

What are the 5 Actions of the PACED Leadership Approach?

You will read a lot of articles and books with unbelievably long lists of what is supposedly needed to be a good leader. Unfortunately, those lists sometimes make it feel almost impossible to measure up.

Luckily, it turns out, that being a good leader is not about being able to check off abstract ideas on a long checklist of discrete characteristics.

Being a good leader is actually about incorporating five deliberate actions into your daily activities, leadership actions that are intentional and are proven to show real results for real people.

The PACED leadership actions form a well-rounded leadership strategy that results in higher morale, higher levels of employee engagement and higher achievement of team goals. PACED is an acronym that helps you remember the essential 5 actions of a leader that should be implemented on a daily basis to create a positive, healthy work environment. The PACED strategy is highly effective in improving toxic workplaces and removing toxicity on teams.

The PACED Leadership Actions are:

PACED leadership includes purpose, accountability, courage, empowerment and development

Let’s take a closer look at each one of these leadership actions and see why they are so important in being an effective leader.

Purpose

Another key role of leaders is to help others understand their purpose or “why.” This means helping them see the bigger picture and connect their individual goals to the organization’s overall mission. It also means helping them find meaning in their work and motivating them to do their best.

A leader can do this simply by helping someone connect the dots between what they do every day and how that helps, really helps, to make someone else’s day brighter. For example, a customer service representative might not see how her work affects the company’s bottom line. But a leader can help her understand that by providing great customer service, she is making it more likely that customers will come back and buy again and, perhaps even more importantly, that customer’s day was made better because of the employee. This connection can help the team member feel more motivated to do her best work and feel more fulfilled.

You can use the questions below to help you think through how you incorporate purpose into leading your team:

  • What is our company’s mission?
  • How does my team’s work help to achieve that mission?
  • Do I help my team see the connection between their individual goals and the organization’s overall mission?
  • If not, what can I do to help my team see that connection?
  • What can I do to help my team find meaning in their work?
  • What can I do to motivate my team to do their best work?

Accountability for All

The second action of PACED Leadership is providing clear accountability for your team and for yourself. This means setting clear expectations and then following up to make sure those expectations are met. It also means being accountable for your own actions and taking responsibility when things go wrong. When you set the example of being accountable, your team will follow suit.

One way to provide clear accountability is to set expectations and then follow up. For example, a leader might say, “We need the new marketing drafts to present to the focus group on Monday.” The leader would then follow up to make sure those expectations are met. If someone is not meeting expectations, the leader would have a conversation to find out why and help the team member get back on track.

Accountability isn’t about getting people in trouble when they make a mistake. It’s about setting clear expectations and then providing the resources, professional development and coaching to help people meet those expectations.

5 actions of PACED leadership

You can use the questions below to help you think through how you provide accountability for your team:

  • What are my top priorities?
  • What are the expectations I have for my team?
  • What does accountability look like in my organization?
  • How can I provide clear accountability to my team?
  • How do I react when things go wrong?
  • What expectations do I need to set for my team?
  • How will I follow up to make sure those expectations are met?
  • What resources, professional development and coaching will I provide to help my team meet those expectations?

Courage

Leaders must have courage. This means facing difficult conversations head-on, making tough decisions and being willing to stand up for what you believe in. It also means being vulnerable and admitting when you’re wrong. Leaders who show courage inspire others to do the same.

When your team is facing a very challenging project, it’s important to show courage and be a role model for them. A courageous leader will stay positive, be supportive and provide encouragement. She will also be willing to take risks and try new solutions. This can help her team feel more confident and motivated to succeed.

5 actions of PACED leadership

You can use the questions below to help you think through how you are courageous in difficult situations as a leader:

  • What are some difficult conversations I need to have?
  • What tough decisions do I need to make?
  • What do I believe in?
  • Am I afraid to take risks and try new solutions?
  • When was the last time I was vulnerable and admitted when I was wrong?
  • What can I do to be a role model for my team?
  • What can I do to stay positive and encourage my team?
  • What risks am I willing to take?
  • What new solutions am I willing to try?

Empowering Your Team

The final action to focus on is empowering your team. This means giving them the authority to make decisions, delegating work and providing a clear vision for the future. It also means trusting your team and letting them take risks. When you empower your team, they will be more successful and you will be less stressed.

A leader can empower the people on her team by delegating authority and giving them the freedom to make decisions. For example, a leader might say to her team, “I trust your judgment. Make whatever decisions you need to in order to get the job done.” This delegation of authority can help the team feel more empowered and motivated to succeed.

You can use the questions below to help you think through how you empower your team:

  • Do I give my team the authority to make decisions?
  • Do I delegate work?
  • If not, what tasks can I delegate to my team?
  • Do I provide a clear vision for the future?
  • If not, what vision do I need to provide for my team?
  • Do I trust my team?
  • If not, what can I do to build trust with my team?
  • What can I do to help my team feel more empowered?

Developing and Coaching Others

One of the most important roles of a leader is to help develop others. This means providing coaching and feedback, setting clear goals and helping the team identify their strengths and weaknesses. It also means being a mentor and supporting others as they grow in their careers.

An example of how a leader might coach someone on their team is by providing feedback after a presentation. The leader might say, “I noticed you were fidgeting a lot during your presentation. Next time, try to take a few deep breaths and relax your body.” This feedback can help the team member improve their skills and be more successful in the future.

5 actions of PACED leadership

You can use the questions below to help you think through how you coach and develop your team:

  • Do I give feedback regularly?
  • Do I set clear goals for my team?
  • If not, what goals do I need to set for my team?
  • Do I help my team identify their strengths and weaknesses?
  • If not, what can I do to help my team identify their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What can I do to support others as they grow in their careers?
  • How can I provide coaching and feedback that is helpful?

Ready to Be Part of the Leadership Reformation?

When you focus on these five essential leadership actions, you will see growth in your team, a positive shift in the culture and less stress for you. Being a leader is a lot of work but it is also an incredibly rewarding experience. So focus on these five actions and watch your team thrive!

So what are you waiting for? Join the leadership reformation and start seeing positive changes today!

Dr. Sara Baker, Founder of the Leadership Reformation

About the Author

Dr. Sara Baker is a thought leader in the area of positive leadership and healthy workplaces. With over 20 years of experience leading private and public organizations, she understands the challenges that employees face every day.

Sara is the author of Toxic Workplace Survival Guide, an essential resource for anyone who wants to thrive in spite of a toxic work environment or who is ready to quietly quit. In addition to her writing, Sara provides online courses for leadership development and coping with a toxic workplace.

Sara enjoys spending time with her family and friends on her farm in Texas.

Dr. Sara Baker, Founder of the Leadership Reformation

About the Author

Dr. Sara Baker is a thought leader in the area of positive leadership and healthy workplaces. With over 20 years of experience leading private and public organizations, she understands the challenges that employees face every day.

Sara is the author of Toxic Workplace Survival Guide, an essential resource for anyone who wants to thrive in spite of a toxic work environment or who is ready to quietly quit. In addition to her writing, Sara provides online courses for leadership development and coping with a toxic workplace.

Sara enjoys spending time with her family and friends on her farm in Texas.

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