We know what bad leadership looks and feels like, now let’s define what great leadership is! What am I missing? In the comment section, please add your observations.
Great Leadership Is:
• Always learning
• Continuously believing
• A servant leader
• One that is faithful to your word
• Always looking for, and believing the best of your team, even when they've failed
• Eliciting the assistance of a gifted team of people who you trust.
• Delegating your weaknesses without being threatened by the gifted employees who have greater knowledge, experience, and expertise
• Celebrating your team’s wins, while monitoring their failures, without projecting that they are failures.
• When you can say, "The buck stops here!"
• Living with a high level of integrity
• Is responsible for setting a positive atmosphere while smashing negativity
• Finding subject matter experts to compensate for your gaps
• Being the same person in private as in public
• Creating a synergistic climate through your positive expectations of what CAN be done
• Able to delegate and follow-through consistently
• Asking the hard questions and uncovering what is, and what is not working Being able to honestly assess the difficult results, while taking responsibility for all outcomes, good and bad
• Being able to LISTEN to your staff to hear what’s missing, not just what you want to hear
• Valuing the process by not cutting corners to acquire what you want sooner than the process demands
• Trusting that when you delegate a project you won’t need to micromanage to acquire great results
• Admitting when you’re wrong without giving excuses or blame-shifting to take the focus off your own mistakes
• Accomplishing the same expectations you have of others
• Casting realistic visions while navigating and keeping the ship on course
• Putting a demand on yourself, as much as on others
• Seeing the gifting, talent, and possibility in others. Then extrapolating the outcomes for the furtherance of the vision as well as for the personal growth of the person
• Inspirational and motivational
• Able to make the least on your team feel as though they have important contributions to make.
• Taking responsibility and able to say, “I was wrong!” when appropriate
• Guides and navigates without using manipulation
• So secure you don’t need to feed on the accolades or appreciation others. You “are” confident and competent
• Always growing in your skills, knowledge, and confidence
• Giving credit where credit is due
• Being humble
Leadership means casting vision. It is creating a vivid picture of a possible future that is exciting to be a part of. It is eliciting belief in your staff that creates a confidence in you, the leader, that you know where they are going, and can, with their help, take them there. Whether you’re solving a problem, or creating a new reality, it’s making the world a better place because of the piece you and your company plays in it. So how do you get this across? A lot of leaders/managers use power point, but could you get your points across better by weaving them into a compelling story? Personally, I believe people remember stories more than they remember graphs and charts. In this video you’ll see a gifted story teller, Robert McKee give an example of the benefit of using stories. And you don’t have to be casting vision to do this. It could be used for expressing everyday objectives in a fresh new way.">/0.jpg" alt="YouTube Preview Image" />
You be the judge, and try it some time when you’re wanting to emphasize a key point that you need your staff to remember. And just like any skill, it takes time to develop it until it is truly effective. Don’t give up after one try, there is a learning curve!
Are you discouraged, depressed, out of ideas as to what to do next? Ready to quit? Well, don’t, instead, FIRE yourself. “WHAT?” you say, “FIRE MYSELF??? You must be nuts.” No, I’m serious. Fire yourself, and then get out of town. Go to the mountains, the beach, somewhere you look forward to going. For my husband and I, it’s a lovely upscale cabin in Oak Creek Canyon, right by the creek. Next, turn everything over to a senior staff member. Pack up a good book, or a comedy on DVD. Here’s the key though: DO NOT think about work; anything about work; work you left behind; anything at the location of your work. Then, communicate with anyone you must, that you are NOT available unless under dire emergency, and even then make them try to handle issues themselves. Now, put your cell phone on vibrate, and when you reach your destination, only think about where you currently are. You need a huge “mental vacation” from worry, anxiety, fear and all the negative junk clogging your mind. If you say you just can’t do this, that you can’t just take off like this. I’ll telling you straight up, that if you keep going down the track you’ve been on, you’re going to end up losing your company or key clients anyway! Next, you unequivocally must take as long off as you possibly can, without being irresponsible. Of course, you must take into consideration the ability of the one you put in charge. Now, act like you don’t have any responsibilities. Do as many enjoyable things as possible. Especially, and this is key, take time to meditating and/or praying. This will renew and invigorate your mental capacities. Discipline yourself to think only about good things, without allowing your mind wander. Capture any wrong thoughts and do a rewind. Be wholly present on your mental vacation, enjoy just “being”. Lastly, in three to seven days, you’ll know when it’s time, FIRE yourself up, and re-hire yourself. You’ll come back invigorated, refreshed, and you’ll probably even enter one of the most creative zones you’ve encountered in a long time. You may even have some inspirational new ideas that will save yourself from the trauma and hemorrhage you were previously undergoing. This is what I call taking a “Mental Fast”. The purpose is to clear your infected leadership palette, reigniting your vision and mental state of being.
Now, would you like to know how to avoid encounter this self sabotaging, poisonous position again? Take one day off a week and do the above. One day do NOT work, NOT even think about your company and the next big things you’re going to do. I truly believe we were created with this divinely directed strategic plan for our mental well being. Try it, I dare you. I know most won’t, but I’m a dreamer, someone will. And if you do, please let me know 1. How you were able to do it – it takes discipline, more than it does to keep doing the things you’ve always done, and thinking the way you’ve always thought. And 2. How it’s affected you, your business, and your family life. Cheers!
- Don’t take any time to get to know any of your staff, barely know their name, or call them by the wrong name.
- Don’t listen to your employees when they bring up an issue. Ignore their concern and then let your body language show that you’re displeased. That way they’ll never bring up anything again.
- Expect your employees to know their job requirements, even though you have never explained the parameters of the work, their realm of authority, to whom they report to, or who else they need to collaborate with. – Just expect them to be mind readers!
- Only thank them or show appreciation when you want them to sacrifice more or, work overtime. They won’t get that this is manipulation.
- When those who are loyal, and genuinely want to see you to succeed bring you a concern or issue, be sure to take it as criticism. Assume they want your job; or are positioning themselves to take over the organization; want control; or have other ulterior motives.
- Walk by your employees, and when they stop to talk to you explain, “I don’t do small talk” and just keep walking. Better yet, have your office manager send out a memo explaining to your employees how important you are, and therefore they are not to expect you to stop and talk to them, that you are too busy. They’ll then get the message they aren’t important, and realize their “place” in the organization!
- Be sure you’ve already chosen your favorite person for any new position, before you actually post the job. This way when other employees, who have been hoping and praying for a new position to open up, come to the interview, you won’t be swayed by their enthusiasm, emotion, or recent credentials they’ve recently earned to make themselves more valuable to the company.
- Institute rules and standards for the whole staff that are really directed toward one person. By all means save yourself from any confrontation by never dealing with the problem people. Allow them get away with BREAKING office policy, or better yet, let some get away with it, and others not. This way you can have different standards for different people, and play favorites.
- Place blame, then ignore them, talk poorly about them, without ever checking or corroborating the facts of the matter. Certainly never give them an opportunity to explain their side of the story.
- Never respond to their e-mails, or when you do, be sure to do it a week late. This way they’ll learn not to bother you with this form of communication.
Unfortunately, all leaders have done one or more of these at one point or another in their career. Those that learn from these particular mistakes, and work to eliminate this kind of negative behavior, while at the same time are adding excellent people skills to their management/leadership style, are those who won’t just surviving in this difficult day and age, but will thrive. When it all gets down to it, the important thing in business is PEOPLE. Those people that are your customers or clients, as well as those who work for you. Treat them well, and your business will flourish!
WITHOUT THIS YOU WON’T GO FAR AS A LEADER
You might think it’s having vision, or big picture thinking. You may ascertain it’s reading a financial spread sheet, or negotiating a big deal, but there’s one thing that will break you quicker than anything else, whether you’re a leader of a large corporation, or the owner of a small start up. This skill has come to the forefront only in the past few years and demanded attention. It is none other than “people skills”. When I discover a leader that takes the time to understand, listen to, direct, motivate, coach, and correct their staff in a way that brings out the best in them, I rarely find they need my coaching or consulting expertise. You might be thinking “Sue, you’ve got to be kidding me”. No, really I’m not. You see, I remember meeting a high level executive from a very prominent project and I told him, “You know, John” (you realize I’m not using his real name) if you would meet with your secretary regularly (because she was the company gate-keeper,) and ask her questions about what’s going on around the company, you’d have all the information I’m using to assist you in creating a Strategic Plan”. I’m telling you, you could save yourselves a lot of heartache and hundreds of thousands of company dollars by growing in the ability to understand people. And by focusing a bit more on them, you’ll gain leadership confidence in the process. Besides that, you’ll find the trickle-down filtering into your family life, and I’ve been told, that’s priceless.
Suzy Welch relates her article “Work Nightmare No.1: The Very Bad Boss , from O magazine, how to take yourself out of the vortex of victimhood. She claims that you can escape the prison you’ve created for yourself by discovering the freedom that comes from owning your own performance and attitude. Now, let me give this a twist this and new bent on this theme. Unfortunately, I confess that at one time or another I was this nightmare boss. But I’m learning, and believe me, this means you can as well. So, let me ask you candidly: Can you avoid becoming the jerk every employee hates, and dreads working for? From this article, I’ve listed some of the qualities to avoid that engender feelings of despair among staff:
- being critical
- displaying resentment instead of proper correction
- a bad temper
- screaming at people
- self-centered motives and actions
Sometimes we learn from what “not to be” as a leader, in order to become the person others respect and gladly follow. Take this action step: For one week, at the end of each day ask yourself how you responded to the various urgencies that happened between you and your staff. Copiously go through this list and take a brutally honest profile of yourself. If you’re coming up short, it may be time to enlist a coach . Why a coach, because if they’re good, they’ll hold you to this process, keeping you accountable for your actions and attitude, good and bad. Do this, and you won’t find yourself sideswiped by a disgruntled employee who quits, or worse yet, who files a dreaded lawsuit.