Leadership Matters: 3 Simple Things Great Leaders Do
Leadership matters. It really does. An organization can’t expect significant results, excellent employee engagement and satisfied consumers without great leadership guiding the ship. To think otherwise is to create an environment of mediocrity, where some are valued and most are overlooked. Here are three ways to see if you’ve got what it takes to be a leader that matters:
- How well do you know (and value) your team? PEOPLE DON’T CARE HOW MUCH YOU KNOW UNTIL THEY KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE. Might be cliché, but its true. I don’t care if you lead a small team or a team of thousands, how well do you know your people, and how well do they know you? People are 3 dimensional and come to the workplace each day with their own set of challenges and dreams. Do you know what they are? Do you know your teammate’s names? There are many strategies to improve this skill if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Employ nametags, and then make certain to wear one yourself! Keep your office door open. Better yet, move out of your office and into a cubical next to your team! Ask people about themselves, and then LISTEN to their answers. Finally, don’t be afraid to let people see your human side once in awhile. They want to know who you are, too.
- Are you honest and clear about articulating the vision (i.e. do you trust your team to know it)? IT’S HARD TO GET THERE IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING. People can get behind a clearly laid out dream or vision. They’ll get as excited as you are about the journey, but they have to believe you have a vision and a strategy for success! Don’t hide the ball. Transparency to your team shows you respect and value them. And don’t lie about where you’re going. People aren’t stupid – they know when you’re just giving them a story. You won’t keep the team motivated and productive for long once the fabrication begins to unravel.
- Are you willing to do whatever it takes (and get your hands dirty in the process)? HOW PEOPLE LIVE IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT THEY SAY. Your team will watch you to see what you value. If you say you value loyalty, for example, but they see you taking actions that don’t seem loyal, the truth of the matter is out there. Leaders have to exhibit the behaviors that they want the team to exhibit, and preferably, right there by the teammate’s side. If you’re at the point where you think you’ve paid your dues and now you get to sit back and watch others work, you’re probably not effectively leading and your team won’t give you 100%.
Leadership matters. Great leadership motivates teams to deliver spectacular results. Making minor tweaks to improve your leadership in these three areas will reap big dividends! Your team will thank you, and the return on investment will be worth it!