No one is born a leader — leadership skills are built over time as a result of experiences, mastery and commitment. When we attain a leadership position within our company, it’s important that we have already learned how to work with and through others to get the job done on time and within budget. Now, it’s time to take those basic skills and hone them. At every level of leadership comes a new level of responsibility and opportunities. Are you ready to build on them to successfully support you and the people you lead?
7 Keys to Being a Leader that Actually Leads:
Engage Others. Forcing others, manipulating outcomes or attempting to outtalk your team will not support your efforts to manage effectively. Once your team, and others within the company, is upset with you, it becomes harder to get them to perform at their best, listen to your ideas and work with you. Acknowledge their great ideas and efforts, and work with them by rolling up your sleeves to produce intended outcomes in a win-win-win manner.
Integrity is Key. Good people don’t like to work for someone that cuts corners and overlooks important details. Making decisions based upon how you feel rarely works out well either. Learn how to brainstorm for solutions, work through legal and financial considerations, and setup true strategies Remember, the best solutions may not provide the easiest and fastest pathways. And, when you make a mistake, apologize and clean it up! It sets a great example for others.
Listen for New Possibilities in All Ideas. Being a leader who actually leads means you have really great listening skills. You’ve put down your electronic gadgets and are hearing the spoken words and unspoken messages that are being conveyed. You are able to ask the right questions to elicit the best from others and build on their ideas – no matter how off-the-wall they may initially seem. You become a leader that others enjoy working with to create solutions.
Respect Them. Your job isn’t to be a critical parent, particularly when some of the people you may be managing are older than you with lots of great work experience and ideas. Learn to “pick their brains” and rely upon them to get the job done without micromanaging them. Stay aware of the results your employees produce. Acknowledge any progress made, no matter how small. Respect will build an effective team.
Keep Your Skills Sharp. Take management courses to clean out any cobwebs that impede your ability to work effectively with others – it will keep you sharp. Remember, the higher up in the corporate world you climb, your people skills will matter more than your technical knowledge. Those skills make being a leader a lot easier too.
Take Care of Yourself. While it’s critical that you are taking care of your employees and ensuring they have the resources they need to get their jobs done, it’s equally important that you take care of yourself. Schedule time to spend with your family and friends having fun! Get involved in activities outside of work that you enjoy (e.g., golf, reading, travelling, volunteering, etc.). A happy leader is more likely to have happy and productive employees.
Great Leaders have Coaches. Don’t be afraid to hire a coach for yourself to help you navigate the challenges you will inevitably face. The right one will help you make better and more timely decisions. Plus, having a coach will help you understand how to be a leader others want to follow!
Being a leader that actually leads comes with a new level of responsibility to others. Review the 7 keys. Now ask yourself … are you ready?
©Jeannette Seibly, 2016
Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and executive coach for over 23 years; along the way she’s guided the creation of three millionaires. She is laser sharp at identifying the leverage points that will take a business and its team to the next level of performance and success. Check out her website, http://SeibCo.com, or contact Jeannette for a free, confidential conversation at http://SeibCo.com/contact.