Leaders! Learn to lead in 3 steps.

There are leaders amongst us today who achieved their status by domineering, controlling and scheming how to use the organization’s resources and connections to their own advantage. For them, it’s not about serving their clients or employees or other benefactors. It’s about “what’s in it for me.” They falsely believe this makes them successful long term leaders. The truth?  It’s a short term fix, with long term consequences. Career derailment is inevitable.

Want to learn how to be a good long-term leader? Want to possess skills and attitudes that consistently work? First and foremost, hire a business advisor to help you see what you’ve been unwilling to see about yourself. To do what you’ve been unwilling to do. Remember, long term executive savvy requires a higher quality of leadership competencies and expertise.

1 – Straight talk. Attempting to out-talk or manipulate people into thinking the way you do is not the mark of a true leader.  Listen to others’ ideas and build upon them. Understand there is always more than one way to achieve the required results.

2 – Goals. Set true and compelling goals on behalf of the company. This is different than focusing on your own personal financial or professional gains. One Regional Manager wanted his people to get out there and sell so he could purchase his dream sailboat. Needless to say, this manager’s self-serving attitude permeated the team and discouraged them from playing full-out. Their buy-in was to achieve the company’s sales goals, not rack up big boy toys for him. His career as a sales manager sunk. Be prepared to understand and communicate what is in it for your team. Focus 100% on your employees winning. You are only as successful as your people!

3 – Elicit the best in others. Lying, playing people against each other, and using punitive threats to get your way or achieve goals does not bode well in the long run, although it may appear to provide needed short term gains. This type of leadership style creates havoc, litigation and bad will with internal and external clients. Learn how to manage people or hire someone else to do it for you. Learn to talk straight and tell the truth appropriately. It will make a difference in people wanting to work with you. It will build your career as a leader.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

Leadership Maturity

Reprint from 2-11-2011

Honestly ask yourself:

Are you able to discuss others’ opinions without being defensive?

Do you know how to take an idea or concept and make it profitable?

Do you laugh at appropriate jokes without taking it personally, even if it’s about you?

Do you have the ability to see the bigger picture and patience to rephrase it into bite-size pieces so that others can get on the same page?

Can you make decisions that balance both the facts and the human interests?

If you answered yes to these questions, good for you! You are on the right track as a leader. The higher up the corporate ladder we climb the more our effective leadership relies upon interpersonal skills such as these and less about technical expertise.

But often as leaders, we take ourselves too seriously. We are unable to build upon ideas or create a consensus that works. We openly disparage others when they disagree with us. We exclude people with broader experience instead of learning from them, and defend our limited experience in an attempt to feel better about ourselves. This is career limiting behavior for any leader!

Persuasive Listening. To truly listen, we must silence our internal chatterbox and refrain from thinking about our response when others are talking. We will hear similarity in arguments even when it appears we are on a different side of the issue. Good leadership skills – like active listening – provide new solutions that might not be readily apparent.

Be open to differing opinions. We can make better decisions for our companies and organizations when we openly hear what others have to say. But if we become defensive or belittle differing perspectives, we make less than adequate decisions, fail to address the bigger picture or miss details for implementation entirely.  We create a negative reputation for ourselves and our organizations. Disparaging others reflects more negatively upon the speaker than the person being belittled!

Be a team player. Many leaders don’t make good team players. They may play at being part of the group; however, they are more interested in how it applies or affects them personally.  Team has evolved into a broader definition this decade: It’s getting everyone on the same page and moving forward together. It’s not about everyone thinking the same thing or using the same signals or jargon!  It’s about learning to appreciate others and elicit the best in them, as they are. Learn this masterful skill and be seen as a leader to follow!

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2011