I’m about to tell you the truth. But, are you willing to hear it? We all think we’re good leaders but the fact is most aren’t. Let me explain…
The owner’s kid who was gifted the company; the fast rising star who leap-frogged into management or the employee with the “special relationship” with the boss may all think leadership is within their grasp but boy are they wrong.
- They took on a leadership position without the experience or confidence to make a difference.
- They run on auto pilot and expect success without knowing what’s needed to achieve it.
- They’re not as good as they think.
They’re not leaders but followers; like birds in a flock. You can’t tell one from the other.
But you’re different. You understand that a leader’s job is difficult and takes dedication and patience. You look at situations differently and are willing to chart a new path. And, you’re ready, willing and able to start your journey into leadership – you don’t want a handout, but you do need some help.
If you’re wondering how to become a better leader – I’m here for you my friends. So…
1. A good leader brings out the best in others so they may one day be a leader too. Each of us possesses a unique skill set that, if allowed to be fully used, will benefit all. The difficult part is recognizing the specific methods that work best when motivating others.
2. Train your employees to “put yourself in the customer’s shoes”. If we wouldn’t be happy with the product or service we provide, how can we expect others to be happy with it?
3. Regardless of what we teach and share during the employee orientation process and initial training, a new employee will learn the “true” culture of an organization from their coworkers.
Let me explain…
You can set aside all the time in the world for training and immersing your new employee in your company culture but that’s quickly offset by what his coworkers say is happening behind the scenes.
Your flashy motivational wall posters or “rah rah sessions” can’t hide the back-stabbing, jealousy or intimidation that’s rampant in many departments. Once you realize this is happening you can take the steps to fix it – but you must realize its happening.
4. Passion will “get the job” every time. The candidate that can explain why they like/love their job and the feeling they get when they see others succeed will always get my vote. No matter what business you’re in you’re always in the “people business”. Those with passion AND compassion will usually do the best.
5. A humble leader will go farther than a braggart. A leader doesn’t know it all, even if he/she thinks they do.
Take advantage of the experience and knowledge of your employees and put it to good use. Great companies don’t happen by accident – it still takes a solid team of exceptional workers to set the vision moving and make positive adjustments along the road to success.
6. True leadership doesn’t come from your position or rank. Leadership comes from the ability to motivate others and have them carry on the same level of professionalism and quality when the leader is not present.
7. The surest way to failure is spending too much time focusing on budgets, payroll or market share, when the focus must continually be on the customer.
I’ve always said that when someone reaches higher management and becomes removed from the day-to-day operation of the business they forget what’s really important. This leads to #8.
8. Don’t forget, the customer is king!
Now, get out there and make it happen!