When you consider different aspects of leadership, you can learn from the insights of global business leaders and research in order to make your own foray into leadership as effective as possible. One of the areas that many leaders struggle with is performance management. We are very good at identifying the things that people do wrong (or the gaps in their performance), but we may not be as good at recognizing their success. For example, if you complete a project and 90 per cent of the work is exceptional, a typical leader will ask why you missed the other 10 per cent.
Instead of looking for gaps and managing performance from a negative perspective, think of our job as leaders as one to help people do more and do better. Empowerment means that leaders make sure that people have what they need to do their work, while still being accountable for what they do. Often, leaders will congratulate themselves when things are going well, and then look for people and outside factors to blame when things are going wrong. This is unfortunate, and a sign of how our egos can stops us from being truly effective.
In Jim Collins’ bestseller Good to Great, he talks about humility in leaders. Humility allows a leader to realize that it’s not about him or her; leadership is about making sure that people have what they need in order to do their best work. Humility is best demonstrated by action – and not the self-serving kind of actions either! Humility is doing what needs to be done without fanfare. It’s not demonstrated by updating social networking sites and bragging about the things that you have done.
Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.”
– Robin S. Sharma, Canadian writer and motivational speaker, author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Good leadership skills start with good relationship skills. In any situation, workplace relationships enable you to build support, defuse tension, gain collaborators, avoid negativity, and improve productivity for you and your organization. Healthy relationships may look easy to build and maintain, but as with any success they take skills and effort. Some tips:
- Be kind, always pleasant, professional and focused on issues, rather than personal opinions. You do not always know the person behind the issue, base actions only on what you know.
- Be tactful. Friends are made, and bridges built, with knowing not only what to say, but when and how to say it. Emotional pain is deep and not easily forgotten, even if inflicted in error.
- Watch your body language, confidence without aggression, relaxed without sloppiness.
- Be neutral. Issues that polarize or divide a workplace rarely have a clear-cut innocent or guilty party. Remain objective, listen to all, continue with your work, and find a resolution if possible. Taking sides will provide an uneven view and perhaps lead to a poor decision
Importance of Good Leaderships
In an article for Forbes — Good Leaders Are Invaluable To A Company. Bad Leaders Will Destroy It — Amy Rees Anderson writes: “When good leadership is in place in a company, it can be felt throughout the entire organization. With good leadership, corporate culture isn’t forced, it is developed. Communication is daily and open. Everyone understands the vision and goals of the organization, and everyone has input into how they can be improved. Employees feel that they are an important part of the whole and that every job matters within the company. Decisions for promotions are based on picking people of integrity whose talents and experience best fit the positions. Employees are encouraged to compete with their own best to get ahead and they understand that helping their coworkers to succeed is the best way to get ahead themselves. The result of good leadership is high morale, good employee retention, and sustainable long-term success.”
Anderson, an entrepreneur, investor, public speaker and mentor who founded several companies, including REES Capital and MediConnect Global, has led a worldwide workforce of more than 1,000 employees and achieving 1,500 per cent revenue growth.
She says: “Bad leadership can also be felt throughout the entire organization – only not in a good way. Corporate culture becomes a meaningless term where leaders claim it exists while employees shake their heads in frustration. There is a lack of clear, consistent communication from leadership to the employees. As a result, the office is run by rumor mill, politics and gamesmanship. Employees are uncertain of the company’s goals and objectives for success and they have no idea how they fit into that picture, or what their level of importance is toward making it happen. Decisions for promotions are not based on integrity or talent, but rather they are based on who can talk the biggest talk or who is deemed to be the least threatening to the current leadership team. Employees are taught play dirty against coworkers to get ahead by watching as it is continuously rewarded by leadership leading to the Lobster Syndrome of tearing one another down throughout the organization. The result of bad leadership is low morale, high turnover, and a decreased ability to have any sustainable success. Please feel free to download this full leadership white paper.
“Companies cannot afford to have poor leadership if they want to truly succeed – and I don’t just mean in terms of financial success. I define success as far more than just money. I define success for a company as having a good product or service that adds value to the lives of its customers, while providing a positive working environment that allows employees to grow and flourish in their talents and abilities as well as their personal value system, all while generating a profitable return for shareholders. If a company isn’t doing all three of those then it isn’t truly successful. Employees cannot flourish under poor leadership, and when they are faced with having to follow poor leaders, companies risk losing their very best and most talented people. Don’t risk allowing poor leaders to lead your organization. For anyone who is ever granted the opportunity to take a leadership position, remember that being a true leader doesn’t come from a title, it is a designation you must earn from the people you lead.”
Download this free guide to starting a conversation in your workplace in order to develop leadership skills. We need to have good leadership, but how can that be accomplished? What makes a good leader? What is the impact of poor leadership? How can we become better leaders?
These questions and more will be explored in this Conversations That Matter Guide – The World Needs Good Leaders Now.