Noted leadership expert John C. Maxwell states: “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.”
Effective leaders think and behave differently than those who possibly have a leadership position but have no followers. For example, I recently spoke to a group in Louisiana whose leader took the time to meet with each office, promote the event, encourage his agents to attend and share his vision of the company. As a result of his hands-on leadership approach, the rooms were filled to capacity, and I met agent after agent who shared their love for the leader of this company.
Have and Share Vision
One of the most important attributes of a great leader is their ability to develop and share the company vision with their team. This starts with a clear view of the past, in addition to having their pulse on the opportunities that exist in their market. A great leader must learn to communicate that vision throughout the organization in-person, through the utilization of social media, and every other method of communication at their fingertips.
Dare to Delegate
Many leaders struggle to delegate. This is often caused by their egos, or a lack of trust in the people that work for them. The inability to delegate shows a lack of strong leadership and sends a message to key reports that there may not be room in the company to grow. The most effective leaders understand that there are different levels of delegation that include:
- Do the research, show me what you’ve learned and I’ll make the decision.
- Do the research, make recommendations and we’ll make a decision together.
- Do the research and make the decision because I trust your judgment.
Each of these levels of delegation represent levels of trust and competence. As a leader grows and develops their team, not only does their ability to delegate improve, but employees feel empowered in their roles. Most people don’t start at the highest level, but can get there quickly when given the opportunity.
Provide Great Feedback
I like to say we don’t have people problems; we have process problems. As leaders approach issues in the business by first asking, “Where did our process fail us?” instead of attacking people, we learn that most issues can be solved by putting better systems for communication in place. Great leaders take the time to meet with their key reports and provide feedback daily so they can keep projects and people moving in the right direction.
Communicate Openly and Honestly
You must inspect what you expect. As a leader, if you don’t take the time to review projects and tasks and provide feedback, your people can’t improve as they don’t know where they stand. As you conduct a daily huddle with purpose and clarity as to the things you’re going to review, you’ll find that your people appreciate the clarity and feedback they’re given.
Lead by Example
Do the hard things first, set the standard for well thought-out decision making, give more praises than reprimands and give your team your most valuable asset: time. As you do this, your ability to influence and grow will be duplicated by the people you serve through leadership.
Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems (385-282-7112), an international speaking, consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and building successful power agents and teams. Sign up today for a free business consult with Verl by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To hire Verl to speak at your next event, email email@example.com.
For more information, please visit www.workmansuccesssystems.com.
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