Leadership is a topic that most people have a difficult time explaining. Those who are good at it, can’t explain why. Those who are poor at it, believe they are doing all the right things. I would like to share three simple rules that seem to be consistent among both good and bad leaders.
I believe the biggest challenge leaders face, is determining their role in the organization. The best leaders seem to be able to recognize that the company’s success is not dependent on them, but on the entire organization. The company is a living and breathing entity, and their job is to “enable” the company, rather than to “drive” the company.
Rule 1: Establish and clearly communicate both short- and long-term goals. Strong leaders are able to set a path and make sure everyone in the company from the executive leadership team to the front desk receptionist knows where they are going, what needs to take place, and what the rewards will be. They make sure everyone feels a part of the company’s success. Many people believe that stock options should be limited to executives and middle management. I believe everyone in the company should be issued stock options, so that they feel a part of the team and are empowered to drive the company goals.
Rule 2: Remove Obstacles – Early in my career during an annual review, my boss told me that his job was to remove obstacles so that I could be successful. This impressed me. He understood that if his team was successful, he would be successful. Too many managers are focused on their own success, rather than the department or company success. They need to be secure enough to understand that they will be successful if their team is successful.
Rule 3: Establish Trust and Open Communication – More leaders fail because of this one issue than any of the others. Many leaders are excellent at managing up. They communicate with their superiors very well and share information freely. However, when it comes to their own staff, there is a glass ceiling. No information is shared and the trust and mutual respect breaks down. People will not follow someone that they do not respect and trust. Successful leaders surround themselves with qualified managers and then establish mutual trust and communication.
“A leader is most effective when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, his troops will feel they did it themselves.” – Lao Tzu
Action Item: Stress occurs in people when they feel they don’t control their destiny. They believe they don’t know what to do to succeed, or it doesn’t matter what they do, it won’t make a difference. Empower your team to be successful. Tell them where to charge, remove the obstacles and develop mutual respect and trust.
I am curious. Do you agree or disagree. I would love some feedback on this post.
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