If you’re like most people, you’ve probably encountered poor leadership.
The frustrating thing comes when you are in that situation and feel helpless to do anything, because the leader is convinced it’s their way or the highway. It may have been a boss or co-worker, but at the end of the day poor leadership is a major hindrance to moving forward.
John Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”
I believe he’s right.
Leadership is influence. We all have influence with someone. How we leverage that influence makes all the difference in the world.
I believe it starts with a mindset.
Good leaders believe they are there to serve others. Bad leaders believe the others are there to serve them.
You want to be a good leader.
Here are three ways to leverage your influence and bring value to those you serve.
1) Communicate Clarity. Nothing frustrates people more than a lack of clarity. Those who serve with you should know the “What” they are being asked to do, “How” to do it and the “Why” it matters. Communicate those things clearly when you cast vision, lead meetings and have conversations and you will create a winning team.
2) Show Care. Showing value to those you lead is a massive priority. Value comes in all kinds of ways. You can show you care by asking and listening to their input, honoring them by compensating them well (if it’s an employee), thanking them often and doing it publicly.
Get creative. I heard of one employer that hires it’s staff at X amount per year, but then budgets for additional cost on top of that. They use the additional cost to send the staff on occasional paid date nights with their spouse or getaways to keep marriages in their organization strong and honor spouses who often times sacrifice as well.
I heard of another leader who surprised the staff with ordering an ice cream truck to show up at work mid day and treated everyone to ice cream for a job well done.
3) Create Community. No one likes to be a “clock puncher”, but people love to be a part of a thriving community and team. Get creative in shaping a fun culture with those you lead.
I love hearing stories like one friend of mine who has midday ping pong competitions with the staff and Guitar Hero challenges.
Why not create theme days and hand out prizes for the most creative participant? Pixar Studios is legendary for this type of thing. It creates an incredibly fun culture.
People will actually work harder and never want to leave the company because they know you are “for” them. You become a giving leader instead of a taking leader.
I’ve been in leadership positions for 20 years and I can tell you that when one of these three elements are missing, it’s like a leg missing on a three legged stool. It just doesn’t hold up.
Be purposeful with this three fold strategy in your leadership and I believe you will create a winning team.