There are certain aspects of leadership that propel us to be effective in our roles as managers and leaders. No matter what our position is we struggle with self-awareness, stress management, and creative problem-solving. As leaders, we tend to force ourselves on people. My personal mission statement is to be a welcomed leader in any arena I am invited to stand. I believe the key word is welcomed. If we are too hard- driving or tenacious, we will offend people and make it difficult for them to respond to our vision. As leaders, we must strive for dependability. Show people they can depend on our consistent professional behavior. We have a stewardship responsibility to morally do the proper thing and watch over what is under our control.
The worst thing you can do as a leader is to fail to praise people when they have done a good job. Whether they write a letter, design a brochure, work on a program or coordinate a reception, people want recognition more than they want money. People want to feel good about themselves. They want to know that all their hard work and effort made a difference. As I said before, be very kind to the people you see on the way up because they are the same people you see on the way down. They are waiting for you to come right back down the ladder and are praying that you go down past them again. So, always congratulate someone for doing a good job.
Many managers and leaders have the problem of being indecisive. They cannot make a decision and stick with it. They are swayed by the last person to stand in front of them, since they have a distaste for communicating difficult decisions. Do not be afraid to say what everyone is thinking. People appreciate leaders with the courage to address tough issues.
Inform others of your decisions and tell them what you are going to do. Some leaders make decisions, but they do not communicate them. They then wonder why people do not follow them. Some leaders are decisive to themselves, but they are afraid to communicate it because they are concerned that people will be confrontational. When you make a decision, tell people and follow through with direct action.
The best thing you can say to somebody is that he or she is needed. Find personal motivation in each person you lead and then talk with that person sincerely about his or her issue. Great managers take time to know their people. Leadership is action, not position. Employees need to know you can do it and they need to know you are challenging yourself as you seek to challenge them. You have to go out now and challenge yourself so they will follow and respect you. Get them to follow you now to a different horizon. That is why I say action, not position, is the framework for leadership. .
It was taught to me that a leader takes more than his or her share of the blame and less than his or her share of the credit. When a problem occurs, look to take the blame as their leader. Immediately give them the credit when the situation is successful. Then never forget the biggest and most important asset of any corporation is the respect that its leaders provide their clients, business partners, and employees.
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