When I go into a business I’m sometimes confronted by two limiting beliefs:
1. Our business is very different from any other you’ve worked in.
2. ‘Soft skills’ don’t work here. We’re not into ‘soft’ stuff; we want proper leadership techniques for our managers.
Here’s the thing…
All businesses (big or small) have much more in common that you might think…
YES… Businesses have different products and services, structures, values, philosophy and management styles etc.…
All business relies on one common denominator for success:
- People design, create and sell your products and services.
- Your clients and customers are also PEOPLE!
Fundamentally, every organization depends on people.Essentially, people are the heartbeat of the business. They drive success and make things happen.
There’s a huge difference between a committed team and a compliant one. This is greatly influenced by the leader…
If you’re COMPLIANT, then you do just enough to get the job done. You become disassociated and dis-engaged from the work you do. It has little meaning. You show up to earn money and nothing else.
If you’re COMMITTED, your work has meaning and purpose and you see the value. You strive to be the best you possibly can be because this also influences the success of the team. The team is like a family. You are aligned to a greater purpose and want make a difference for the business. Committed people are connected to the WHY of the organization: It’s purpose.
A committed team will out perform a complaint team EVERY time.
True leadership is essential for the success of your team because you influence how they show up…
1. Know what it’s like being on the receiving end of you! You are your demonstrated behaviour. You create a leadership experience for your people through how you show up each day: What you do, what you say and how you act. You are a role model for those you serve. Their perception of you creates the reality of your relationship: Is it one of commitment or compliance?
2. Recognize that Command and Control doesn’t work! Many organizations are obsessed with efficiency to the detriment of effectiveness: “I don’t care if you haven’t got the resources, just get it done!” The power trip of barking orders and flexing the ego has the negative effective of frustrating and demotivating people, suppressing creativity, creating ‘lip-service’ and compliance. (Yelling at people rarely gets results, even if it makes you feel powerful! You just lose respect).
3. Be authentic – Are you different at home than you are at work? Most of our conditioning is the opposite of being authentic. At work we are taught to keep our head down and fit in. We tell people what we think they want to hear. We’re taught not to be true to ourselves. Be your real self consistently in everything you do. Develop your Emotional Intelligence by becoming a student of YOU… Know and understand your real self.
4. Allow and encourage differences – Every human being has equal value, worth and dignity. Being a manager doesn’t make you superior (That’s just your ego). Accept and encourage disagreement as a natural part of the process of working together. It’s part of the job if you want great results. Stop labeling people as not being a team player or having a negative attitude if they disagree with you. Most conflict at work is personality or style differences. Understanding and working through these will help you to build stronger relationships.
5. Serve your people – Leadership is not about controlling people or about being the boss (That’s just your ego again!). People don’t want to be process-managed they want to be led. Be 100% present for your people and also be a useful resource to them. Create an environment where people have meaning, feel valued and can do a great job. Don’t be a bottleneck and get in their way. Build a community not a sweatshop!
6. Your team is there to help – Most of us have been conditioned to hide our doubts and fears about any situation. You can’t do everything on your own –That’s WHY you have a team! The team is there to help and support you (The power of many…) Accept this gracefully and let go of control. Play to the strengths of your team and let them shine.
7. Have the courage to be vulnerable – Vulnerability is wrongly perceived as a weakness. It’s actually a strength and a natural characteristic of being human. It takes courage to be vulnerable. Be more open to your feelings at work. Admit your mistakes when something goes wrong. Act as a role model by being authentic, open and honest. If you set the pace others will follow.