As a leader or manager you get to make decisions. Sometimes your decisions will impact many, they might change the course of history, they may be the smallest of changes that reap amazing results but in the wrong hands things may not move to a greater level.
The All Blacks have a successful way of working and it goes something like this…… “to leave the jersey better than when you got it”. How powerful is this simple message! I feel this can spill over to those who lead in the business world.
Leading people and organisations no matter the shape or size takes a great deal of hard work - many things you do will go noticed whilst a great deal doesn’t and its those things that don’t get noticed which hold the key to longevity and greater success.
In my coaching business I have noticed a few key ingredients that keeps showing up in successful leaders .
So, no matter your tenure as a leader it can be extremely beneficial to put down some simple processes that you can monitor yourself, and, from time to time, check in, and, if needs be course correct.
Doing the right thing no matter who is watching you.
Leaders who hold high integrity, constantly do the right thing by the organisation they represent. Owners/CEOs/Managing Directors with integrity will set the essence and tone for the entire leadership group that will flow thru the organisation. I love this saying ‘if you are not on the bus let me help you stay on it or help you get of the bus’.
The leader who has clear ethics and behaviours, who understands his/her strengths and areas to develop can turn a poor performing organisation to a strong performing one in a very short time frame.
Welcome/encourage open conversation from your people (no matter what role they play for you)
I have said many times in my blogs and on our podcasts that being a CEO/Business Owner is an extremely lonely place. The ‘buck” stops with you and sometimes you will need to make unpopular decisions. The key thing to try and remember is ensuring that you encourage your people to speak up and above all to speak freely.
A company that is full of ‘yes’ people may not last the true test of time.
Gain feedback and open communication, set time aside to ‘be’ with your people. Bring that knowledge and feedback into your thoughts don’t just put it in the top draw for another day.
Seek out the ‘quiet ones’ those that don’t often speak up in meetings. Its often the quiet ones who have the most helpful suggestions!
Create your own Board of Directors!
You may well have a board that you report to but here I am asking you to build up people outside the organisation. Lets call it your team of ‘trusted advisors’. Establish ground rules and explain why you seek their considered inputs.
Having a solid external ‘board of directors’ close to you who believe in you, your direction and your organisation goes a long way.
I like to have a team of subject matter ‘gurus’ in my corner, those individuals who are at the very top of his/her field.
It takes time to build your own Board but spend time surrounding yourself with non-emotional key individuals, then the world may not be as lonely as your thought.
Thats right, you heard it, to be a truly great leader, the number 1 characteristic has got to be ‘empathy’. This has to come from the heart, I don’t believe you can fake this, its your blueprint and should run through your veins.
Turn your people into Leaders
The greatest gift a leader can look to do is to help those around them, and, by this I mean - help turn them into leaders. Spending time with your people, advocating for them, believing in them and supporting them will outlast the leader who barks the orders from his/her corner office.
Don’t be afraid to stand aside and allow others to flourish in the sunlight!
Make yourself ‘approachable’
How much time do you and your people spend with each other, each day, each week, each month, and, each year. Ask yourself - why! Why are my people here? Is it simply to collect a pay check at the end of the month or do they deeply believe in the why?
Not everyone is approachable, but, in putting the time and effort into this and working out firstly who ‘am I as a person, as a leader’ goes a long way.
Why do you spend time with certain people?
How have you gone about building that relationship with them?
How have you approached others and how did that make you feel.
Don’t just think about this put a conscious effort into actually ‘doing this;
As mentioned in my title today, you don’t need to be a rock star to lead but you do need to lead!
I hope this encourages you to keep pushing the boundaries and not allowing yourself to leave the jersey in a worse state then when you got it!
If you want to understand more about yourself as a leader
Look after yourself and each other
Master Certified Executive Coach
Roud Career Coaching
‘Unleash Your Most Authentic-Self’