I don’t think there are any secrets to great leadership but I do think there are a few keys…
1) If you want people to get out of bed for you, be more passionate about what they are capable of achieving than they are themselves.
2) Show your people that you care. If they think you really care, they’ll want to take that extra step with you.
3) Don’t try to be perfect. No-one will believe you! Fallibility is the hidden key to leadership and being authentic is the passport to engagement.
4) Make time and space to be with your team to understand their needs, to share visions and ideas – and when listening to them, listen out for what they are not telling you.
5) Make sure everyone is in the right role so that they can use whatever talents they have and take ownership. Productivity will go up and absenteeism will go down.
6) Keep your team fresh and continuously moving forwards by regularly setting new challenges. Having a sense of progress is vital, at the heart of having a sense of progress lies good goal setting.
7) If you want to build a strong team around you, shine the light of recognition on those who don’t want to climb the promotion ladder as well as those who do. If someone wants to stay and develop themselves in their current role they should be regarded as equally successful as anyone heading for the top.
8) Be brave! Making the right decisions for the good of the team will sometimes mean upsetting individuals – if you want an omelette, you have to crack some eggs.
9) Look for reasons to thank people, and when you do, don’t dilute your thanks by nonchalantly thanking them on your way out the door. Be seen to go out of your way to thank.
10) Fully leverage both peer recognition and peer pressure – the two most powerful motivators.
11) Have some fun! Having a laugh relaxes and pulls everyone together, it’s a great leveller and it releases endorphins.
12) Money isn’t the only motivator. Be constantly thinking up innovative ways to incentivise staff, to build a better ‘family’ environment and create a sense of belonging.
13) Be crystal clear in all communications, it’s a common fault of ineffective leaders to assume that everyone around them is a mind reader.
14) Stay focused on the positives. Behind the scenes, every organisation is held together with Blu-tack and sticky paper, they all have their faults. But unless you can change them, don’t waste your time and energy going looking for them.
15) Encourage staff to switch off whilst away from work so that their batteries get recharged. It’s important that you too regularly step back to see the big picture, but no so far back that you lose touch!
16) Regularly spend time on the edge of your comfort zone, exploring, failing and learning. Don’t be frightened of making mistakes – as someone once said “Everybody makes mistakes, it’s why they put rubbers on pencils and bumpers on cars.”
17) If you want your team to think outside the box, get them out of their box! If you’re looking for new ideas, go for a walk together. A different environment is likely to kick start the imagination and induce radical thinking.
18) At all times, no matter what the pressure, keep the shape of your integrity. In other words, never compromise your own values nor sacrifice your principles.
19) Do not ever underestimate the importance of the little things, the TNTs – Tiny Noticeable Things. They may be tiny but they create the biggest, longest lasting images.
20) Never ask or expect anyone to respect you. Respect can’t even be earned. It is a gift that people choose to give you.
21) AND, whatever you do, don’t try and please everyone all of the time – it’s the secret to failure!
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Copyright Adrian Webster 2017