If your job is to get everybody on the same page, you should at least make that page a lot easier to read.
Influencial leaders have value and clarity
- They can clearly explain their value in 20 seconds. You have to know what people value before you can influence them. Knowledge is not enough.
- They are able to get people to think: Teaching is not enough. Always ask questions. Good question: “Is there a question I didn’t ask today that you think I should have?”
How leaders cause their people not to think – Sometimes we’re so dominant, people just react to our behavior and don’t use common sense. They focus on what we leaders want in the moment, and not on job requirements.
Avoiding bad questions is easy; asking good questions takes effort.
- They use the agreement formula: Ask, listen, agree, recommend. The reason this works is because people rarely disagree with their own ideas.
- They don’t use their intelligence against themselves. It doesn’t matter how smart you are if no one knows what you’re talking about. Communication is about making sure people actually understand what they are supposed to do. It’s not just about making the information available. It’s a complete cycle.
- They don’t show a lack of tolerance. If you are intelligent, you may lack tolerance for those who don’t understand things as well as you. If that is the case, you may be labeled a poor communicator, which robs you of influence. You are now the smartest person in the room with the least amount of influence. Congratulations!
They avoid “jellyfish management”
- A jellyfish manager is a leader who doesn’t stand behind company initiatives and then loses patience with his or her employees when they can’t get the job done to company specifications. A true leader does not blame those in upper management.
Effective language: “It’s definitely different but can be done. I know you can do it because I’m confident you have the skills to make it happen.
They know the perfect team is not perfect
- The definition of a team is people who play different positions. If we all thought and believed the same way, we’d make a terrible team. A good team needs people with different schools of thought.
- The job of a leader is to forge a team out of a diverse group of people who may not always agree. A good leader can make the peace, hold the team accountable, and make them feel valued as a unit.
They have fair partnerships that create good relationships
- People need to know the leader is doing all they can. Employees under 30 don’t work hard if they think the boss is not working hard. Work … or look like it! It’s possible to have authority without influence.
They deal well with younger workers
- Praise them along the way to the goal.
- Younger generations need to know up front the consequences for ignoring policy. They need stiff guidelines, not vague warnings. Show how their work affects the big picture of the whole company, not just their individual job.
- Make sure that every task has a legitimate reason for existing: show the value of safety and let them know how valuable they are.
- The worst leadership strategy you can have is wishing people were more like you.
They know how to hold people accountable
- The best way to hold people accountable is by holding yourself accountable first in front of them. Most leaders will not readily do this, but the most effective leaders always do.
- What to say: “Things were not optimal last week. As your leader, I’ve looked at some things I could do differently. I can attend safety meetings with you and communicate initiatives more clearly. Now let’s go around the room and talk about what else we can do differently.” People instantly become accountable when given a say.
They make good first impressions
- What looks good instantly – People are apt to choose what looks good right off the bat.
- Instant image impact – The most influential people make sure people believe in what they are doing before they do it
- People don’t work for companies; they work for their direct supervisor.
They know that companies grow and they need to adjust
- Compliance – When a company grows, the tactics have to change to fit the size of the company.
- It’s like hunting larger prey. You need a bigger weapon. Some guns just make polar bears mad. The tactics have to fit the job.
- Increased professionalism – If you work in the same place for a long time, you only know that culture. When the culture changes due to growth, you are required to change with it. The benchmark of a professional leader – You need to tell people why they are doing something, not just what to do.
They spend time with people who can position them to succeed
- Good leaders network with the right people and associate themselves with those who can help them succeed. If you spend all your time with people who can’t help you succeed, you don’t have time for those who can or will. Spend a lot of time with your top performers, not just your low performers.
They know how to keep and attract top performers
- The driving force behind success – Compulsive behavior can drive successful employees. And sometimes great talent comes with great weakness. Most leaders over manage their top performers. We have to understand the best way for some people to work is by literally doing it their own proven way.
- Your own ego issues – Don’t let your ego clash with your employees’. You might have to set strict guidelines, but you have to get out of the way and let top performers succeed. Ensure they have an effective environment.
- Why they reallyleave, and why they won’t tell you – Research from Rice University showed the number one reason employees under 30 leave is because their supervisor does not pay enough attention to them and they aren’t getting sufficient feedback. Workers over 30 leave because they don’t feel valued by their coworkers or boss. People under 30 equate attention with value. As we get older, we may lose the need for attention, but we still need to feel valued.
They understand why people leave
- Lack of leadership – People don’t really work for companies; they work for their direct supervisor.
- The video store experiment – If a leader does not make his or her people feel valuable – if they yell or don’t show respect – once that manager isn’t looking or isn’t around to watch employee activities, productivity drops to nothing. You could have the same group of employees with different shift managers, and the employees will change their behavior based on which manager is around. The attitude of the supervisor affects the behavior of the workers.
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