When it comes to Leadership Training, we are talking about a $366 BILLION INDUSTRY! Whilst the sector may have waned in recent times, podcasters and writers such as Adam Grant and Simon Sinek have re-energised the field recently. But what use to does Leadership literature bring? It can be effective at inspiring change and motivating the success of your business. So, how can you cut out the noise, and focus on progress? Consider some points!
Whilst a new’ expert’ rises almost daily, truth be told, some of the ‘old chestnuts’ on leadership still hold strong. Even much of the ‘new thinking’ is little more than previously successful tenets of leadership…repackaged.
Remember how the fashion trends of the 1970’s became irrelevant, only to become fashionable once again? Why was that? After all, not all fashion came back again? However, some fashion had enduring value.
The same is true of leadership. Just because something was popular and effective decades ago, doesn’t mean it can’t be again…the key is value.
So, here are the 5 leadership principles that should never have disappeared. They were once popular…and important. The problem is that their value never disappeared, even if their popularity did. It would be wise to re-examine them, and see how they can benefit you.
1. Leading by example
Remember when the captain used to go down with the ship? What was the point of that? Leading by example is one of the best ways to motivate others, to set the standard for others to achieve. You can’t just talk the talk, if you can’t walk the walk. So, how can you apply this practically?
A great leader is not an unachievable model. As an example to imitate, show your team that you are human, not just a megaphone of bluster. Demonstrate positive modelling in problem solving. Make the example understood, and achievable. Once done, your role as leader is cemented in the respect of your team.
2. The customer is always right
No, you don’t have to give away everything to anybody! What we are talking about here is empathy…seeing things from the perspective of the client.
When you lose the ‘I am holding the biscuit’ mentality, you can better understand what motivates others, and build bridges by effective responses, and communication. This, in turn, will not only placate someone whose opinion is diametrically opposed to you, but will also leave the door open for further business in the future.
Demonstrating that ‘the customer is always right’ is not about ‘giving in’, it is about negotiation and communication that exudes strength, whilst doing so in a way that is more easily understood by customers.
3. Stupid Question? No!
Isn’t it patronising to say this? After all, there can truly be some stupid questions.
Well, what we are talking about is a supportive team culture. It allows your team to communicate without fear that they pride and dignity will be crushed. Would you welcome more initiative from your team? Then build an environment that others can grow in. Value their opinion, and you are laying the soil in which their seed of growth can begin..and continue.
4. Thinking outside the box
Thinking ‘outside the box’ is much easier to say than do. Have you ever gone completely blank when called to give a presentation, or when asked to muse extemporaneously? Why is that? Often we place constraints on our thinking that hems in our creativity.
What we need to do is expand the boundaries of our thinking by starting with what is considered impossible, or are fantasy. Once you start here, you can prune back the most extreme of ideas until you are left with a playing field of options. From here, you can often locate and expand upon ideas that may not have been possible previously.
Even if on the odd occasion, starting from the bizarre until you get to reality doesn’t bring anything concrete to fruition, the expansion of the creativity that the process will bring, is a tool that will benefit you in future.
5. The door is always open
To be a great leader means to not just say this..but to do this.
Have you actually implemented space for employees to approach you? Or is it simply rhetoric? The result of the first is making your team feel like a team..valued, respected, and a contributor. The result of the latter is to increase the distance between you as a leader, and those who will likely feel inferior to you. But, how can you do this practically?
Schedule time for your employees. But, won’t that decrease your productivity? No, it will have the adverse effect in that it will increase the productivity of the whole team, which in turn, will allow you, the Leader, to achieve more.
Be A Great Leader..Not A ‘Leader’
If you are someone who has led for decades, and knows everything about leading..this article is not for you.
This article is for someone who want to achieve more. Someone who wants to help their business achieve more, someone who wants continued and measurable success for their business.
Being a great leader means recognising that there is always room for improvement..work on yourself…lead…and others will follow.