I got this from Don Boykin (Originally titled, What I Wish I Had Known Before I Got Into Management)
Leaders don’t start out as leaders. For example, we started out as writers, then someone put us in a leadership position. The inclination is to drift back to what we know (i.e. writing). What often gets missed here is the connection we should make with those whom we lead and work. Everyone is looking for someone to follow.
1. It is always about people and relationships.
We tend to focus on the work, rather than the people. Don’t do it! We have to keep our eyes on the people.
2. It’s more about being than doing.
Dr. Henry Blackaby says that leadership development is synonymous with personal growth. The best thing a leader can do for their organization is to grow personally.
You can’t lead by trying to be someone else. Its faulty to try to lead by imitating someone else. Their methods may work, but you cannot BE them. Make the style your own.
3. You lead by serving.
Check your motivation — don’t use people — use tools, but never use/abuse people. Become a Servant Leader.
4. Your employees are your most important resource.
Tied to number 3, unless you understand this, you have failed as a leader.
5. Be the first one in and the last one out.
Not really in reference to hours; in relation to your involvement. Remember, you’re setting the example for others to follow.
6. You need to achieve critical business objectives while satisfying people’s personal needs.
This comes from getting to know your people. Know their strengths and weaknesses. Know their ambitions and goals. This allows you to uniquely position your people per objective to get the job done while inspiring moral.
7. Feedback is important to leadership.
Be honest with your people. Tell them what they need to know — point out strengths as well as weaknesses. Be careful not to neglect your most skilled people and do not take them for granted.
During performance reviews, be specific. Don’t just tell them what needs work — tell them what they can do to get where you’d like to see them.
8. Performance achievement is a shared responsibility.
It is not enough to simply expect the people to get there. You, as the leaders, have to help them to do it.
9. You are a coach and a catalyst.
Coaches celebrate, encourage, suffer, teach, rise, and fall along with the team. While, a catalyst is someone who sparks actions in others.
10. Open communication results from sharing your thoughts, reasoning, and feelings.
When you listen and understand, you leave yourself open and approachable. You gain trust.
Be vulnerable. Show them your thoughts and feelings. Help them understand your perspective and feelings. This is hard for many — especially if you’re insecure.
Provide support without removing responsibility. Don’t just move them over and do it yourself. Help them to succeed on their own!
A gifted and competent leader will display genuine humility. Don’t give them your ego and arrogance. If you are serving them, there isn’t room for your pride.
Max Depree said that ‘the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality’. I know it’s a weird because most of us tend to think that leaders should focus on a desired state – vision. Not quite. Not so fast. Defining reality allows us to set in place the mechanisms that will allow us to shape teh future. Great post!
Herman, thanks for the comment. I love reading Max Depree. Keep reading. -eb
A truly inspiring post. I do not have time tonight, but i will be linking to this sometime this weekend! You summed up in one paragraph what some have taken hundreds of pages to cover.
NIce post, Eric,
I was recently counseling/consulting with a client who was experiencing deep difficulties with his staff. That led to a similar post as a result of similar observations regarding a lack of relationship and humility.
After 30 years of leadership consulting, it remains clear that issues of the heart trump clever techniques every time.
Hey Steve, well said. -eb