Your ability to inspire and influence, as a leader, is tied directly to your daily behaviors. These behaviors need to be based on your core values and they need to support a strong, shared vision. Your leadership should never be about you; your focus every day should be on creating win-win situations where not only the organization wins, but employees win. If you can successfully create these situations, you also win as an effective leader.
The performance of any one individual is linked to the health of the culture as a whole, and culture grows out of your leadership behaviors. Your behaviors lead to effective leadership when you appreciate the value in the contribution of each individual and invest in helping your employees grow. Show your employees that you care about them as individuals on a daily basis. Serve as a coach and a cheerleader for your team. If you A.C.E. your daily behaviors you will become a more effective leader.
Tim Ferriss explained, “For most people, happiness in life is a massive amount of achievement plus a massive amount of appreciation. And you need both of those things.” Your employees need to know that you care. They need to see that you recognize and appreciate that everyone has something of value to offer. Get to know your employees and make them feel valued on an individual level. Express sincere, specific appreciation. Acknowledge progress and potential by providing opportunities to gain further experience and knowledge; seek to promote from within when possible. Share the credit; acknowledge that you accomplish nothing alone.
Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. said, “It’s about communication. It’s about honesty. It’s about treating people in the organization as deserving to know the facts. You don’t try to give them half the story. You don’t try to hide the story. You treat them as true equals and you communicate and you communicate and communicate.” As a leader, you must invest in relationships and building trust on a daily basis. You need to communicate your passion in a way that will connect others to your vision, mission, and current focus. You need to be transparent and share pertinent information so that employees not only have the information needed to do their jobs but also to feel they are an important part of a long-term vision and goal. Above all else, you must learn to be good at listening. When you listen, it shows your employees that you care. When they know you care, they put their trust in you and will give 100% to their work.
Rupert Murdoch believes, “In motivating people you’ve got to engage their minds and their hearts. I motivate people, I hope, by example- and perhaps by excitement, by having productive ideas to make others feel involved.” You must give your employees a reason to believe they are part of something bigger than themselves. On a daily basis you must show that you are confident in their abilities and interested in their input. Give them the opportunity to manage their own work. Provide an environment where it is safe for them to fail and learn the lessons that their mistakes have to offer. Encourage your employees to solve problems and make decisions; not because they have to, but because they want to. When you ignite passion and excitement for the vision they are contributing to reaching they will be engaged in their work and everyone will reap the benefits.
Effective leaders acknowledge, communicate with, and engage employees on a daily basis. They know that it’s not about them; it’s about those who follow them. They value the skills and knowledge that each employee brings to the table. They communicate ‘with’ not ‘to’ employees. They awaken excitement in working together towards a shared vision. A.C.E. your daily leadership behaviors; your ability to inspire and influence depends on it.
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