Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Six Things Real Leaders Don't Do (Like Boss People Around)

This Post is for FIRST COMMENTER CONTEST

People get hired or promoted into leadership roles every day. Sadly, when they get the job they may get little or no training on how to lead a team 

Because no one tells them how to lead, how to communicate with their team members or how to inspire people, they are left with the mistaken idea that their principal job is to get the highest level of output from their teammates — and that’s all!

No one tells them “The trick to leadership is to have people want to do a good job — not to please you, but for themselves!” The greatest power source on earth is a team of people who are energized around a common goal.

When people are permitted to bring themselves to work all the way and use their creativity and their good ideas on the job, they flourish. They hit their goals organically, not because a manager is standing over them but because it’s fun to hit goals and to win.

Who doesn’t want to win? It’s a lot more fun to win than it is to lose. The thing to remember is that it’s only a win and only feels good when it’s your win. If your manager steals the credit for your wins you’re going to stop trying.

If your manager gives the credit to the team then people will try harder.

Real Leaders Don’t Boss People Around
Real leaders don’t boss people around. They say “Hey look, you guys — this is your department. I’m here to run in front and knock down obstacles that will keep you from racing ahead.”

What kinds of obstacles could slow people down and frustrate them? Bureaucratic processes are a big problem in many if not most organizations.

A good manager is willing to take on stupid processes and get rid of them, or soften them or figure out a way to work around them so his or her team can keep winning.

Real Leaders Don’t Bark Out Orders
Real leaders don’t bark out orders. They may have a goal in mind, and when they do they’ll say “Jane, you’re the expert. If we can get that pricing model completed this month we’ll be able to launch it at the sales meeting next month.

“Does that sound like something we can do? What do you need from me to make it easy for you to reach that goal?”

Leadership is not only less expensive than old-fashioned, command-and-control supervision. It’s a lot more fun, too!

Real Leaders Don’t Second-Guess Their Team Members
Real leaders don’t second-guess their team members. They don’t assume that people can churn out more work than they’ll admit to.

If there’s a disagreement about when something can be completed, a real leader will look for reasons why that might be.

Often the reason that people pad the dates on their schedules is that they’ve learned through harsh experience that when they honestly say “I can have that done by Friday” a poor manager will say “Then get it to me by Wednesday.”

If you don’t trust your teammates, that means you don’t trust yourself to hire trustworthy people. That’s your problem, not theirs!

Real Leaders Don’t Blame Their Employees When Something Goes Wrong
Real leaders don’t blame their employees for the problems they run into, from broken-down and overloaded systems to poor training. If an employee makes a mistake on the job, whose responsibility is that? It’s the manager’s responsibility.

Clearly the employee’s training or ongoing guidance isn’t getting the job done.

But Liz, I’ve trained my employee Jack very thoroughly. He still makes mistakes. He’s careless. He doesn’t take the time to focus.

It is easy and tempting to diagnose an employee with all sorts of problems and to characterize him or her as lazy or careless, but you hired Jack. You trained him. Until you take responsibility for Jack’s difficulties, you’ll stay frustrated and you won’t learn a thing.

Real leaders don’t look at the lettuce withering in the garden or failing to sprout and say “What a lousy crop of lettuce!” Real leaders know they created the conditions under which the lettuce failed to thrive.

Real Leaders Don’t Bring the Hammer Down Right Away
Real leaders don’t turn to disciplinary measures at the first sign of trouble. They ask questions, thoughtfully and compassionately, instead. They look for gaps in an employee’s understanding of his or her job.

They take responsibility for filling in the gaps. They see that they create the culture in their departments.

Real leaders view employee satisfaction as a critical business issue. They don’t view an unhappy employee as a malcontent. They know that if one person is communicating their unhappiness, half a dozen other people feel the same way but they aren’t saying so – at least, not yet.

Real Leaders Don’t Chicken Out of Tough Conversations
Real leaders know that in the course of their leadership career, they’re going to have to stand up for their team members and their own integrity.

They’re going to have to report the truth on the ground to higher-ups who don’t necessarily want to hear the inconvenient facts about what’s happening on the floors below the executive floor.

They’re going to have to step through the fear of telling the truth to people more  highly-placed than they are. They can’t shut their mouths and pretend not to see what’s going on, only so that they don’t have to tell their superiors that whatever 
they’re proposing won’t work.

They don’t shy away from truth-telling just because it’s scary to tell executives what they don’t want to hear.

That’s what makes them leaders — their ability to see the truth and report it!

Is your boss a real leader ? Are you a real leader, yourself? Leave a comment and let us know!


http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/08/08/six-things-real-leaders-dont-do-like-boss-people-around/

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