Saturday, December 10, 2022

So, you want to be a Leader

If you are taking the leadership position because it now gives the power, supremacy, authority over people, please don’t apply; it’s a servant position. You are there to help others succeed. It isn’t about you, it’s about them. Leadership is about:

Discipline· Flexibility· Forgiveness· Truthfulness· Appreciation· Responsibility· Encouragement· Being the example· Putting others first· Teaching not telling· Staying calm in crisis· Planning & preparing· Learning then sharing· Optimism with realism· Always moving forward· Dealing with uncertainty· Always being accountable· Giving credit – taking none· Admitting when they’re right· Admitting when you’re wrong· Making decisions when you are not sure … Do you still want the job?

Great leaders never look for fame, accolades or awards; they dwell on accomplishments and the rest follows. You will know you are a leader when you start making the people around you BETTER. So, you still want to be a leader; not only a leader, but a great one at that? Then you need to fully understand that you are “ACCOUNTABLE” for everything. GREAT LEADERS understand if they want to help make their team more accountable … “Do as I do” is a lot more powerful than “Do as I say.” Being accountable not only means being responsible for something, but ultimately being answerable for your actions and the actions of your team.

Some people might be thinking, “Hold on there. You want me to be accountable for the actions, results, mistakes, and consequences of somebody else?” Absolutely! That is why holding a leadership position is not for the meek and timid. Accountability is what happens after a situation has occurred. It is how you respond and take ownership over the results. Even during the most uncertain times, true leaders hold themselves accountable for ALL results. If you don’t want to be ACCOUNTABLE, please don’t apply for a leadership position. Accountability is not an option for a leader, it is a requirement. The Boss/Manager/Supervisor is accountable for EVERYTHING. Here are two of my favorite quotes on accountability.

“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.” – John Baptiste Moliere

“You don’t have the right to hold somebody accountable for standards you refuse to apply yourself.” – Stephen A. Smith

If you want employees to be accountable, make them “WANT” to be accountable; great leaders create a “WANT TO”, not a “HAVE TO” environment.  They make people believe in themselves, feel good about working for the company and most importantly, feel special about being chosen to work there. Ralph Hart, a former CEO for Heublein, a company with thousands of employees, personally greeted new hires. He made it a point, within the first month of their employment, to sit down with them and have a short chat. He wanted to let them know just how the company, and himself, felt about having them work for the company.

Mr. Hart would go to their office, cubicle, alcove, or desk and ask the new employee if they had a minute to talk. This impeccably dressed man in his sixties, would then introduce himself and have a seat. He would even thank the new employee for allowing him to take some time away from their normal duties. Even though the new employee may have never seen the CEO before, they had been made aware of this legendary Chairman-of-the-Board in their first day of training.

Mr. Hart would then explain: “The company that you are working for is first-class. I want you to know we have first-class products, first-class marketing, first-class advertising and first-class customer service. We feel that all of our customers are first-class people.” Then with his eyes riveted on the new employee, he stated …“To be able to list everything we do as first-class, we have found that we must hire ONLY first-class people. That being said, we are delighted to have you working here.” He concluded his chat, by extending his hand and saying, “Welcome to our company.”

In less than two minutes, this CEO had made an enormous impact on his new employee. The new employee couldn’t believe that the CEO of this enormous company even knew their name, much less believed that they were a first-class talent. What a wonderful, motivating, uplifting, inspiring, feeling this CEO created. There is nothing better than making someone feel special. There is nothing better than telling someone you believe in their talent. There is nothing better than letting someone know just how excited you are to have them working for you.

This CEO knew, how you treat your employees is how they will treat your customers and associates. If you want first-class employees, then treat them first-class. Employees will go out of their way to do more, deliver more, help more, innovate more, take on more responsibilities … when they are treated with respect and high regard.

What are you doing to make your employees feel first-class? If you can’t answer that question, you have a problem … AND you are putting time, effort and money training someone who will eventually leave and possibly end up working for your competition. When you think about your employees’ needs instead of your own, the success of your business will take care of itself. So, if you want to be a great leader, I’ll say it again … It isn’t about you, it’s about them. If you show them that you are concerned about them advancing in their career, then they will help your company prosper; by helping them to succeed, they will help you succeed.