There are a number of stories out there right now about bad leadership – inappropriate behavior, employees being dismissed without fair compensation or even payment for compensation due, and a general disregard for those in leadership.
This is not to say all leaders are bad. In fact, most are likely striving to be the best they can be. But there are some genuinely bad leaders.
How can you ensure you are one of the good leaders?
Appreciate the Individuals on Your Team
Let’s look at this in view of the Thanksgiving holiday because a great deal of leadership is based on gratitude. In fact, studies have shown that appreciation often has more impact than compensation when it comes to employee morale and engagement.
When was the last time you expressed sincere appreciation for a specific action taken by your employee?
The key is to be specific. A general, “You’re the best!” is good, but it does not have the impact that you giving a specific example of what they did to be the best would provide. This shows you have taken the time to notice and appreciate their specific efforts. Another effective approach is to mention their actions to others and let the word get back to them.
A great leader will make it a habit to notice and appreciate individual efforts on a regular basis. People who feel appreciated are loyal and dedicated. If you want a team to help you reach big goals, take the time to show genuine appreciation for their efforts to get you there.
Appreciation promotes loyalty.
Be a Good Example
A lot has changed in recent decades in terms of technology and methodology in the workplace, but there is one constant. There is still a need for character. Character is being authentic. It is doing what you say you will do. It is acting appropriately in any given situation. And it is making decisions and taking action based on core values.
Are you setting the example in all these areas?
To a large degree, your team is your mirror. If you have employee issues, chance are they are reflecting on some area where you have not set an example for them to follow.
- Is there laxity in process? If so, ask yourself if you have set the right systems in place.
- Is there a lack of interest? Ask yourself if you are coming to work each day excited to be there.
- Are there communication issues? Ask yourself if you are communicating well to your team.
When you decide to set a gold standard, you will create by example a gold team.
A good example promotes respect.
Chart the Course
Is your team lost? Do they come to work and seemingly accomplish very little? The answer may not be in their diligence (or lack thereof). In fact, they are likely working long hours to help you. It may be more a matter of planning and communication.
Have you as the leader set the course? Does your team know the big picture of where you want to go?
Very often, employees are given “tasks” without the advantage of full context. If you give them more of the picture, they will be able to clearly see the “why” of what they do, the “need” for what they do, and the projected “result” of their accomplishments.
A clear course, in the hands of a good team, could be all the motivation your team needs to reach the goals which have been set.
A good plan promotes diligence.
In a world of tight margins and high competition, having a strong team matters now more than ever. And good leadership is critical.
Following these ABCs of Good Leadership will help you and your team meet the challenge. Beyond that, you will have a loyal, respectful, and diligent team – and you can’t put a price tag on that.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.