Great Leadership in 13 Critical Steps “Where’s the action? Where’s the game?” is a line in the song “Oldest Established” from the immortal Broadway musical (and my personal favorite) “Guys and Dolls.” slack, lacks work ethic, or is slow to decide, employees have been given tacit permission to be and do the same. The best leaders are first in, last out, and work their humps off in the middle.
so with a helpful, positive attitude. You must be a coach and a teacher, not a manager or a boss. There’s a big difference, both in results and morale. 13) Great Leaders TrainWith Their People, Continuously If training is to retain a lasting value, it must have leadership support and participation. Leaders must train to be better leaders. Did I just define you as a leader? I hope so, but I doubt it. Start by rating yourself on the qualities I’ve listed above. Any score of less than seven requires immediate attention. The challenge for you, whether you’re a leader or a teammember, is to study these qualities and talk about them openly. One of the tragedies of leadership is that the (overrated) 360-degree feedback process usually only goes 180 degrees.
For the uninformed, the show features a craps game and a gang leader named Nathan Detroit. The movie version stars Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando and won all kinds of awards. The plot is about gambling, winning, and sexual attraction. It’s an exhilarating story with great music and a happy ending. The overarching theme of “Guys and Dolls” is how people look to their leader to make things happen. And it’s the same in your business — just without the craps game and the songs. But it’s not without the gambling. All business is a gamble, and all businesses look to their leaders to make it happen. Below are the actions and qualities that I’ve observed that are mandatory for leadership success. I call them the “13 Golden Rules of Leadership.” They’re actions that build trust, earn respect, and create a team of people who are inspired to be productive and do their best. 1) Great Leaders Are Value Providers, Not Order Givers At the top of every employee’s list of job wants (besides more money) is to be appreciated and valued. When appreciation for a job well-done is conveyed, a positive environment thrives. 2) Great Leaders Tell the Truth Truth creates trust, confidence, and a reliance on the consistency of message. All other leadership characteristics and the outcomes fade if there is a lack of truth. (This is the same in life.) 3) Great Leaders Are in Control and Earn Respect Quick to decide and unafraid to make or admit mistakes, great leaders are respected because they take action. 4) Great Leaders Focus on the Outcome to Ensure Completed Tasks Don’t focus on tasks or project completions. Rather, think what will happen after the project is completed. 5) Great Leaders Are Responsible by Example and Expect the Same From Their People Everyone looks to and at leaders. They watch their every move. If the leader is
“One of the tragedies of leadership is that the (overrated) 360-degree feedback process usually only goes 180 degrees.” 6) Great Leaders Value andDisplay Tolerance and Temperance I’mnot a fan of leaders who rant. You should praise in public and reprimand in private. Record yourself performing both praise and reprimand. See howyou sound to others by listening to yourself. Youmay not like it. 7) Great Leaders Are Excellent Communicators Who Are Listened to Intently and Clearly Understood The one characteristic that enhances productivity and generates more achievement and positive outcomes is clear communication. Leaders have a responsibility and a challenge to be excellent at it. 8) Great Leaders AreWide Open to New Ideas and Innovations “That’s the way we’ve always done it” is a recipe for failure. Leaders are readers, constantly searching for new ways to be better. 9) Great Leaders Are Tech-Savvy Leaders need to be tweeters and lead theway by communicating value and ideas through social media. A leader’s example can create an avalanche of great service, goodwill, loyal customers, increased sales, and a better reputation—or not. 10) Great Leaders Concentrate on Achieving the Best It always takes extra effort to strive to be the best, which is why so many people fail at it. Failure occurs when people (leaders or not) fail to do their best and be their best every day. 11) Great Leaders Remain Committed The best leaders never waver. They’re loyal, steadfast examples of what others aspire to be. They’re not just business mission driven; they’re also personal mission driven. They are respected and followed because of their commitment. 12) Great Leaders Encourage They build pride with a “you can do it” philosophy and communication style. They encourage their people to succeed, and to do
In addition to exhibiting the right qualities, a leader must use the right words.
Pabulum leadership words really bug me, but not as bad as they probably bug you if uttered by your leader.
Leaders are known by their words, deeds, actions, values, principles, and by the people they attract on their team, but …
It’s their words that set the tone for the environment. It’s their words that start the internal chatter. It’s their words that shape their internal reputation.
... then it’s the actions that follow. All are studied and judged by the team.
It’s a truism that great leaders attract great people. So, why is there so much leadership mediocrity in the world? It must be their words and the way they’re spoken! Below, I’ve put together a collection of leadership words (in no particular order) that sound good, but mean virtually nothing. You’ve heard them and groaned about them. I’ve highlighted these words in italics, explaining why I hate them, and suggested better words in ALL CAPS. continued on page 7 ...
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