Jeffrey Hayzlett

By Jeffrey Hayzlett

Hero Leadership — Going From Ordinary to Extraordinary

Hero Leadership — Going From Ordinary to Extraordinary 150 150 jeffreyhayzlett

What makes an effective leader? Is there a perfect leadership strategy? The short answer is no — there is no perfect strategy. It varies from business to business. Leadership encompasses a slew of characteristics that can garner success across the board, and how someone leads has a tangible effect on the entire company and all its employees.

A study by Bloom Leadership found that 79 percent of employees quit their job due to lack of appreciation. This is something that can sometimes be lost in the day-to-day grind of making sure the business is making enough money and the needle moves forward. The disconnect is even wider at the top with bosses thinking employees leave because they want more money.


With Baby Boomers retiring at incremental rates, the younger generation should begin stepping up into a leadership role. Yet, 63 percent of millennials feel a lack of leadership development.


How can current leaders help bridge the gap? How can future leaders elevate their skills?


My latest book, The Hero Factor, discusses the traits that every leader should have (or acquire) in order to lead effectively, develop more appreciation for their employees, and cultivate successful leadership development.


When employees feel a sense of purpose and are part of a thriving culture, they feel like they’re contributing to the bottom line and see how they are having an impact, they care more inclined to stay on board and shift their perception.


Here are some traits that every great leader should already be praticing.


Spread the wealth


No one got to where they are alone. Give credit where credit is due. A few words of encouragement go a long way to foster good will and a vibrant office culture. Letting your team know they’re appreciated must be a priority.


A leader who shares the credit attracts more followers and loyalty than someone constantly bragging about “their” accomplishments. A Forbes article shows that recognition is the number one reason employees say inspires them to produce great work. What’s not a great leader? Throwing someone under the bus or berating them. Hero leaders turn mistakes into teachable moments. People will never forget how you treated them or made them feel. Guaranteed they won’t make the same mistake again.


Have a servant mentality


The main reason for leadership is for the benefit of the people. A hero leader’s success is rooted on the values to their community, stakeholders, and the common good. Recognizing strengths, weaknesses, and striving for continual improvements are cornerstones of a servant leader. Good leaders are secure in their abilities and don’t hesitate to share their success. Hero servant leaders realize they can’t please everyone all the time. They are practical in their decision making, stay strong in their convictions, and accept criticism. This is what sets a true leader apart. This mentality is noticed and mimicked by employees – for the right reasons, too.

Asking ‘how can I help you?’ ‘What can I help you with?” and “What can I do?” is something a hero leader should always do. They don’t let time, ego, or excuses get in the way.


Communicate a clear vision and goals

What are your goals? How do you communicate them or do they live only in your head? If you’re assuming everyone knows, that’s your first mistake. Communication involves more than just talking. It’s about connecting with people, too.

Communicating your values begins with outlining your conditions of satisfaction. Mine are: making money, learning something new, and having fun. These may vary from business to business, too. Keeping sight of your values leads to having a clearer path for your short and long-term goals. While those might change over time, the communication lines should always remain open. It increases employee engagement, mitigates conflict, and creates better relationships. Everyone in the organization – from the CEO to the mailman, should be aligned with the goals and the vision being communicated. Every employee needs to see your vision as clear as you do.


Pro tip: Write them down and make the values and goals visible to all. That tangible reminder will keep everyone aligned


Being a hero leader, or a hero company, is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Are you up for the challenge?