Knowing What Great Leaders Do and Doing What Great Leaders Do Are Two Different Things

Knowing What Great Leaders Do and Doing What Great Leaders Do Are Two Different Things 150 150 Pegine

The other day I heard a leader speak to his team of fifty. He was sharing that he wants his managers to walk the floor and identify ways to improve processes and procedures and to identify a person who should be acknowledged for giving their all to the job.

After his talk a group went to lunch and he invited me along. He shared with us about his desire to grow his managers and encourage them to lead. He shared about his speech. One of his friends laughed and asked, “when was the last time you walked the floor and told someone ‘good job”? I know it wasn’t lately” The whole table laughed.

Sometimes leaders talk a good talk but don’t walk the walk. When you don’t walk the walk your reputation is diminished, people don’t trust you and even your friends know when you are just giving lip service.

To be a great leader who has influence, impact and the ability to inspire others cultivate the following:

Have Integrity – Do what you say you will do. If you can’t do it say so. If you don’t know something, say that. Integrity is about follow through and commitment. This is especially true for those who follow you. They are watching you and they know the person you are by how you follow through.

Model The Behavior You Want Others To Have – if you want an enthusiastic, energized workforce set an example. If you want helpful, customer focused culture you have to emulate that in everything you do. That also means that you find teaching moments to share how you would do it and people can model you. Think about how you greet people in the morning, are you inquisitive, are you sincere? It is okay if that isn’t your style, just don’t demand that from others. You are the one who sets the standards of behavior. If you can’t behave in a certain way then shift your vision of what you want or move on.

Standards – This is so important and so often missed. Missed because you, as the leader, take it for granted. You have standards for yourself, have you ever written those standards down? Have you shared your standards of behavior to your new hires, your executive team, even to your family? Too often leaders assume that others know, that others have the same standards. They don’t. Every single person comes from a unique, distinct and diverse background compared to you, including your children. They have different perspectives of the same event, location, or person than you. It is normal. That is why it is critical that you write down your standards, your values and be clear about them.

I have a friend who is a local politician with a great career ahead of her. When we worked together we worked through these three key components. It became such a strong foundation for her new career in politics that she had two works of art commissioned that reflected her standards and values. They hang in her office. Her core team has her value statements and standards on a card on their desks. Her meetings with her executive team start with reading her standards and values so that everyone is on board, with clarity and focus.

Everyone can be a leader. It takes focused action to be a great leader.

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