True leaders inspire others to greater and better achievements and that’s the truth of the matter. Great leaders are not islands… they are the tide behind the wave.
The secret to being a successful leader is the ability to enable others in your team to step up, to give their best and to succeed themselves. It sounds easier said than done and in truth it is. So how can we enable others to up their game and how can we consistently get the best from those we work with.
1. Walk it, talk it and do it
The world’s too small to lead from the rear nowadays. Gone are the times when we could sit behind a frosted pane of glass and basically keep ourselves to ourselves. Technology and our species’ never-ending search for news, gossip, and knowledge mean that if they set their minds to it, people can pretty much uncover anything they want to. Our lives have become public record and with that in mind, it’s probably a good idea to make sure your record is a five-star smash.
2. Put the people first.
For years the client was king and indeed even today the client is an integral and essential part of your operation, but if you want to inspire, there’s someone else you need to put first. By placing your team above anyone else in the firm you are signifying how important they are to your organization and that loyalty will not go unnoticed. Even clients will be impressed by your commitment to your team and by ensuring they are valued, you will be getting their absolute best. Putting the team first can reduce attrition, fuel creativity and keep your workforce where they are. I’m not suggesting you ignore or treat your clients with anything less than the utmost respect, indeed by making your staff the focal point of your firm, they’ll be happy to do that for you and with little prompting.
3. Be bold
Strong leaders inspire others by challenging the status quo. Take a good look at your firm and by this I mean take everything out of the cupboards and have a rummage down the back of the sofa. If you feel that something could be done in a better way, tackle it and don’t just get stuck in the mud. The world’s most successful companies and leaders stick two fingers up at convention on a daily basis and as a result, they have the happiest staff and the healthiest bottom line.
4. Leaders Listen
It’s impossible to be inspired if you feel like you’re being ignored. How many jobs have you had where you don’t want to go in the morning and you can’t wait to leave at night? We’ve all had those unapproachable managers who lock themselves away in their office and ooze a sense of foreboding through the entire floor. The safest thing to do in the presence of a manager like that is to start looking for a new job. Good leaders are approachable, they invite critique and they operate open doors policies and most of all they listen. The best ideas come from inspiration and the best way to inspire is to be open.
5. Make creativity safe
The best leaders actively encourage ideas and interaction. They build platforms and enshrine procedures designed to enable creativity into company policy. Have a good read through your T&Cs, where’s the clause about the employee’s right to form a forum? Do you allow Flexitime, remote working or hot-desking? Who would they speak to if they wanted to bring it up? Are your staff secretly spending their lunch hour reading through Reed.co.uk because they don’t feel safe talking to their management about something which would make their lives so much easier? It’s easier to stifle creativity than you’d think and we can often do it without really thinking about it or the consequences.