Leadership stripped bare | Future Leaders Blog

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“But bosses can pretty much do what they want, that’s what’s so sad”

These were the exact words said by a woman pacing up and down a deserted aisle in the supermarket one evening. She was on her mobile talking to what seemed to be a colleague, based on the contents of their conversation. I didn’t want to eavesdrop but those words spoke volumes about her state of mind and were hard not to hear.

There was a sense of resignation about her comment and her body language that really made me wonder what had happened, specifically. I couldn’t really hang around to listen, but I would have loved to hear more.

As I left the store, I reflected on the impact a leader can have – for better and for worse.

A leader’s responsibility is to lead and operate in such a way that his or her employees can better do their jobs. When leaders do that effectively, they include and involve the people in question rather than just “doing things their own way”.

You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life
Zig Ziglar

I don’t know what happened to the woman in the supermarket, or her boss, but I know that leaders that want to get results should pay heed to the impact they are having on people around them and include people all along the way. Otherwise they may end up with so much resistance that good results become impossible, and everyone loses out.

Leadership stripped bare is quite simple:

  • Share a vision, give direction (so people understand WHY)
  • Involve people in HOW to get there
  • See people (everyone wants to be seen and heard), see and understand the individual
  • Make use of each person’s unique strengths and possible contributions
  • Foster open communication. Never shoot the messenger – if things are going on, you are better off knowing about it!
  • Let go of the need to be right (no-one has all the answers anyway), keep an open mind and encourage others to do the same
  • Follow up and give feedback, so people know how they are doing and that what they are doing matters
  • And be genuine (find your own leadership style that suits you) while always being respectful

It’s not always easy to lead but taking control of your impact makes it easier. Think about how you make people feel. Choose the impact you want to have for the future.

About the authors

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.

Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at www.leadingteamsbook.com

Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”Leadership is about effective conversations. This book is a very useful ready reckoner for leaders everywhere seeking the words and methods needed each day at work. Sanjay Gupta, CEO English Helper Inc, India.

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