Dress the part. If you walk into an office in a suit and tie, constantly glancing at your watch, people are going to assume you’re waiting for some schmuck who’s late for a business meeting. Walk into an office in a t-shirt and baseball cap and people will start wanting to know where their pizza is. If you want to lead, you gotta look the part.
Leaders motivate team members through goal establishment, coaching, feedback and by providing ongoing developmental support. Although money is a component of why everyone works, other intangible factors like rewarding work and the presence of opportunities for professional development are powerful motivators, always assuming that compensation is fair. Effective leaders are constantly on the lookout for ways to tap into the drive and passion of their employees.
Remember this adage: Bosses have jobs and leaders build companies. To create an effective team, owners may want to think more about how they can become a better leader. You may want to let other managers in the company be bosses.
As you experience supporting and guiding the work of others, challenges will grow in complexity and ambiguity. One consultant describes leadership development as moving outward in a series of concentric circles, with the most basic leadership activities at the center and the most challenging work of senior leadership and organizational strategy and development at the far outer rings. Continually seek challenges that move you beyond the known and comfortable areas into new and increasingly complex problems.
At the time, I convinced myself I had to communicate more with my team leads about “best practices” and “company direction” but the truth is, I should have demonstrated the ideas instead. I should have helped team members reach goals and paved the way for them by my example. It’s the difference between just giving information versus nurturing growth.
Non-profit Ushahidi has helped seed the fast-growing East African tech industry and reimagined what technology can do. Witness its crowdsourced mapping platform, which helps communities track everything from violence to floods.
None of the old theories successfully address the challenge of developing “leadership presence”; that certain “something” in leaders that commands attention, inspires people, wins their trust and makes followers want to work with them.
Think of all the great leaders, and you will notice that most of them are also great communicators. That is not a mere coincidence. It is cause and effect. Great leadership means great communication, and vice versa.
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And as a coach, you have to inspire action that will help execute that goal. Reinforce an honest and candid environment without taking information personally. Equally treat everyone like you would want to be treated.