Great leaders demand three things from their teams.
3. That they work in your strengths
Leaders who fail to demand all three of those will never rise past mediocrity. Let’s explore each one in-depth so that you, too, can become a great leader.
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I remember clearly when I realized I was in over my head. I was 27 years old, leading a team of nearly 15 people and I was failing miserably.
Team members at work want the same things we all want in every aspect of life.
I want to be trusted. I want my boss to believe in me and trust my judgment.
Replace the word “boss” with “spouse” or “parents” and the sentence above is still true. The leader-team member relationship is no different from any other relationship.
I want to control my own destiny. I want to have a voice in my career.
Replace the word “career” with “marriage” or “education” and the sentence is still true. We all want a sense of control and we all want a voice.
We’re continuing this series on the 8 Things Your Team REALLY Wants with part three today:
To be trusted and to control their own destiny.
And we’ll continue to use Simon’s company as an example. If you missed parts one and two, the links are below. Make sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get posts via email (and get my free book as a bonus) so you don’t miss the last installment coming up.
Part One: Fair Pay and the Right Resources
Part Two: Creating a Clear Vision and Setting Realistic Expectations
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This is a follow-up post to my earlier post, The 3 Most Common Downfalls of Leaders. Today, I show you how to avoid those downfalls.
Avoiding the three most common downfalls of leaders is not difficult, but requires intentional effort.
Without further ado, here is how you avoid each of the three most common leadership downfalls:
Get constant feedback.
I’ve written a lot about leaders getting feedback from others and I suggest you read those posts. Most of what I write comes from my own experience getting feedback. The short version, if you don’t read those posts is that I was completely naïve to my failings as a leader. I was headed for a downfall and didn’t know it…until I got feedback.
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Great leaders thrive in a crisis.
It’s when times are toughest and everyone around is shirking responsibility and running away, that great leaders shine.
The greats don’t love crises. No normal person does. But a crisis seems to bring out the best in the greats, while at the same time bringing out the worst in others.
So what separates the great leaders from the average ones?
The first thing great leaders do better than everyone else is prepare for crises.
Crises are not dealt with properly the moment they occur. They are prepared for during all of the time you spend with your team up to that point.
Everyone wants more face time with their boss.
Face time with your boss equals:
- Deepened relationship
- Inside knowledge
- Likely path of promotion
You will have more influence with your boss, a better relationship with him or her, get inside knowledge that will help you…all of which will lead to you performing better on the job. You will also be more likely to be promoted than those with not as much face time.
In the post Do You Want to Know My Number One Leadership Tool?, Mark asked a question in the comments about how to approach his boss about doing one-on-one meetings with him. I’ve written numerous posts about the power of one-on-one meetings for leaders, but never from the other side. The fact is, that if they are as effective as I say they are (they are), but your leader is not doing them, then you should make an attempt to do them.
I’ll go ahead and answer my own question in the title:
Yes! Of course you want to know my number one leadership tool.
I also won’t make you wait. The tool is one-on-one meetings.
Fellow blogger Jon Stolpe wrote about the power of one-on-one meetings and shares his experience below.
As a leader, you must do for one what you want to do for all. My kindergarten teacher meant well when she said, “Matthew, if you bring cookies, you must bring enough for everyone.” But that is horrible leadership advice. I simply wanted to bring an extra cookie to Mrs. Taylor’s class for my friend […]
I know that it can be daunting at first, especially if you are a new leader. When do I start them? How do I start them? How do I introduce them?
That last question (how do I introduce them) is one I wrestled with for weeks. I had introduced them so poorly the first time I tried that I was afraid. I did a ton of research on the subject, talked to friends and family, and finally decided that I had to get over my fears and just do them. If my team didn’t like them, so be it, but I knew they would be an important part of my leadership.
Here is how I started the process of one-on-one meetings the second time I did them.
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This is a part of my series on one-on-one meetings. For all posts in the series and free downloads to help you start and run the meetings go here: One-on-One Meetings for Leaders When I finally learned the format for my one-on-one meetings (see part three) I thought that was it. I was prepared to enter […]
This is part three in a four-part series on one-on-one meetings. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 on how NOT to run a one-on-one meeting. Read those first.
“You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.”
My mom was incredibly smart. Of course, I didn’t know that at the time, but she totally taught me how to do one-on-one meetings. Unfortunately, after going 17 years between hearing that advice and doing my first one-on-one meeting I forgot mom’s wisdom. After all, the other person had two ears and one mouth too, so who’s the genius now?
As I mentioned in part one, when I first started them, one-on-ones were all about me, the boss. I quickly learned that did not work, so I reversed course entirely. I made four mistakes, which I outlined in that post, and here were my four corrections.
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