How high are your standards?

12/09/2013 - 07:02


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Great leaders don’t just lead by example – they set the standard all others at the business follow.

How high are your standards?

Great leaders don’t just lead by example – they set the standard all others at the business follow.

Leaders are expected to make things happen, to balance the trade-off between risk and reward – and to take all members of the team along for the ride.

There are a number of actions I have observed about leadership that are mandatory for success. They’re internal actions that build trust, earn respect, and create a team of inspired people – inspired to be productive and do their best.

Making the grade

• Great leaders are value providers, not order givers. At the top of every employee’s list of job wants (besides more money) is to be appreciated and valued. When appreciation for a job well done is conveyed, positive environment thrives.

• Great leaders tell the truth. Truth creates trust and confidence and a reliance on the consistency of message.

• Great leaders are in control and earn respect. Quick to decide and not afraid to make or admit mistakes, great leaders are respected because they take action and respected because they are vulnerable.

• Great leaders focus on outcome to ensure completed tasks. Don’t focus on task or project completion. Rather, think what will happen after the project is completed.

• Great leaders are responsible by example and expect the same from their people. If the leader is slack, lacks work ethic, or is slow to decide, they have given tacit permission to their team to be and do the same.

• Great leaders are excellent communicators who are listened to intently, and are clearly understood. The one characteristic that gets more productivity and generates more achievement and positive outcome is clear communication. Leaders have a responsibility and a challenge to be excellent at it.

• Great leaders train with their people, continuously. If training is to have a lasting value, it must have leadership support and participation.

• Great leaders are wide open to new ideas and innovation. Leaders are readers, constantly searching for new ways to be better.

• Great leaders are tech-savvy. Leaders need to be tweeters, and need to lead the way by communicating value and ideas through social media. A leader’s example can create an avalanche of great service, goodwill, loyal customers, increased sales, and better reputation – or not.

• Great leaders concentrate on and think ‘best’. It always takes extra effort to be or strive to be best, that’s why so many people fail. Failure occurs when people (leaders or not) fail to do their best and be their best – daily.

• Great leaders remain committed. The best leaders never waver. They’re loyal, steadfast examples of what and whom others aspire to be and be like. They’re not just mission-driven; they’re also personal-mission driven. They are respected and followed because of their commitment.

• Great leaders encourage. They build pride with a ‘you can do it’ philosophy and communication style. They encourage their people to succeed, and do so with a helpful, positive attitude. A coach and a teacher, not a manager or a boss. There’s a big difference, both in results and morale.

Did I just define your leader? Did I just define how you are inspired to be and do your best every day? I hope so, but I doubt it.

The challenge for you, whether you’re a leader or a team member, is to study these qualities, and talk about them openly.

Great leaders don’t just lead by example – they set the standard. What kind of standard are you setting?



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