I’d rather be managed by a positive leader, rather than a negative leader.
Who wouldn’t be?
Seems to me it’s those leaders that exude positive behaviors in their persona (perhaps they even smile!) are the ones that have the biggest impact on its employees and business success.
So what are some of the best practices of good leadership? Here are a few of my observations and experiences;
- Inspire the Business with a Higher Purpose
While not minimizing the monetary payoff an organization generates, there exists something I call the “company likability” -not only by its very employees, but by its customers, its suppliers –even an admiration by the competition. The business that focuses on its very own employee’s first, sets the tone of a workplace that is inspired with a higher sense of purpose. A business that believes in the unlimited potential of every employee and will encourage personal growth, professional development and social responsibility is inspirational to work for.
It’s always interesting to me how a company is viewed by its own employees. Have you asked them recently? More so, how is your company viewed by your customers, and even more interesting, do you have the admiration and respect of your industry competitors?
- Leadership That Gets It
Shareholder value and creating profitability is an indicator of success. You won’t get an argument from me in this regard. However, a culture where there is a high level of collaboration, altruism, appreciation, compassion and respect is a leader who truly understands how to maximize employee potential –and profitability.
Leaders always invest their energy into productivity, profitability and customer satisfaction; nothing wrong here, but there are opportunities every single day to express gratitude to the very employees producing those results and profits. An authentic compliment can yield exponential results and it might be as simple as a “well done.”
Don’t put virtuousness on the shelf in your business. Clear research has shown that overall company performance exceeds expectations with leaders who foster goodwill by a smile, a cheerful disposition, energy and enthusiasm and those well placed and meaningful compliments.
- Inspire Hope
I have a framed picture in our office that says “The Best is Yet to Come” –and it’s truly the message I want my employees to know and appreciate that our future is in our hands. It’s easy to find a hundred reasons why something won’t get done, why goals won’t be met, while initiatives won’t come to fruition. Spreading the feeling that what is wanted, can be had and will turn out for the best, is what great leaders do.
Some might frown on this notion that “hope” isn’t really something that can be counted on in a business setting. Hoping to be profitable is wonderful…it’s certainly a lot better than saying “we’re going to lose money this year”, but hope is part of that goal. Excellent leaders know that “inspiring hope” is a crucial part of the company culture, because without hope, no matter what the situation might be it already appears doomed.
- Define Reality
When a leader is candid, it says a lot about the reality the business and its employees must understand and contend with every day. Having a bad sales quarter? Face it, and start doing something about it. Longing for the old days when running the business had less competitors and regulations and was easier to manage. Sorry, I wish it were true as well, but reality tells me different and leadership actions must change if we are to succeed.
Big-time leaders, who over-deliver on results are those that face reality head on, are often skeptical (ask a lot of questions) yet pragmatic in how they go about day to day management. The state of being REAL and understanding what that reality truly is -only then can an organization fully understand what needs to happen next.
- The Crisis and the Leader
Every leader faces a crisis, multiple crises and of varying degrees. On my drive into work I often think I know how my day is going to go, the things I need to get done and then within the first 30-minutes of my day, it gets turned upside down due to some sort of crisis or problematic situation.
I heard the CEO of a major financial firm tell me that he doesn’t get paid for 95% of the decisions that occur at his company; he gets paid for the 5%! Those are the tough calls, the tough decisions that leaders have to make under difficult and often hurried circumstances.
When I think about the difficult times I’ve endured I began to realize that each battle I have faced began with me, not necessarily others. The decision process and path taken is not always clear and will carry consequences not only for myself, but for many people. The great leader makes the tough call and the unpopular decision, but in the end the leader rises to the occasion with the end goal in mind. He or she can see the big picture.
Winston Churchill once said “As a leader, you need to be aware that the tough times will either make or break you.”
Want to hone your leadership skills? Buy my book and learn the effective practices of positive leaders.