Three Small Moves That Will Help You Become a Better Leader

August 29th, 2014

Are you looking for strategies that will help you become a better leader and build loyalty, motivation, and retention among your staff? Add these three moves to your management plan.

 Stop trying to “be a better leader”.

Like most personal strengths that generate value for other people, “leadership” isn’t really about you. Ask yourself: Which would you rather have, a blue leadership ribbon that you can hang on the wall? Or a happy, well-oiled, enthusiastic team, a team that successfully raises their sales numbers (or improves their patient outcomes, cleans the warehouse in record time, overcomes a conflict, paints a mural, completes a merger, or lands a grant)? The success of your leadership depends on what you do, not on what you are. Turn your attention outward toward your team and focus on your shared goals. Stop worrying about yourself and how well you’re scoring in a contest that exists only in your head.

Want the right things.

Imagine a little league coach ushering a team of six-year-olds toward a regional championship. If the coach is a responsible, intelligent person, then what is he really trying to accomplish? Does he actually care about a plastic trophy that could easily be bought at a store? Nope. Does he care about the glory that the trophy will bring him, or the impact this trophy will have on his resume? Nope. Does he even care about winning? No. His goal is much more complex than that; it involves providing twenty children with a valuable life experience, a fun memory, and some important lessons about the world and how it works. In other words, his goal is not the stated goal, and his reward is not the actual reward…it’s something else. The same applies to you. Know what you’re fighting for and why.

Lead from behind.

To get respect, give respect. And do your part first. Don’t march out in front of your team before you’ve earned the right to their obedience and loyalty. Instead, provide them with an example. Roll up your sleeves and take on the ugliest, most difficult tasks. Come in earlier and stay later than they do. Get behind the slowest runner and give that weak link your full attention. Find out what your team needs and provide it without waiting to be asked. Be a servant, a supporter, a guide, a resource, and a role model. Do all of these things before you start barking orders.

For more simple moves and practical tips that can help you lead your team across the finish line, contact the management and staffing experts at PSU.

 

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