Does your leadership style make you relatable?
Your success and the success of your organization will be in direct proportion to the care you give to those you serve – those that report to you as well as your clients. Below you will learn three steps that will help you improve your leadership style and put you on your way to becoming a Relational Leader. The great thing is you already have the tools you need, all you have to do is apply these steps.
Step 1 – Get to know those you serve on a personal level
Many managers/leaders I’ve met tend to think that gaining respect from those they manage comes from having a persona that they know everything. This leadership style is ineffective for several reasons. The main reason is that the people you are leading care about one main thing and that is themselves. It’s not that they are selfish, they are simply focused on doing the things that will get them ahead or make themselves look better. As the saying goes, they are all listening to the same radio station, WIIFM – What’s In It For Me. Again, this isn’t a bad thing, it just is. As a leader, or future leader, you’ll need to begin to understand what makes them tick and not worry about showing them how smart or talented you are. In doing so, you will start to show them how much you care about them. Only then, will they truly care how much you know and they respect for you will grow.
Step 2 – Model The Behavior You Want
This is a step that many leaders, and would be leaders, miss. Once you achieve a position of leadership, your work has only just begun. The best leaders don’t tell people what to do, but they show them day in and day out. They act, walk, talk, and model the behaviors they are looking to instill in those they lead. Don’t think for a minute that you are not being watched, because you are. Those in your organization will watch everything you do and say. From there they will form opinions and decisions on whether they will follow you. Sure, they may do what you say because you are their boss, but are they truly following you? By modeling the behavior you expect, you stand a greater chance of having those you manage follow you.
Step 3 – Teach Them How To Lead
Being a leader is not just about leading people but it’s about teaching them how to lead others. One way to teach them is Step 2, by modeling. However, as you do steps 1 and 2 you will have those that will come to you with different situations and ask how you would lead in those situations. This is a good sign that you’ve been doing a good job building relationships and modeling the behavior you desire. As a leader, it is your responsibility teach others how to not only lead, but also teach them how to teach. When someone first enters a position of leadership most of what they know is what they’ve seen, heard, and read about. In order to get them started on the right foot, it’s up to you provide proper guidance to keep them from making some of the silly mistakes you made. Your responsibility here is great one. Make sure you do what is needed to become a great teacher. I will write more about this in a future article.
The impact you have on your organization will influence hundreds, if not thousands, of people over several generations. This is only if you impact just one person. Think about this for a minute. Let’s say you mentor someone and they grow to have an organization of five managers. If you extrapolate this out over time, and the growth of the current organization, those impacted can be quite large. What happens when these leaders go to other organizations or start their own companies? Will the leadership style they learned be one you’d be proud to say you had a hand in creating? Can you see the enormous impact you will have had over the course of your career?
Take your role as a leader seriously, because future generations depend it. Oh, by the way, you don’t need to be in a position of leadership to be a leader. What I talked about above are steps you need to begin to take before you get into a position of leadership. If you already have that position, take the time to understand that responsibility and take the necessary steps to become a great Relational Leader.
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Author: Bryan Oliver
Bryan Oliver is the founder of www.flight4success and is a strategic leader, success coach, and best-selling author. Bryan coaches on confidence, mindset, and habit creation to help you reach your dreams.