Best Practices - Part 4: Empowering Employees. Intentional Leadership
May 12, 2016
As we complete our series on empowering employees, we take a look at best practices in leadership and share some insights from Greg Simeroth of eTech Parts. We have discussed inviting input, inspiring decision-making, and giving credit where credit is due. Our final part of the series focuses on intentional leadership, what that means, and how it can benefit you and your organization.
Be intentional in your leadership. Greg is focused on how to build leadership in his team. "There are a hundred roads to get home. It's what you want to accomplish on the way home that determines the road to take." This philosophy keeps his team thinking, problem-solving, and growing. It helps him provide the right balance to keep his staff working with just the right amount of stretch.
Greg has proven that knowing the right balance for you and your staff is rewarding for a leader. However, even the most successful business leaders can find themselves in a rut. During my trainings and in my coaching practice, I tell managers, supervisors and CEOs that you can’t expect people to see you as a leader just because you have the fancy title on your business card. You have to be intentional in developing the trust and respect of those who work with you. You have to take deliberate actions for others to follow your vision and direction. Intentional leadership is a style of leadership that allows you to overcome barriers, unleash your creativity, and reach your full potential as a leader.
How can you be an intentional leader?
1. Communicate Your Mission
Talk about the vision and the values of your company every time you get a chance. Review your core values in staff meetings. Remind your team members why they want to work with you. Give employees a reason to come into the office—besides a paycheck.
2. Give Constructive and Useful Feedback
Make sure you’re helping people get better, and not just leaving a wound. Give them ways to correct poor behavior. Show appreciation for hard work. Say thank you. Write notes of gratitude. Take people to lunch. Tell them, “Great job!” In the hustle and bustle, we as leaders sometimes forget the small things and miss out on opportunities to really connect with our people.
3. Remember, They Work With You, Not for You
Think about that. “For” communicates ownership; “With” says team. You don’t own anybody! That’s important to remember because a lot of people get caught up in the power and control game, and nothing good happens when you do that. Treat people with respect, whether they’re the janitor or the junior partner, and you’re earning their loyalty.
4. Take Responsibility for Mistakes
It’s easy to be a leader when everything goes great. The true mark of a leader is admitting failure. When you say, “Yep, I messed up.” and then figure out a way to fix it, you earn the respect of your peers and team members. People follow authentic leaders.
5. Stretch Your Comfort Zone
Seven simple words can undermine your leadership: “We’ve never done it that way before.” So what? Great leaders chase new ideas. You won’t make progress if you don’t keep moving forward. Challenge yourself - and your team - to take that next step—even if it’s uncomfortable.
6. Focus on What Matters Most
Stop trying to do this and that. Take some stuff off your plate. List all the things you think you need to do. Then delegate what you can, and get rid of the junk that doesn’t lead to progress. Don’t let the small stuff hijack your priorities.
Leadership doesn’t just happen with a snap of your fingers. It happens every day when you take intentional steps that push you and your business to the next level. Know where you want to take your business, keep going in that direction no matter what, and take your team along with you. That’s intentional leadership!
Greg Simeroth is one example of an intentional leader. A big thank you to him for letting me highlight him in our Best Practices blog series. If you missed any part of the series, you can find them at www.MaximizeYourLeadership.com.
Are you ready to take the next steps to become a dynamic, intentional leader? Is there something that drives you crazy at work that you would like to see addressed in a future blog? Contact us! Joy@MaximizeYourLeadership.com