John Eades* outlines a series of steps each manager should take if they want to become a truly inspiring leader.
Being a leader that gets results and elevates others is difficult.
Even with an endless stream of leadership tips and tricks on the internet, it’s easy to lose sight of the main things.
The goal of the following advice is to re-centre and refocus your efforts so you can get results without going out to get an MBA in Leadership Development.
Increase trust with team members
The ability to lead a team starts with good, quality, professional relationships built on the bond of mutual trust.
The difference between managers and leaders isn’t always what they say. Instead, it’s how their actions and behaviour build a bond of mutual trust.
In a recent podcast, I highlighted the Trust Compound Theory.
This states that each team member evaluates how much they trust you based on how you share your competence, show you care, and expose your character.
Bring contagious energy daily
Traditional thinking says energy comes from results. While this isn’t wrong, energy ultimately comes from people.
For example, one person can completely change the energy on a team or in a room.
Basketball coach, John Wooden famously said: “nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.
“Our energy is infectious — whether it’s lethargic or enthusiastic is a choice we make each day.”
This means the energy you bring as a leader can be positive, negative, or neutral.
Play big, not small
People tend to stay in spaces and environments that are comfortable.
Thanks to the Amygdala, our brains are naturally wired to avoid risk and harm. Because of this, most leaders play small instead of big.
I have learned from coaching leaders that bad leaders set goals that are easy to achieve, and instead of raising the standards, they lower them.
Think long, act short
Our eyes are designed to look ahead and focus on what’s right in front of us.
While this isn’t necessarily bad, the late evangelist, Myles Monroe expressed the issue with our eyes as it related to leadership.
“The enemy of vision is sight. Vision is the capacity to see beyond what your eyes can see.”
If you are going to transform your leadership, it requires having a vision of a better world that exists today while, at the same time, acting on what’s right in front of you to help get you there.
Everything big starts small. Once you have that big vision, act small by having a defined set of priorities and accomplishing a finite set of tasks daily.
Randomise leadership responsibilities
Research has proven time and time again that player-led teams outperform leader-led teams.
Since the purpose of leadership is not to create more followers but to create more leaders, one of the most effective ways to transform your leadership is to randomise leadership responsibilities on your team.
Here are a few ideas.
Instead of you running your team meeting, have someone else run it.
Instead of coaching team members, have team members pair up and coach each other.
Start a virtual meeting and disconnect on purpose to see who carries the ball forward in your absence.
Know the numbers, know the effort
It is astonishing how many people in leadership positions don’t know how their team performs.
When pressed in coaching sessions, I hear answers like: “I think we are doing well.”
It’s true, some roles, like a sales manager, have an easier path to measurable metrics. However, every leader must know how their team is performing.
You must know the effort your team is putting in because if you only care about the results, you miss the point of leadership.
Repeat the values and purpose often
If you lead a team or organisation, do not go another minute without being clear on why you do what you do and its purpose.
As I wrote recently: “It’s easy for people to get lost in the monotony of their everyday work without considering how their work positively impacts other people.”
Part of your job as a leader is to stop people from going through the motions and help them to start growing through the motions.
Constantly remind your team of the core values that guide their behaviour and the deeper purpose behind their work.
Purpose-driven leaders will not only be more successful long-term than those who aren’t; it’s a requirement in today’s leadership landscape.
Being a leader that gets results and elevates others is difficult. However, if it were easy, everyone would do it.
You are just the kind of leader to remake your leadership.
*John Eades is the Chief Executive of LearnLoft a leadership development company. He can be contacted at johneades.com.
This article first appeared at johneades.com.