Is Your Leadership Creating Follower-ship?Mar 30, 2022
In my podcast episode #51, which you can listen to here, I talk about 9 tips that as a leader will help you get the most out of others. It's probably the first thing any leader considers when assuming their role in leadership. This podcast was part of a 3-part series where we talked about 3 main business areas of leadership: leading yourself, leading others, and leading the organization. To be truly successful as a leader you have to begin with yourself. Unfortunately (myself included), we usually begin in the wrong place - focusing on others. True leadership begins with you! Where is your mindset? Why are you doing what you are doing? Do you 'want to' lead others? Once you have a handle on these key components, you can then begin to examine how to get the most out of others. I encourage everyone to listen to those episodes #50, #51, & #52 when you have a chance.
Today, I want to focus on how to get the most out of your team. In other words, how to lead others. I believe there are three key elements that must be in place for you as a leader to get the most out of your team and to create a followership.
First, you have to have followers. If you don't have followers, it's really hard to have the influence necessary to be an effective leader. Second, you have to have the ability to get others to work together. By doing this, you produce a better service and/or product: create a sense of accomplishment among your team and develop a form of self-directed group motivation that leads to the third element, which is creating synergy. Putting these elements into place takes time. You must be willing to put in the time to create a self-motivated workplace. Here are 9 tips that I personally recommend in getting the most out of your team through the creation of follower-ship:
1) Stop being a manager and start being a leader.
Remember every employee is unique as to their abilities and needs. As a leader, it's your job to recognize this and adjust accordingly. You always treat everyone fairly, but differently according to their needs.
2) The goal is to get optimal performance out of employees.
Employees you have in your charge as a leader will come to the workplace with different abilities and motivations as to what level of effort you can expect from them. Your job is to get the optimal performance out of each of them. For one employee, it might be 40% is optimal while for another, they can go easily into the 70-80% effort every day.
3) Know and Explain Your 'Why'.
Knowing your why is something I cannot emphasize enough for you to have as a leader. Know it. Believe it. Connect to your people so they understand how it fits with the organizational purpose.
4) Communication is connecting employee effort to organizational mission.
Leaders are expected to clearly communicate the organizational vision and mission. That is important. Employees want clear communication as to where they are and where they are going and how they as employees fit into that vision. In other words, they want to see a road map of where they are going and what car they are riding in to get there.
5) You as a leader, have to grow with them.
You as a leader must grow with your people. If you don't they won't follow you and you won't become the best leader you can be. You do this through showing authenticity and vulnerability and honesty.
6) Give your people purpose.
When you are able to connect your 'why' to the organizational purpose and connect well with your people, your people understand that their 'what' and 'how' have options.
7) Recognize your employees' efforts.
Make it a point to periodically and systematically recognize your employees' efforts and how it contributed to the overall success of the organization. Celebrate individual accomplishment and effort and you will definitely get even more out of your employees.
8) Make sure your people are compensated both financially & emotionally.
For those working in the public sector, it's difficult to control this aspect as too many external factors contribute. Be an advocate when you can for the best wages for the best performance. Be sure to prepare employees for what the organization can realistically compensate them and let them understand that compensation is both monetary as well emotional and intellectual. Are you providing these avenues for your employees?
9) Remember that everyone wants to master something.
Every single one of us wants to feel that we have mastered what we have selected as a profession or skill. It makes us feel accomplished and competent. Get to know your people. Help them identify their personal interests within the profession and then help them set a path to accomplish it.
Reflect on these tips and try to add them into your leadership,
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