That is a favorite quick saying of mine urging others to join in the process of leading. As we all know there is much more to leadership.
Most leaders consistently show the ability to analyze, problem solve, decide, and execute the decision with precision. They align the solutions with process operations available and complete the loop by making sure the job is completed. The attitude of many leaders can be: “Next problem please” …. Ahh, but it’s not that simple. While the empirical data may dictate the approach and metrics involved toward problem solving, what is not included are the intangible tools needed to manage those who will implement the problem-solving plan: your staff/teammates/employees.
So, what about the people? What needs of the staff/employees are essential to be identified to implement your vision, decision making, and goal setting? What people skills are critical, not only for task success and problem solving but for building a great culture and working environment within the organization to “make stuff happen?” Let’s break it down:
- In my opinion, Honesty and Integrity are essential pillars in any business-constituent relationship. Without those qualities Trust cannot be assured. Without Trust there is always lingering doubt about intention and goals, and how employees fit into the “big picture.”
- Empathy is an essential quality to build relationships for two reasons: it shows how much you care about others, and empathy assures all that process and profit are not the only motives driving your business. Over the years I have learned employees really don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
- Sincerity and Empathy go hand in hand. Most can easily determine if the empathy shown is genuine or lacks sincerity. Employees should be valued members of your team, not a means to an end. If the leadership team does not understand this, then training them to do so is imperative.
- Compassion is another attribute like Empathy. Compassion is exemplified by doing selfless acts in consideration of others without prompting. If you make the employees your priority, and exhibit sincerity and compassionate attention to their needs, they will most likely make you and your goals their priority. People support what they help to build. If the culture of your organization truly lives to support and nurture employee growth, then the employees will be happy to help you build and grow.
- Each business strives to drive Value to their customers by consistently delivering products and services of the highest quality. Each employer should understand “boss” is a title that is bestowed due to position but is earned through Respect. Therefore, to achieve the highest rating from customers, the culture within the organization must Value and Respect teammates. Customers can tell when teammates are Valued and Respected, it is easy to tell by the affect they receive from the staff.
To summarize, leadership is part empirical and part intangible. The empirical part is data and process driven to produce a product or a service. Perhaps the more difficult mountain to climb is to recognize, respect and value your teammates by rewarding them with a culture built around Honesty and Integrity that builds Trust. To that mix add Empathy and Sincerity, combined with Compassion to create Value and Respect.
Process driven, but people centric. Leaders lead!