Early on in my business coaching career, I was given the opportunity to coach a department head at a hospital. He was absolutely incredible at the task portion of his job and a real asset to the organization. He struggled, though, with the human connection required to be successful in his position. I was called in on a recommendation from one of the COO's colleagues and asked to "fix him." As I began engaging with the department head, it became very clear that their were several issues standing in his way, all of which he was in control of. It was during that time that I tried out these 5 strategies to take him to being a top performing leader. Over the 15 years since then, I have been able to implement these same strategies with hundreds of other executives to help them take their careers to the next level. I think that you will find that they are easy to understand, and will work every time they are applied.
1: Authentically Connect - We live in a fast-paced, hyper-infused, tech-driven, always-on world that is known for building tons of connections, but not a lot of depth. When people will take the time to spend 5 minutes per week in meaningful, non-work conversation with each of their employees, they can actually connect. It is in the one-on-one time that people see who their employees really are. They are parents, siblings, citizens, and fellow journeyers. It is in seeing people at their core that we are able to change our perspective on them.
2. Intentional Niceties - I remember hearing adults talk about how work was a "four-letter-word" and hearing my friends quote the Godfather... "It's nothing person. It's business." They used these things to make it alright to behave the opposite of what their mothers' probably taught them. They weren't nice because it wasn't expected. In the world that we live in, being a nice boss is often the inspiration that others need in order to want to follow you. You can only lead if others desire to follow. Randomly bringing in donuts, or complimenting the work of an employee, or even just smiling and saying hello will go a long way to set you apart and create influence with your people. Given the option of working for a nice superstar and a mean superstar, I will ALWAYS pick the nice one.
3. Self-Development - For some reason, I hear people say that they are "done reading" when they get their college degree or get out of school. They apparently believe that all knowledge exists only in a classroom or that learning is somehow illegal without a teacher in the room. Deciding to invest in developing yourself by reading books, attending seminars, going through programs, and attaching yourself to a mentor shows your people that you care about making yourself better. If you set the right example, they will want to learn and grow as well. After all, they follow wha you do, not what you say.
4. Victory Mindset - We are often good about pointing out what a person does wrong, but not so good at pointing out what they do right. Many managers and leaders believe that their job is to point out flaws so people will be better, but miss the part about reinforcing their victories so they will stick. When a person is supposed to grow and be a better person, they need a leader who sees the good and the bad. They need them to celebrate their victories with them. This will make them want to achieve more victories so that there is more to celebrate. When they are appreciated for winning, the cycle gets better and better. If you choose not to reinforce the good behaviors, you won't get as many of them. If you are looking for people's victories, you will find them.
5. It's All Me - Too many people want to pass the buck, blame others, or shuffle off their responsibilities. They blame their parents, their last manager, their kids, or any number of other options. When person decides that they are in complete control of who they are, what they think, and how they behave, they change for the better. One of the key strategies in coaching that I have used is to get people to explain who they are and where they want to go. As they offer excuses as to why they aren't there, I ask them who is in charge of their mind and if I could talk to that person. I let them know that it is their choice to be mad, to stay where they are at, not not develop their teams, or to choose the path of success. Everyone has the opportunity to control their own thinking. This creates a pathway toward success and a wake of opportunity for others to follow them. Don't blame others, claim your choices.
These are really simple mindset strategies that anyone can do. If you will begin to see the world in this manner, you will have more and more people looking to you as their influencer. The more positive influence you have, the more leadership mojo you have. The two go hand in hand. I have trained more than 100,000 leaders over the last 2 decades and coached hundreds of leaders one-on-one. I would love to have the chance to help you as well. You can check out my company at www.iWorkZone.com and my blog at www.JodyHolland.com.
To Your Success!
Jody N Holland
CEO - iWorkZone
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur
Jody is a writer, motivational speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. He has been the keynote speaker at over 250 events around the world. Jody speaks more than 150 times per year at different programs, and he has given more than 10,000 speeches during his career.