If you have ever experienced working for a manager who is a control freak, you know just how frustrating it can get. Not only is it difficult to get any work done but it is also very annoying when they are hovering and advising how you should get it done. This will not inspire you to get up to go to work every day. In fact, this type of boss or leader will leave you feeling unmotivated to perform at all.
Great leaders need to inspire, motivate and encourage their employees to be better – to do better every single day. Their attitudes play a huge part in influencing those around them. So, are you a great leader? Do you inspire your employees to live up to their full potential? This summary will allow you to be a great leader by teaching you the main characteristics you should work on.
In this summary readers will discover:
- Why terrible bosses are bad for business
- Managing vs. leading
- How leaders take action
- What does a leader do to inspire greatness amongst their employees?
- A leader’s attitude dictates the team’s attitude
Key lesson one: Why terrible bosses are bad for business
Gallup, the world-renown analytics firm, revealed that the top reason for employees quitting their jobs were bad bosses. Even another poll conducted in the US showed that 71 per cent of employees feel disconnected from their roles at work because of bad leaders. So, why are they so prevalent in the workplace? They obviously are doing more harm than good especially if you consider how much it costs to recruit and train new staff members. Most commonly, bad bosses or managers can hide behind their team. They fault the team for performing badly and conversely, take credit for all the achievements.
Leaders need to be determined to succeed for their employees to follow suit. Consider a team of employees working extra hours to complete a task. What is going to boost their morale more? A screaming manager asking them when they are going to finish or a manager that reminds them how valued their hard work is? A great leader knows that they have to have a positive attitude and inspire their team. They need to lead their team towards a shared vision of success. You can’t expect great work from a team that is being constantly yelled at. This is one of the main reasons employees perform badly and leave their jobs.
Bad bosses are bad for business. The attitude that a leader possesses will reflect the attitude of the team. There are no benefits of having demotivating leaders and thus, we have to learn to be better leaders.
Key lesson two: Managing vs. Leading
The first thing that needs to be known is that managing and leading are two very different things. Managers measure. They need to know that work is ongoing and moving in the direction that it should. For this to happen, and to assess if and when changes need to be made, managers need to measure their teams progress.
Consider a team with declining performance. A poor manager will start looking at when employees arrive at work or how long lunch breaks they take. These details could possibly misidentify the symptoms of the problem as the cause of declining performance. A good manager on the other hand will know to instead consider things like the quality of the computers and software the team is currently using. Does it compare with the latest models and do the team’s salaries also compare with the competitors? A good manager knows what would benefit employees and what to look for when they need to make changes.
Leaders inspire. They inspire employees to achieve more. Needless to say, the combination of a good manager and a great leader is an instant recipe for success. So, how can you find them? Well, good managers were once just great employees that were exposed to the right experiences, training and attitudes which helped them develop their skills. Leaders are also made in this manner -they need to be developed.
Key lesson three: How leaders take action
Leaders have skills that they demonstrate, repeatedly. They take action and never hesitate because they have vision and know where and how to get their team to make that vision a reality. This is all whilst still taking suggestions on board and listening to their team. But ultimately, the final course of action is decided by the leader.
There are instances where team members will suggest ideas that are outside the scope of what needs to be done. This is where leaders need to step up and reel everyone back into the original plan. It’s their job to steer the ship so to speak. But the way in which they do so is important. They still need to make team members feel valued and that their suggestions matter. This is because you need your team to be comfortable in making suggestions and not feel like they are getting rejected.
You also need to prove your worth as a leader by making the right decisions. If you find yourself facing a lot of resistance when you suggest an action, it could be because you have not delivered in the past. Leaders need to talk the talk and walk the walk. To inspire your team to follow your lead, they must know that you follow through on your actions and that they have had successful outcomes.
Key lesson four: What does a leader do to inspire greatness amongst their employees?
Great leaders listen. As mentioned before, no matter how far fetched a suggestion must be, a leader must be equipped to listen to employees. Nothing should be ignored as it could just be the suggestion you need to succeed. If not the suggestion, but the reasoning behind it may give you new insight into a particular problem. This will inevitably help with a leader’s final decision.
Leaders also need to be honest with their employees. This leads to a high level of trust and respect within the team. If employees know that you will always be honest with them, they are more likely to trust you and your decisions as a leader. It will also encourage them to be honest with you as well. This type of relationship is integral to leadership. Why? Well because honest feedback from employees will let you know what you are doing right and if you need to improve in a specific area. It will also allow you to provide feedback without sounding liking you are criticizing employees. In this manner, everyone can learn from their mistakes and improve. This is crucial to the development and growth of a company as a whole.
Leaders need to listen, have honesty, integrity and respect. They will more often than not get what they give. Employees will reciprocate the same values and perform better in this environment.
Key lesson five: A leader’s attitude dictates the team’s attitude
Recruitment of new employees is a task that good leaders should excel at. They should be able to spot the right skills and attitude that a company needs. But it’s not only about the recruit’s skills and attitude. Leaders must also exude the right attitude.
A good leader needs to understand that a good employee is key to a company’s success. They should not be thought of as replaceable or only to be used for a limited time. If you treat them as such, you will end up with employees who are just there to collect a paycheck for as long as they can. There will be no other incentive for them to perform well which is what you really want. You want an employee that performs so well in their position that you would never dream of replacing them.
This all begins in the interview. Leaders need to ask the right questions during interviews. They should ideally present candidates with hypothetical situations that require problem-solving. In this manner, leaders will be able to see how candidates think and approach different types of problems. This will make picking candidates who have a similar attitude towards work as you do easy.
Having the right attitude also has an impact on how you reward your employees. Firstly, leaders need to know the difference between rewards and incentives. Incentives involve making a promise to encourage better performance. Just like a bonus, if you finish the work ahead of the deadline. It’s essentially a bribe to get things done faster.
A reward, on the other hand, is given as recognition for a job well done. If an employee finishes a task before the deadline, they can be rewarded as a surprise. This provides a sense of accomplishment and makes the employee want to continue working harder in future.
The attitude a leader adopts when rewarding employees which be the attitude the employee also adopts when they work. If you offer incentives, employees will ask for an incentive to work harder. If you are known for rewarding your employees, they will work harder to receive recognition and reward for their work. It’s all about leadership and steering the ship towards what your team should be achieving and working towards.
The key takeaway fro Attitude Reflects Leadership is:
The attitude that leaders in an organization exhibit is the same attitude that their employees will have. Leaders need to develop their skills and attitude to the way they interact with their employees as this will have a profound effect on how they will function. Bad leadership will lead to decreased productivity and a closed and unhappy work environment. Good leaders need to listen, be honest and respect their employees to facilitate an environment of growth and development. This is important in the overall success of the company
How can I implement the lessons learned in Attitude Reflects Leadership:
Take the time to listen to your employees and always provide honest feedback. Even though their ideas might not provide solutions, they will provide valuable insight that you can always use. Listening also ensures that an employee feels valued and will not be afraid to share their thoughts with you.