A leader is best described as a person who invests in others, empowers them to excel and challenges them to exceed their best. How does your leadership style influence others? Are you quick to point out weaknesses? How has that worked for you? Let’s face it — most people already know their weaknesses. Many people have told them and they’ve experienced the painful result of them at some point in their lives. A good leader will give people the Triple – A treatment. What is that you may be thinking? The Triple – A treatment is quite simply giving people attention, affirmation and appreciation.
ATTENTION: The next time you are making contact with someone, give them your undivided attention through eye-contact and reflective listening. Then ask a question based on what they just told you. In my opinion, listening intently to someone is one of the greatest gifts we can give to another person. When someone knows you have truly heard them, you have made a real connection and paved the way for a positive relationship.
AFFIRMATION: Affirming someone is a gift to the giver and receiver that can create an endorphin release for both of you. I believe it was William King who said, “A gossip is one who talks about others, a bore is one who talks about himself, and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself.” Affirmation is an easy gift to give that can yield wonderful results!
APPRECIATION: By showing your appreciation for someone through words or actions, you will be amazed at the response. Psychologist Henry H. Goddard conducted a study on children and their energy levels using an instrument called the “ergograph.” He discovered when a tired child was given a word of encouragement or appreciation, the ergograph showed an upward surge of energy in the child. When they were criticized or discouraged, the ergograph showed their physical energy took a sudden nosedive. What kind of energy are you creating for your staff? Are you encouraging them and being an energy carrier or are you draining their energy?
Now let’s measure YOU as a Leader…
Are you leading a team to the best of your ability?
In my years of working, which has been MANY, as I was hired to cut my Grandfather’s grass at the ripe old age of six, I’ve learned and noted what makes good leaders, and then what can make a good one GREAT! The following qualities should be in place:
L: A GOOD LISTENER is always well thought of and attracts people. Everyone enjoys being around a good listener and feels very special to be listened to intently… especially by a person who is important to them or their career.
E: A good Leader is generally an EXPERT in their field or at least their profession. This expertise can be from education, practical experience or trained experience.
A: A good ATTITUDE can be decided upon awakening and before you know it 10 a.m. has past and the rest of the day will take care of itself. Taking responsibility for your attitude – recognizing that it can change how you live, managing it every day – can be your greatest asset. People thrive on being around positive people and working for leaders with a positive attitude. It can become the “difference maker” in your life, opening doors and helping you and those around you to overcome great obstacles.
D: Good leaders offer DIRECTION. French general Napoleon Bonaparte said, “Leaders are dealers in hope.” They intentionally connect with those they lead, and give them the inspiration, insight and direction they need. Good Leaders also exhibit DISCERNMENT, which is the ability to find the root of the matter, relying on intuition as well as rational thought. Discernment is an indispensable quality for any leader who desires to maximize effectiveness.
E: ENLARGERS are leaders who work to make themselves better, not only because it benefits them personally, but also because it helps them to help others. Teri Coutu, a friend and colleague, and CEO of Teric Enterprise Solutions, LLC has a special way of doing this. When confronted with a question, she will give part of the answer, and then she inspires the person asking for guidance to look for the rest of the answer themselves. She does this in a very subtle way that is matched by no other I’ve encountered. Do you make others better than they are alone through inspiration and contribution?
R: A true leader takes RESPONSIBILITY. A leader faces whatever life and business throw their way and gives it their best. “When an archer misses the mark he turns and looks for the fault within himself. Failure to hit the bull’s-eye is never the fault of the target. To improve your aim, improve yourself.” Remember a leader can delegate anything, except responsibility! The best example I can think of is Joe Crozier, the CEO of Community Health Charities. He always took responsibility for anything that went wrong, even when it was the fault of someone else, because he was “the leader of the pack” I ran with. And that is taking RESPONSIBILTY!
So, look inside yourself and identify which of the qualities you exemplify, and which you need to work on. Becoming a GREAT leader is an on-going process so just keep striving towards your goals!