As leaders, we put so much focus on being more strategic, becoming sharper at analyzing data, remaining ahead of emerging trends & technology, and being agile while taking risks. All of the above are certainly critical, especially in today’s environment. Yet, I promise you, this is not what your employees say about you when you aren’t in the room.
Over the years, I’ve asked hundreds of people to recollect the greatest leader they ever worked for and to explain why. (I encourage you to take a moment to answer that same question for yourself before continuing.)
In over 500 instances of asking the same question, not one person mentioned anything similar to the leadership skills and competencies that we have been required to master over the past 20 years. What every person DID describe is their leader’s character and how their leader made them feel.
Maya Angelou said it perfectly, “… people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
When you grow into a leader, your biggest responsibility is how well you lead yourself and your people. The proof of this comes from what your team will say about you today, and in years to come. Here are the most talked-about behaviors of the greatest leaders ever:
- Listens intently. Your employees are closer to the workplace and business issues than you are. It’s important that your team feel like they have an open line of communication to you. It is equally important for you to be receptive to the honest feedback that is given by them. Everyone on your team needs to feel like their voice is welcomed.
- Demonstrates problem-solving. Your employees respect you more for tackling problems, not hiding from them. Memorable leaders see problems as opportunities for creative problem solving. Tapping your employees for ideas to solve problems not only creates collaboration, but it also sparks innovation within your team.
- Acts with honesty & transparency. It seems pretty obvious that the #1 trust buster within a team comes from a leader who is dishonest. However, even honest leaders are often selective when communicating or sharing important information. You can’t expect your team to make smart decisions without full information. Your team needs to not only feel trusted by you, but they need to trust their own judgement. It’s that simple.
- Motivates & empowers. Your employees will remain motivated by showing them how much you believe in them. When you encourage risk-taking through testing and learning, you build trust within the team and remove fear from creative decision making. Your employees learn how to thrive with confidence.
- Allows flexibility. People want to feel in control of their own lives and work. Many leaders still believe that allowing flexibility in the workplace will breed inefficiency. Being flexible actually yields higher performance. When your employees are given permission to flex their time, capabilities, and resources, they are more likely to deliver their best work.
- Shows support & understanding. Not everything goes smoothly on projects or in life. Be more intentional about seeing your employee as a whole person. Understanding what is going on beneath the surface is as simple as asking “How are you?” or “What is the most important thing happening that you wish to share?” Then, be willing to help where you can. Making a human connection with your employee creates a feeling of support and belonging.
- Appreciates & congratulates. Recognition is THE most important thing you can demonstrate towards your employees. Did you know that nearly 80% of people who resign from organizations cite ‘lack of recognition’ as the reason for their departure? Workplace engagement directly correlates to how valued your employees feel. All people want to feel like they matter. Always start here.
These are concepts that come straight from Raising Beauty’s playbook for Conscious Leadership that lights people’s souls and changes the world.
If this is something you and your team potentially need to experience a whole new level of success, then let’s chat about it. We’ll see if there’s a way I can help.
Business needs your beauty. Let’s make it happen.