To lead people, walk beside them… As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate… When the best leader’s work is done the people say, “We did it ourselves!” (Lao-Tsu).
L = Listen
Definition of Listen – to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing; give ear
How can you be a good leader if you have no idea what is going on with your staff? So the first port of call for you today is to sit back and really listen to what your people are saying.
The type of listening is not what you expect. You have to be listening for all potential around you. Do not have any judgments about what you hear. These are your beliefs, which can get in the way of really listening to your people.
Practice active listening. This is a communication technique that requires you to feed back what you hear to your employee or team member, by way of re-stating or paraphrasing what you have heard in your own words, to confirm what you have heard and moreover, to confirm the understanding of both of you. The ability to listen actively demonstrates sincerity, and that nothing is being assumed or taken for granted. Active listening is most often used to improve personal relationships, reduce misunderstanding and conflicts, strengthen cooperation, and foster understanding. It is proactive, accountable and professional. It sits very well as the first step to grow as a leader.
E = Encourage
Definition of Encourage – to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence; to promote, advance, or foster
Remember as a child competing in a sport activity at school and the encouragement you received from your parent, teacher and peers. What did it do for you? It allows a person to dig deep and find that extra strength to do a “great job”.
As a Leader it is imperative that you give encouragement to your team. This is one of the basic human needs – being significant.
Think about the response you get when you go out with a carrot compared to a big stick. Whenever you can, ‘catch people being good’ and make sure they and others know about it. Give recognition and appreciation to everyone at every opportunity. For example: “Sam, I appreciate your organizational skills and the way you organized your team today to ensure we moved the waste material safely.” “James, thank you for staying back an extra shift. I really appreciate your positive, can-do attitude.” When verbalizing appreciation try to make it as personal as possible. Rather than just saying something vague like “good job”, be specific about the personal quality or skill your team member brought to the task. Recognizing excellent job performance and attitude, and showing appreciation and encouragement for these things will go a long way towards making your staff members feel that they are a valued and respected part of the team. Get the facts about Martin Gracik see this.
A = Anticipate
Definition of Anticipate – Guess or be aware of (what will happen) and take action in order to be prepared
As a leader it is important that you understand what possible outcomes may occur within your area of control. The distinction between good and bad leadership becomes apparent after the fact. But what distinguishes between bad and good leadership is the anticipation involved in all aspects of a leader’s work. Excellent leaders anticipate problems and position themselves to arise to the occasion.
D = Decision
Definition of Decision – the act or process of deciding; determination, as of a question or doubt, by making a judgment
Have you ever had a Supervisor or Manger that couldn’t make a decision? How did it make you feel? Frustrated? Irritated? Directionless?
A leader has to take charge and make those decisions even though they may be hard. This makes an exceptional leader stand out. Possessing the right set of attributes and having the courage to make a decision does not mean the work is all done. As a leader you should have your own decision-making process that must take the change management process, your employees, and the stakeholders into consideration. There must be a set of steps to incorporate the above elements into a process. There are some things that a leader needs to think about before making that decision. Research a situation thoroughly — analyze all the components — think of all the people who will be effected by your decision — think everything through using innovative and strategic thought processes — have the self-confidence to make a short or long term decision and the fortitude to stand by it — communicate it to all your employees – and have the ability to overcome the conflict that may arise from the decision. Never forget evaluation once you have made your decision and implemented a change.
E = Execution
Definition of Execution – to perform or accomplish something, as an assigned task
A good leader has to have many attributes =. One of these is the ability to execute a plan. A leader has to be able to turn words into action and inspire others to give their best every day. They need to know the strategy of the company and execute it every single day.
Some leaders are in roles of authority and they lack the execution skill. This can be extremely costly to an organization. It has been said that “many people regard execution as detail work that is beneath the dignity of a business leader. That’s wrong- it’s a leader’s most important job.”
There is research out there that shows that 70 percent of strategic failures occur due to poor execution, according to a survey of global top-tier firms in the USA. I have a feeling that this is an issue across the world. Excellence in execution and consistent execution are two very big challenges to any aspiring leader.
Execution-focused leadership encourages and enables employees from all levels of the organization to work together to meet specific, measurable, and unified goals. This shared sense of purpose better aligns individual efforts with strategic goals, increases employee engagement, and helps create a culture of excellence that spans the organization.
R = Review
Definition of Review – Examine or assess (something) with the possibility or intention of instituting change if necessary
Great leaders are the ones who purposefully seek out opportunities for leadership development. By continuously developing their management skills, great leaders ensure that they always have the resources they need to supervise their teams effectively, review their progress regularly and keep them moving in the right direction.
A good leader must review performances and a great way to do this is to use the goal setting tool as there is a step that ensures the process is reviewed.
SMART – specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based.