If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams
Great leaders know that they are not always the smartest person on their team. But, they are smart enough to know their role: they are the leader. Great leaders know that not only are they the leader, but to really lead, they must prioritize serving the members of their team. This may seem a bit counter-intuitive to those who view leaders as the lone authoritarian who gives orders and expects everyone to jump. Remarkable leaders know that shared power produces maximum results.
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So, how does a great leader share the power of influence? In my experience, great results are produced by great teams that focus on the following:
- Reading. It has been said that those who do not read have no advantage over those who cannot. I could not agree more. Data shows that 25% of American adults do not read a single book over the course of a year. If your team is to thrive, they must continue their education through active learning. My team has a monthly book club and I urge you to try to do the same. (Check out this list of books if you need help getting started).
- High Energy. Your team is either Tigger or Eyeore. Let the competition hire the Eyeores, they will suck the life out of a great team and eventually kill an organization.
- Relationships. As a leader, it is critical that you promote strong interdependent teams that work as a unit. Great teams compete with the competition and complete each other.
- Love and Respect. People will put up with long hours, high pressure and tough conditions for a leader who cares about them (and their families) and they care about in return. Highly talented people will flee from a company and a leader who does not treat them like family.
- Value. Sure money is important, but great leaders know that high performance teams are driven by their need to be part of something great that is valued externally and internally, much more than driven by the dollar. If someone tells you it is just about the money for them, run, don’t walk, these people are toxic to any organization.
- Success. Great teams are driven with every fiber in their bodies to succeed, not just for the rewards of success, but because they have a deep commitment to their fellow team members.
- Honesty. Great leaders cannot allow a cancer of mistrust and passive aggressive behavior to invade their teams. Transparent honesty is not only critical to your team’s success but to the organization’s ability to survive.
- Communication. Great leaders actually talk to their teams, they do not lock themselves in the corner office and send emails. Communication throughout the organization is a must. Encourage your team to communicate with you, amongst each other and with your customers. Further, encourage them to listen.
- Moral Authority. The headlines are full of people who had great promise only to see their lives and the lives of the people closest to them destroyed by their bad behavior. Great teams require a leader with a very clear moral compass.
As we move forward in the direction of growth, opportunity and great success let us do so with the complete understanding that the only real competitive advantage we have is the quality of commitment of the team we engage.
Question: What are you doing to share the power of influence?