Few things gain the appreciation of a top leader more quickly than an employee with a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude
- Take the tough jobs.
- The ability to accomplish difficult tasks earns others’ respect quickly.
- Succeed with difficult people.
- Put themselves on the line
- Do more than expected
- Typically, expectations are high at the top, low at the bottom and mixed in the middle.
One of the ways we teach leadership is through the game of golf. One of the reasons we use golf is because in the game of golf, it’s you and physics. Anything another player does has no impact on your game. It’s delightful, because, for many who join our golf advantage workshops, this is the first time that they will perform in front of everyone and be completely unable to blame anyone else.
- One of the games we play is called red ball. At the beginning of the challenge, my golf pro’s give a red golf ball to a player in a foursome group, the person with the least golf experience. They don’t know why. But on the very last hole of the challenge, they learn that whatever everyone else has done during the round, now it’s only their score that counts.
- Their group could have a brilliant scratch player or even three of them. But now the outcome for the team comes down to the person with the least experience.
- Some red ball players relish the idea. Others just want to run away. This is truly about this idea.
- The job is tough – there’s a lot of pressure and for this inexperienced player, it is tough period.
- Their group mates might be helpful or difficult. Some might encourage and coach, others get exasperated and even angry when this inexperienced player fluffs a shot.
- The red ball player is truly on the line. No-one can help now.
- Those that relish it and have learned how to manage their mindset during the workshop… they do much more than even they expect.
- Those that just want to run away… well this is their true character. They will never make good 360 leaders because they give in too easily.
The ONLY way to influence those above you is by connecting with them. Relationship skills define 360 leaders and separate them from other leaders. Remember, people won’t go along with you if they can’t get along with you.
Listen to your leader’s heartbeat.
Support your leader’s vision.
- Promote your leaders dream and your leader will promote you.
- Every time another person in the organization embraces the vision and passes it own, it’s like giving the vision “fresh legs”.
Earn your leader’s trust.
- Trust is the foundation for every relationship
- Remove trust for the relationship and that relationship is in trouble.
Learn to work with your leader’s weaknesses.
- You cannot make someone feel important if you secretly feel he’s a nobody.
- Whatever you believe and perceive about a person will be communicated.
- In the same way, you cannot build a positive relationship with your boss if you disrespect them because of their weaknesses. Everyone has weak areas or blind spots, why not learn how to work with them?
I was running a mentoring workshop recently for a Singaporean organization with their senior leadership team. And I asked the Chief Executive if he would demonstrate with me at the front of the room and allow me to mentor him, in the workshop about his weaknesses.
He was a little shocked and confided that he couldn’t reveal his weaknesses to his team, as then they would know his weaknesses.
And I replied. “No, you’ve got it wrong, this isn’t a REVELATION moment. It’s a RELIEF moment. Your team isn’t going to saying ‘well I never knew that, who would have realized’, no they’ll be relieved. “Thank God, he knows. Nobody has to tell him.”
You see everyone has weak areas or blind spots. Showing your inner circle that you know and either you’re working on them or that you need help in these areas actually inspires people to follow you. When we look in the mirror it is always with rose tinted spectacles. We look for the good and if we don’t like what we see, we stop looking in the mirror. Other people though, they see us in all our non-reflected glory, warts and all. And for most people, we tend to focus on the negative. It’s easy to spot someone’s flaws.
Has anyone here had a leader who comes o them and asks: ”Please, tell me what you think my weaknesses are”. And you have a list ready to hand over. In fact, here’s a ream of them…
Understand that your leader has weaknesses. And remember that you have them also.
The Elevator Principle
- Other people bring you down.
Everyone has someone in their lives who, when you see them, they just drain all your energy and enthusiasm for life. They are the energy VAMPIRES. The moment you spot them, you go ‘oh crikey, not them, what are they going to take this time?’ Duck or run, but if they spot you already…
How many of you have someone in your life that when you spot them you know they are just going to suck life right our of you?
How many of you are sat next to that person right now ?
If you are going to be a lead from the middle of the pack and influence people above you, you are going to have to be a load lifter.
How often you lift that load is going to determine the response form the leader above you
How to lift your leader’s load
- Do your own job first.
- I had a staff once who was really enthusiastic and always asking “How can I help you?” It was great at first and I thought how keen he was. Then later I realized that he wasn’t getting his own job done. So when he would come and ask me “How can I help you?” I responded, “You can help me by getting your own job done”. He didn’t really want to help me, he just wanted to be a pal, To be around me and learn. Well that’s great, but get your own job done first, OK?
- When you find a problem, provide a solution.
- Finding problems is not very impressive. It’s easy to find problems. Impress me, identify a problem and they have given some thought to it and propose a solution.
- I had a boss in Saudi Arabia, another John, and his refrain to me as a young middle leader was “bring me solutions not problems”. And I learned to do just that. Whatever the problem I found, I would think of at least 3 solutions. And I went from suggesting the solutions to identifying which of the 3 was the best solution to saying here are some possible solutions, but this one is the best AND Can I do this? Now I was lifting the load.
- Tell leaders what the need to hear, not what they want to hear.
- This is not ‘venting’ what you want to say. Nor is it ‘kissing up’.
- If you know something, it’s your duty to tell your leader.
- It’s no use saying after the event. You know John I just knew that was the dumbest thing to do.
- Stand up for your leader whenever you can.
- Colin Powell – When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I’ll like it or not. Once a decision has been made, the debate ends, loyalty now means executing the decision as if it were your own.
- Ask your leader how you can lift their load.
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Recognizing employees is one of the most overlooked facets of managements that even great leaders sometimes forget about.
Without a good employee recognition strategy, people will feel unappreciated and build up stress.
The last thing you want is to have high employee turnover because of poor employee recognition.
Here are some incredible statistics about employee recognition:
This infographic was crafted with love by Officevibe, the employee engagement platform that helps managers see the ROI of employee recognition while making employees happier.
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