Five qualities of a lasting leader
The Gift of Investing Time in Others. Leaders are usually not solo inventors or lonely creative thinkers. They are called to assemble a team of people and enable them to be more productive together than any of them could be alone. Leaders can’t create time, but when they invest their time to build profitable relationships with their employees they are multiplying the results they can achieve. Choosing to spend time with their employees daily is a leader’s best return on time.
The Gift of Listening to Others. Trust between leaders and their associates is built upon a transparency that reflects a freedom to speak and be heard. Bad culture, where listening isn’t valued, impacts business every day across America. It’s been estimated that as much as 55% of a leader’s work time is spent listening. But most leaders don’t know how to do that. They confuse listening with hearing. When we are open to an employee’s ideas and we invest the time to hear them then we are more apt to understand what they are saying and, sometimes more importantly, what they are not saying.
The Gift of Offering Encouragement to Others. Employees can work for hours without food or water. But they can’t do quality work for more than a few minutes without hope; the hope that their work matters; the hope that they can get the job done and the hope that their effort will be appreciated by their boss. You have few chances as a leader to show respect for employees that is more potent than surprising them with words that show you believe they have what it takes to get the job done despite their current challenges.
The Gift of Expressing Appreciation for Others’ Abilities. When a leader gives away genuine appreciation it is mirrored back in improved attitudes, stronger commitment and better performance. Study after study documents that employees do not feel appreciated. The gift of appreciation is not about altering your associates’ opinion of the leader; it’s about changing their opinion of themselves. When a leader helps employees believe in their unique strengths they build a work environment that – works! Lasting leaders know how to bring out the best in others.
You can be appointed someone’s boss, but not their leader. Your followers ultimately determine your leadership. Had Roger developed these 5 gifts he might have still moved jobs every 3 -5 years but it wouldn’t have been because he could no longer get results – it would be because he had developed a reputation for building a high performance team who followed his leadership even under tough conditions. That kind of leader is always in high demand.
Barry Banther is the founder and CEO of Banther Consulting. With decades of experience as a business leader and corporate executive, he has become a trusted advisor, leadership speaker and trainer for Fortune 100 companies like Pfizer and Rockwell as well as midsize to large family owned businesses across America. Barry's new book, "A Leader's Gift: How to Earn the Right to be Followed," will be released in April 2014. For more information, visit www.barrybanther.com.
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