Think of the best boss you have ever had in your adult work life. Now, what are the top three reasons you named this person as your best boss? If you are like many, you answered with statements like:
- Lead by example
- Encouraged everyone
- Rewarded fairly
- Held me accountable
- Empowered me
Now, either go see or call this person (do not email) and tell them you just thought of him/her. How do think they will feel when you tell them this? Pretty awesome I would think.
These are just a few of the things that employees have said are important to them. What is interesting is that these are leadership, and not management, traits.
Have you ever thought about what your team members are looking for, from you? Are they getting what they expect? What they need? Leadership, from the top down, dictates the culture of an organization. Leadership, from the top down, dictates the culture of an organization. Leadership that is empowering is crucial to developing employees that will become future leaders – leaders who also empower others. On the other hand, if your organization is one that keeps a strangle-hold on everyone, then you will develop future leaders of the same style. Think about it this way; have you ever noticed how much a child resembles the parent? Not just in physical appearance, but in their mannerisms and communication styles? Exactly!
Here are four critical rules for developing a successful legacy in your organization:
- Treat everyone fairly – Fairly does not mean equal, it means fairly. This is one of the strongest ways to build a respectful team and a respectful team is generally a trusting team.
- Lead from a position of integrity – How do you expect to develop others if you are not leading the pack? This goes beyond “walking the walk,” it means you must live the part you are portraying. Be consistent between word and deed at all times.
- Develop the right track for everyone to run on – Have you ever had an employee that shared the team’s vision but could not perform in their position? Get the right person into the right job and do it fast.
- Show a genuine interest in your team members – Everyone likes to have some attention shown to them. This means that, even if you are not an extroverted leader, develop the skill set to make sure the employees know you care about them on every level.
If you are lucky you will be like the legendary San Francisco 49er head coach Bill Walsh. When he was asked about his career he said he was proud of his super bowl rings but he was even more proud of the number of head coaches he developed over the years.
One day, years from now, you could be sitting at home and answer the phone. The voice on the other end says, “Hey boss, I just read an article about great leaders and when I thought about my best boss, I thought of you. I just wanted to call and tell you how much I appreciated everything you did for me back then.” Imagine that…