The Forgotten Truth Of Leadership (Why Many Leaders Have Struggling Teams)
by Mike J. Agugliaro
You train your team. You inspire them. You lead them. You listen to them. You provide feedback.
All of that SOUNDS like great leadership but you’ll still end up with a broken team if you miss one more piece of the puzzle: act in alignment with what you say.
Not only is your team listening to you while you guide them and assign projects to them, your team is watching you. They’re not just learning from the things you say but also from the things you do. Are you living in congruence with what you say and what you expect of your employees?
This should be an alarming wake-up call to many leaders!
If you talk about service, are you serving?
If you talk about vision, are you inspiring others with your vision?
If you talk about training, are you getting trained too?
If you talk about being part of a team, are you being part of the team?
I suspect that many leaders out there are asking something of their employees that they are not also asking of themselves. I’m reminded of a story of an employer who expected his employees to respect him, show up on time, and do their jobs to the fullest extent of their abilities (fair enough)… but then on payday he was often very hard to find, he reluctantly handed out checks, and he verbally abused his staff when they came to collect their check. Imagine how much loyalty his team had and how much effort they put into their work!
If you want your team to work, act, and speak in a certain way, YOU should be the leading example of that behavior. Your job isn’t just to TELL your employees to do something, your job is to INSPIRE them as an example of someone who is doing exactly what they expect from others.
Your employees are like photocopies of you. If there’s a disconnect between what you say and what you do then you’re “fuzzy” and out of focus, and your employees won’t be as high quality of a photocopy as you’d like. But if there’s alignment between what you say and what you do then you’re in focus and your employees will be a better representation of you.
To instill this model of example-based leadership in your business, consider the following:
- Occasionally accompany your employees on visits to customers’ homes. Take an active role in the visit so your employees can see how you act.
- Use mystery shoppers to see how your employees act when you’re not around – chances are, they’re saying to your face what you want to hear but when you’re not around they’re actually acting the way they see you
- Whatever you ask of your team, make sure you are willing and able to do yourself. This goes for training, learning, and upgrading your skills!
Your team is a mirror of you. Do you like what you see? (For more tips and strategies about how to lead your team, check out my book, Secrets Of Leadership Mastery).
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