Great leaders truly care about how they achieve success. They realise that their role is to serve their staff and clients faithfully and not the other way around. Loyalty is gained not deserved. Such role models never become self important and are prepared to listen and learn. They create the perfect conditions for their staff and business to flourish.
Here are some ideas on how to achieve greatness!
Tip 1: Encourage your Employees to Become Great Leaders
If you are the CEO, spend no less than 15 minutes each day talking face to face on a one to one basis with at least one member of staff from every area of the business. Ask them to consider how their job can be made easier, how the company can improve and what the directors can do to make it better. Then make sure they can communicate their ideas to you direct.
Investing a small amount of time will surely reap dividends and bring positive change and fresh practical ideas to make the business better. One opinion or idea could transform the business. If there are thousands of employees, then enlist the help of fellow directors.
Such a simple approach will show employees that their opinion is valued and train them to think like leaders. It will also reveal who needs to be fast tracked for promotion.
Tip 2: The Best Way to Solve a Problem is to Ask for Help
Following on from tip one, the best people to ask for help when solving a problem or looking for feedback on new ideas is your clients and employees. IBM had a rule. Nobody was allowed to see their manager when a problem occurred unless they had three different solutions. This encourages and empowers staff to solve problems as they arise by taking time to find a solution.
Tip 3: Create a Working Environment of Love not Fear
Too many directors and shareholders knowingly or unknowingly create an environment of fear. Many employees are even afraid to ask for help because they are worried about looking stupid in front of their peers or managers. Beneath the false smiles, this can lead to a miserable stressful workplace. More mistakes can happen and don't be surprised if they tell your best clients in detail what a bad place the company is to work.
Everybody should be able to express their weaknesses without fear so that they can be trained properly. If employees make mistakes, then managers and directors should in most cases take the blame for their own lack of awareness of where the gaps in knowledge lie in their organisation.
Tip 4: Be Ready to Change
Sometimes it helps to seek advice from an outsider. If the advisor is any good, the blind spots will be revealed quickly but this is of little use unless the directors and management are prepared to change. If we keep following a path which clearly isn't working then we shouldn't be surprised if we keep getting the same negative result!
Asking for help is good BUT if we are really truthful we already know the problems and solutions so why do we need confirmation?
True leaders have awareness, empathy and humility and the self confidence to learn and make changes themselves. They will also be honest and contemplate if they are in the right job.
Tip 5: Tell Clients and Staff How Much They Are Appreciated
It costs nothing to thank clients personally and to remember to tell employees when they did a great job. Everyone deserves and wants to be appreciated and valued - even fellow directors. If we display gratefulness, enthusiasm, common sense and energy then this will help create a sustainable profitable business with client and staff loyalty.
Conscious Leadership and Mindfulness
The best and quickest results come from the top down. Being mindful is not just a series of mental exercises. It is about having crystal clear clarity - being conscious of what, when and how to make the best decisions. Meditation helps this process and encourages us to address the key issues with more focus, calmness and balance.
I saw a great quote recently from Indira Gandhi's grandfather: "There are two types of people - those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group. There is less competition there!"
The hardest work we can do is the inner work on ourselves.