One key lesson we focus on as parents can be applied to leadership. One focus I have with my children is who they hang-out with. I firmly believe that who they are around will influence who they will become. Well, the same thing is true for adults, both in and out of your workplace. The more senior the person is in the hierarchy, the larger their influence! The tone they set radiates throughout the organization.
This is not just about motivation. When a leader does not show respect for their subordinates, it will have an influence on how others treat their peers and customers. If your leaders do not believe learning is key to growth, this will influence how your people feel about learning. Are your leaders influencing their people in the right ways?
A key measure of a great leader is their ability to positively influence people to work together toward mutually beneficial results. Being smart, knowing your industry, working hard, having good communication skills, and being able to get things done make for a good team member, but many times do not produce a great leader. Too often, the attributes I just mentioned are the qualities given the most weight when companies are picking leaders. The fact is that most people can be good workers but will never be good leaders.
When you seek to hire or promote someone into a leadership role, you need to focus on whether and how they will “influence” others. A great way to measure a potential leader is to see if they can lead without authority. When you watch this person:
How do you measure up? As a leader you should think about how you influence others. Does your team look to you to motivate and help them to succeed? Some things to think about:
A great quote by Steve Jobs that really summarizes a good leader is, “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”
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