True leaders understand that success does not depend on their titles, but on the values they uphold and the choices they make on a daily basis. They know that leadership is not achieved through technical expertise, but rather is based on a relationship with their followers. It is our hope that the following insights will help you with the “relationship savvy” you need to be a great supervisor, and an outstanding leader.
Acknowledge that the world is rapidly changing.
You can decide that you are going to help create change and learn from it, or you can try to resist change. The current state of the economy is proof that it is important to change. Managers and employees alike will need to remove themselves from their comfort zones, whatever those may be, to enable their organization to survive the economy and come out on top.
Focus on opportunities, not on what you cannot change.
Where are you going to spend your energy? Complaining about things you cannot change or revamping the things you can? Believing that your destiny is in someone else’s hands relieves you of responsibility for your own actions. Focus on what you can do and take responsibility. There is power in responsibility.
Lead with your heart AND head.
We recently heard a manager say that he did not care about people’s emotions. He went on to say, “We have a job to get done!” Unfortunately, people are the ones who are going to get that job done. And, people have feelings. In fact, everything about motivation and the desire to do good work is based on a feeling. If we do not consider people’s feelings, it is impossible to be an effective leader.
Reach out to people who have different perspectives.
There is no challenge in communicating with people who think just like you. Communicating with people who have different views requires you to think outside of the box when explaining your thoughts and exposes you to new ideas or perspectives you may have not encountered otherwise.
Become comfortable with the unknown.
One of the necessities to becoming empowered is to feel at ease with the unknown. As fast as our environment is changing, it is impossible to know all the facts or have all the answers all the time.
Develop a leadership “tool kit.”
No one can have all the answers. What you can develop is a “tool kit” of resources that can help to solve problems. If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. Collect information, and then learn and practice leadership and management techniques. Remember, good leaders never stop learning.
Look for multiple right answers.
With technology rapidly changing, we can no longer afford to look unilaterally for one right answer. Become multilateral in your thinking. Search for possibilities–not just one solution.
Substitute effectiveness for perfectionism.
If you wait until all the available information is in to make your decisions, the chances are you have waited too long. In a world of increasing competition, we can no longer afford the luxury of waiting until something is absolutely perfect.