21st. Century Leadership is a Matter of Being FOCUSED

Stop! Enough already. Please tell us something we don’t already know. I’m about ready to scream just like the character in the movie when he yelled – “I’m as made as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!!! The last straw for me was a recent news article headline that read – “Poor leadership seen as main cause of low worker morale”. (Oh really? Give me a break). You’re got to do better than that. I hope someone didn’t pay good money to a research firm so they could state the obvious.

The article went on to report that seventy-three percent (73%) of human resources executives that were surveyed said poor leadership is the leading cause of low employee morale. That far out numbered the percentage who  blamed workload (16 %) and salary and benefits (11 %). The conclusion reached from the results of that survey was that – “Being fair with employees builds morale, improves productivity, decreases turnover and ultimately boosts the company’s bottom line. (Ya think) Maslow has been telling executives that since he first introduced his “Hierarchy of Human Needs” theory in 1943. He observed that people respond better if they feel that they are appreciated and respected. It’s a basic human need we all have to some degree or another.

I am a student of human behaviour. I’ve been conducting my own research expanding over a 40+ year career in managing people and there are seven things that I have come to know for certain. I believe to be an  effective leader you need to be FOCUSED.

To be an effective 21st. Century Leader you need to be:

F – Friendly. People respond in kind and are more likely to want to follow a leader that they have built a relationship with and trust. Smile – let them know you care.

O – Observant. Manage by walking around. Offer assistance only when and were needed.  Provide people with the tools that they’ll need to be successful and then get of out their way. Resist the urge to micro-manage.

C – Competent/Confident. Know what you know and know it very well. And know what you don’t know. Surround yourself with talented people and rely on them often.

U – Understanding. Develop empathy. Be able to see it from their point of view. Carnegie believed effective leaders listen to understand not necessarily to agree.

S – Sincere. Be genuine. If you are truly interested in your people and you truly want them to be successful then it will show in the way that you interact with them.

E – Energized. Act like you want to be there. If you aren’t passionate about what you do – if you don’t like being around people – you need to choose an alternative career.

D – Dependable. If they can’t trust your word then they can’t trust you – period. If you say you are going to do something – then do it and do it without delay.

Daniel Goleman said it best – “We are being judged by a different yardstick. Not by how smart we are, or our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other”. Effective leaders make an emotional connection with the people who choose to follow them.