Three Must-Have Leadership Skills

If you do a Google search for the top ten traits of great leaders more than likely you will find having the ability to make quality decisions, able to pass work on to others and being exceptional communicators on that list. Managing and leading others is a learned behavior. For my money, if I had to pick my top three must-have leadership skills they would be communication, decision making and delegation. Of those three, which one do you need to get better at?

Worth Remembering … “Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

Communicator: If the essence of communication is to send the message and have it received the way it was intended, then you must keep in mind that you are not the most important person in the conversation. If you can’t communicate in a style that others will understand, then what ever you say will mean absolutely nothing. You must be able to communicate your vision in such a way that others will want to go there.

Decision Maker: Autocratic vs. Democratic. Inclusion not exclusion is the only way to truly get buy-in. Success is a team effort. If they’re not buying what you are selling you are going to look pretty silly trying to do everything by yourself. If you want to get the buy-in you must allow others to be part of the process. It must be Our plan – not just Your plan.

Delegator: Great leaders give up control to get control. If you are not delegating some of your responsibilities to others on your team then you are robbing them of their opportunity to grow. Great leaders develop more leaders not more followers. Great leaders don’t spend their precious time doing tasks that others are more than capable of doing.

Worth Remembering … “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com or email: brian@briansmithpld.com

Learn to Delegate or You Will Die a Slow Death

You’ve got to give up control to get control. Great leaders understand that they can’t do it alone. Great leaders understand that they need to teach others what they need to know and then get out of their way and let them do it. Great leaders understand that if they don’t delegate some of their responsibilities to others, they are robbing them of their opportunity to grow. Learn to delegate or you will end up with a group of people who can’t do anything on their own.

Worth Remembering … “Never learn to do anything. If you don’t learn, you’ll always find someone else to do it for you.” – Mark Twain

Eight Effective Delegation Steps

1 – Decide what you want to delegate: You need to be very clear on what task you are going to delegate and make sure you give them all the tools they will need to complete it.

2 – Decide who you are going to delegate to: Who is capable, and more importantly, who is willing to take on more responsibility?

3 – Create a teachable moment: Demonstrate the task – have them perform that task while you observe them – and once you think they can perform the task satisfactorily – have them do it one more time for good measure.

4 – Ask questions so you know learning has taken place: You need to ask some good open and closed questions to make sure they know what needs to be done.

5 – Monitor their performance: Make sure you follow up with the person shortly after leaving them on their own for the first time. People do what you inspect not what you expect. Follow up – follow up – follow up.

6 – Keep the lines of communication open: Let them know that you are there to support them in any way you can. If they have questions , concerns or issues that need to be addressed let them know that your door is always open.

7 – Hold the person accountable for the results: Standards, like quality, are not open for debate. Hold them accountable for the results, but give them some latitude on how they do it. Resist the urge to micro-manage.

8 – Be a cheer leader: Praise performance. Be quick to acknowledge what they have accomplished.

Worth Remembering … “If you are having as much fun running a big corporation as you did running a piece of it, then you are probably interfering too much with the people who really make it happen.” – James Burke

Whenever you pick up a piece of paper or go to take on a task, I want you to ask yourself, “Is there anyone else who should be doing this besides me?” If the answer is yes – learn to delegate or you will die a slow death.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization please visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly – brian@briansmithpld.com

Is Your Cup Half Full or Half Empty?

“For myself – I am an optimist. It does not seem to be much use being anything else”. Churchill was right. Do you walk around thinking that your cup is half-full or half-empty? I choose to see my cup as half-full. I choose to see the positives in everything that happens to me because I believe that everything that happens to me is a learning opportunity. Even the negative things that happen to you, and trust me there will be plenty of them, are really positive ones if you learn to look at them from a different point of view.

Worth Remembering … “The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.” – Amanda Curtis Kane

Attitude – your attitude is a matter of choice. You own it 100% of the time. Only you get to decide how you want to react to any given situation. You are the boss of you. You can choose to look at the negative things that will happen to you and wallow down in the muck or you can choose to learn from them and grow. You can choose to learn the lessons the negatives are trying to teach you and move forward. You always have a choice.

Worth Remembering … “Between stimulus and response there is a space. And in that space lie our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices, lie our growth and happiness.” – Stephen R. Covey

Viktor Frankl understood the power to choose. Viktor understood that no one else but he could decide how he should react to any given situation. Viktor was an Austrian born Neurologist and Psychiatrist who was best known for founding a theory he named Logotherapy that is used when working with people who are contemplating suicide. During WWII the Nazi’s had taken away all that was dear to him. He lost his prized manuscripts, his loving parents and siblings. Viktor had a choice to make. He knew he had no control over what they had done to him and his family, but he could control how he choose to react to it. Like Viktor, we all have a choice. We can choose to find the positives in the negatives.

Worth Remembering … “When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound. Rebuild those plans and set sail once more towards your goal.” – Napoleon Hill

Having a relationship with my son was and still is very important to me. But in order to have a relationship with my son I needed to have a relationship with his mother, my soon to be ex-wife. I had a choice to make. I could choose to be confrontational and drag out the divorce proceedings or I could choose to negotiate a settlement that we both could agree on. I choose to negotiate a fair settlement.

Is your cup half-full or half-empty?

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Sometimes It’s Best to Park Your Ego at The Door

You and I both know there are a number of ways to accomplish the same thing. Does it really have to be your way? You’re in charge. You’re going to get the credit. However, the more that you allow others to be involved in the process, the more likely it is that they will be interested in the results. Don’t let your ego get in the way of doing the kinds of things you need to do to get others to buy in to what you want to get done.

Worth Remembering … “Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don’t take yourself too seriously. ” – Norman Vincent Peale

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s important to have a healthy ego. Trust me, I have enough ego to fill up any room I walk into. My ego has never been in short supply.. But remember that a strength overused, or used in the wrong situation, can become a weakness. It’s like stress. A little stress in your life is not necessarily a bad thing. Without a little stress in our lives we’d turn into couch potatoes and would never get motivated enough to want to do anything.

Worth Remembering … “Bury your ego. Don’t be the star. Be the star maker.” – Bud Hadfield

A little ego gives us enough self-confidence in our own abilities to step up and take on certain tasks or play a certain role. If you have too much ego you may volunteer to take something on but then have too much pride to admit you’re in over your head and ask for help if things go wrong. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Having some humility and admitting you made a mistake is a sign of strength. Sometimes it’s best to park your ego at the door.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com