The Four Cornerstones of Exceptional Leadership

Whether you are in a management position or play a leadership role in your organization, the challenges remain the same. New leadership skills are required for an ever-changing, multi-generational work place. For the first time in our lifetime we have the potential of working with 5 different generations at the same time. Today’s managers and business leaders must have exceptional people skills and master the ability to connect with others to build collaborative teams. They must communicate in a way that others will understand, educate them on what they need to know, and help grow others by delegating successfully.

Connecting: Exceptional leaders have the ability to make an emotional connection. If you can’t connect with others on an emotional level, then you stand little chance of capturing their heads, hearts and hands. Your success and the overall success of your organization begins and ends with your ability to bring people together.

Communicating: Exceptional leaders understand that communication is everything! If the essence of communication is to send the message and have it received as it was intended; then you must keep in mind that you’re not the most important person in the conversation. Ken Blanchard in his book – “The One Minute Manager” believes that communication is the breakfast of champions.

Educating: Exceptional leaders have the ability to teach others what they need to know to complete the task, to reach the goal. Behaviorists believe that we are born a certain style and that each style dictates or a least heavily influences how we like to learn. Exceptional leaders understand the learning style of the person they are working with and deliver the lesson in a style that they like.

Delegating: Exceptional leaders have the ability to delegate successfully. They understand that they can’t do it alone – that it’s bigger than they are. Exceptional leaders understand that if they don’t delegate some of their responsibilities to others, they are robbing them of their opportunity to grow.

Are you looking to become an exceptional leader? Develop your four cornerstones. Learn how to connect with others, communicate in a style that they like, educate them on what they need to know and help grow your people by delegating successfully.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him at: brian@briansmithpld.com

Establishing the T Word

Trust – a five letter word that makes all the difference when managing and leading others. Without trust you won’t be able to do either one very well. Trust doesn’t come automatically just because of the title you’ve been given. You must earn it one person at a time. Establishing trust between you and the people you work with and interact with is a 3-step process that I refer to as the 3 R’s – Rapport, Relationship and Respect. It’s a process that everyone must go through before you can establish trust.

Worth Remembering .. “In organizations where people trust and believe in each other, they don’t get into regulating and coercing behaviours. They don’t need a policy for every mistake … people in these trusting environments respond with enormous commitment and creativity.” – Walter Wriston

Step One: Building Rapport. Find out something about the person you are working with other than the work that they do. Do they have hobbies? Are they married? Do they have children? What do they like doing in their spare time? You need to be able to carry on a conversation with them about a subject that they like. Idle chit-chat is important if you want to tear down any walls that may exist between you and them. Building rapport will help you do that.

Step Two: Developing Relationships. The second step in establishing trust is to develop a relationship. You can’t have a relationship with anyone unless you have built rapport first. Successful salespeople understand the value of building relationships with their clients. They understand that clients choose to do business with people they like. The same holds true for the people you work with. People like to work with people they like. If they like you – chances are they will follow you because no one wants to let a friend down.

Step Three: Establishing Respect. The third step to building trust is respect. You won’t respect anyone that you haven’t developed a relationship with first. However, keep in mind that respect is reciprocal – you can’t demand it. Respect is a two-way street. You have to give it to get it – and you have to give it first if you expect to get it back. You may not like or agree with everything that others have to say – but you need to respect the fact they they have a right to express their opinion. You can agree to respectfully disagree.

Worth Remembering … “I’m not upset that you lied to me. I’m upset because from now on I can’t believe you.” – Nietzsche

After respect comes the “T” word – trust. You’ll never trust anyone you don’t respect first. Sometimes managers and leaders need others to take a leap of faith. Sometimes managers and leaders don’t have all the answers and need others to trust them that they have their best interests in mind. If you have navigated the 3-step process successfully you will have established trust. Without it – you have nothing.

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 contact Brian via email: brian@briansmithpld.com

Are You Dangling Carrots or Using Sticks?

How do I motivate others to do what I need them to do? The truth of the matter is – you can’t. You can’t motivate anyone to do anything that they don’t really want to do. Whether you are dangling carrots or using sticks won’t matter. People do things for their own reasons – not yours. Just because you say it – it doesn’t make it so. Motivation is inside out – never outside in. The key to motivating others is by creating an environment in which they will want to motivate themselves. To create that environment you need a clear understanding of what motivates others into taking action.

Worth Remembering … “It is only when a person has their own genertator that we can talk about motivation. They need no outside stimulation. They want to do it.” – Frederick Herzberg 

The key is to find out what they want, and then use that understanding to get them to do what you want.  You have to figure out what’s their WIIFM. (What’s in it for me). I believe  for the most part that people are inherently self-serving and will only do something if they believe they are going to benefit from it. If they aren’t going to get their WIIFM, then they won’t be motivated enough to put in the effort. Even people who volunteer their time or donate money for a good cause are getting some kind of WIIFM or they wouldn’t keep doing it.

Worth Remembering … “The common wisdom is that managers have to learn to motivate people. Nonsense – Employees bring their own motivation.” – Tom Peters

If you have the power to grant them their WIIFM, then you’ll have their attention. If they want theirs – and you want yours – then all you have to do is create a win-win. They win because they got their WIIFM and you won because you got them to do what needs to be done to complete the task, to  accomplish the goal. If you want to motivate someone to do what you need them to do – then you need to put down the stick and offer them a carrot. When you can do that everyone gets their WIIFM.

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

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Understanding yourself well and studying the behaviour of others allows you to improve your performance in relationships both at work and at home. According to Daniel Goleman, author of “Working with Emotional Intelligence” and a recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, emotional intelligence now plays a more pivotal role in determining one’s overall success. Goleman contends that sixty-seven percent of the competencies needed to manage and lead others are emotionally based. Your ability to communicate and interact with others effectively is the key ingredient in building collaborative teams, resolving conflict and motivating others to perform at their personal best.

Worth Remembering … “A common core of personal and social abilities has proven to be the key ingredient in people’s success”. – Daniel Goleman

Dr. William Marston, the creator of DISC, believes that there are four distinct styles of behaviour and that each style communicates and interacts differently. Each style likes to be managed and likes to manage others differently. If that is true, then all you need to do is learn how to communicate and interact with them in a style that they like. If you can learn to do that – then chances are they’d be more receptive to your management style because you are working with them in a way that they like. People like to work with people they like. You need to be able to make that emotional connection.

Worth Remembering … “The task of an executive is not to change human beings. The task is to multiply performance capacity of the whole by putting to use whatever strength, whatever health, whatever aspirations there is in individuals”. – Peter F. Drucker

There are four distinct styles of behaviour. The key to managing and leading others is to work with them in a style that they like.

D: Dominant. They like to be in charge and lead the charge. The key to working with a D is to make communication brief and to the point. Respect their need for autonomy and be clear about rules and expectations but let them go about accomplishing them – their way.

I: Interative/Interpersonal. They love being around people and work well in a social setting. The key to working with an I is let them verbalize thoughts and feelings. Provide written details on what you want to accomplish but keep the conversation light.

S: Steady. They are very loyal. However, they can be indecisive for fear of making a mistake. The key to working with an S is to provide a consistent and secure environment. Be logical and systematic in your approach and let them adapt to change slowly.

C: Conscientious. They are your best planners. They believe knowledge is power. The key to working with a C is to be precise and focused. Be sure to give clear expectations and deadlines. They strive to be perfect.

Different strokes for different folks. Ken Blanchard said it best. “Everyone has peak performance potential. You just need to know where they are coming from and meet them there”. If you can learn to adapt your management style to be more in tune with theirs – you’ll be amazed with how effective you can be.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – https://briansmithpld.com. To find out more about DISC and how it can help you manage and lead others more effectively contact Brian at brian@briansmithpld.com