You know best as to what kind of leader you want to be – there are no right or wrong ways of doing things.
Whatever choices you decide you want to implement for yourself, my job is to help you explore finding all your answers and helping you through the process of attaining what you want.
We have all the steps, resources, and tools for you. We can help you with the details, the obstacles and challenges that arise. Think of us as your chief accountability partner to keep you on track to achieve your goals.
“You manage things; you lead people.”—Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper
My Favorite Strategies as a Leader Are…
Over the years, I discovered certain leadership practices that were not effective – and plenty of others that were.
Meeting strategies that worked well for me:
- Regularly scheduled meetings with each of my direct reports.
- Meetings with some individuals who were not necessarily my direct reports but whom I determined required regular meetings (depending on the roles and responsibilities, this would fluctuate or adjust as needed).
- Consistency is key: meetings were weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
- Quarterly meetings with particular individuals.
Additionally, I would drop in unannounced in offices to catch up if I hadn’t connected with them in a while.
Meetings can happen in any way that works for you as a leader. Putting them on the calendar ensures that you will keep the schedule.
Questions That Laid the Groundwork for Meetings
I would always begin with personal talk. That was most important to me as a foundation for where this person was in their personal and professional life at the time. I cared about them as people and wanted them to know that, so I would ask:
- How are things going?
- What’s happening at home, with your kids, how is your spouse doing, etc.?
- Plus, I always shared things about myself as well to connect the conversations & bring authenticity.
Many times, there is so much unexpected stuff that can come from these questions, especially when people suddenly open up and wouldn’t have done so otherwise. It is an opportunity to help them and offer them something, whether improving their peace of mind, or lowering stress levels.
We Then Transitioned Smoothly to Work Discussion:
- What are your biggest challenges that you need to manage right now?
- Where are you spending most of your time?
- How have you sought assistance for this problem or challenge?
At first, most people don’t put much thought into their answers.
They quickly disregard the questions because they are accustomed to going through the motions. But I discovered that once I had asked them the same questions on a few occasions, the discussions evolved.
Over time, I had associates come to me unsolicited to let me know their thoughts on improvements or where they saw inefficiencies.
As a Leader – Don’t Take Things for Granted
As your business grows, you may think you know exactly how something is being done. From experience, I can practically guarantee you are wrong.
You may believe that you know how someone’s job is done, but it is highly unlikely. Until you spend quality time with your associates, you cannot understand their perspective and what their day includes.
My associates and I worked together, with creative brainstorming and expertise toward solving the problem. This allowed them to begin thinking this way themselves to resolve issues going forward. Even if I had no idea how to help fix it in that moment, I knew there was opportunity to improve it and that I could resolve it in the future.
Having regular meetings, encouraging conversations, and seeking input are the best way to help you have a clear idea of what you want to create as the vision for the company.
Many times, I was inspired with some of my best ideas because of these meetings with my associates. And whether it is to make a product, provide a better service or make my associate’s day more efficient, it is always impacted the bottom line.
Meetings Should End with An Offer
At the conclusion of each meeting, I always asked 3 key questions:
- What can I do for you to help you?
- How can I support you better?
- What do you need from me?
Initially, many did not offer an answer.
Instead, I told them what I was going to do for them based on the conversation we just had. This helped them to see that I could help them – but I needed an answer from them first. And they learned It was not just lip service.
The question, “What do you need from me?” is not optional – nor can it be left unanswered. I let them know I will be taking away something from the conversation to have made our meeting productive. As a result, I discovered that at the next meeting, the person already knew their answer before I even asked the question.
You don’t need to over-analyze this. It is not intended to be a huge effort as a leader or project.
It can be as simple as:
- “I will be sure to talk to the front desk about making sure they have your mail to you as soon as the mail is delivered, versus the end of the day – so you can do this task more efficiently going forward.”
- “I’ll talk to the other dept head about taking on this project for you going forward so you can be freed up to manage the new project we have for you now.”
- “I will send you that link I told you about for summer camps for kids that I saw this weekend, so you can get your son signed up for it.”
Knowing Your Employees Motivates Them
When your associates understand and believe that you are there to support them, it allows them to be the best they can possibly be – the most valuable investment you can make in them.
In return, the loyalty and gifts you each receive as a result of building this type of relationship is more rewarding than any one sale or deal you can get in your business. This will become the life blood of what creates a successful business that all associates will love, invest themselves in and enjoy for many years.
Additionally, these relationships will be long lasting for you and them.
We know you’re committed to being the best leader you can be. That’s why we created a complimentary download to help you lead effectively, gain more time, and achieve your goals. You’re one click away from taking the first step: http://strivecoachingstudio.com/start-here/
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”