Good leaders do not necessarily have to be an expert in the field where they are called to lead, though it helps if they are. Nevertheless, good leaders know how to surround themselves with the right people, then train and/or empower them to accomplish great things. Good leaders also know how to preserve and maintain healthy relationships.
Great leaders generally acknowledge that success is less about power or a particular vocational expertise. Rather, it derives more from skills of self-awareness, self-management and interpersonal relationships, along with mindful living.
Who are you?
What comes to mind when you read that question? I imagine you are thinking about your name, age, your family background and your career. Usually when someone asks that question, those are the answers they are seeking.
The same question can be asked but with deeper meaning in mind. This time think of the question in the context of the person you are inside that affects who you are on the outside.
In leadership, your most important asset is the people you lead. The worth of this asset increases or decreases based on how you treat those people.
In the relationship between leader and follower the banking principle of deposit and withdrawal is always at work. When something positive is said or given to someone under your leadership, a deposit is made. When something difficult has to be said, such as talking to someone about poor job performance or consistent tardiness, a withdrawal is made. The principle is true in all healthy relationships. Things can go very wrong if the withdrawal turns out to be larger than the deposits.
For the worth of those relationships to continue to increase intentional deposits are essential.
Here are some ways you can intentionally make deposits in the relationships of those you lead.
The desire to win is natural to humans; we can see this trait from the early stages of childhood.
Toddlers fight because they need to win, although they do not know that is what they are doing. We become adults and continue to fight to win, but we tend to be subtler about it now that we can rationalize why we need to win.
Whether vying for a toy, a position, a desired outcome, or just being right, we want to come out on top; we want to win.
Two weeks ago, we started a journey of looking at three essentials of a heathy team. The first two were respect and honesty. Today we look at the final principle: humility.
Ego-driven anything does not work well or last long. When egos within a team are competing for power and recognition, the team is unhealthy and unable to accomplish much. Such a team is comprised of persons looking out for their own interests.
Last week I looked at respect as the first of what I refer to as the three essentials of a healthy team. Today I want us to look at the second of those three essentials — honesty.
Let’s face it; honesty in the workplace is hard, even in the context of a Christian organization. People are not sure who to trust. They are not sure if they can speak their minds without the fear of their boss making them pay for their honesty.
Plus, their opinions and ideas may snake through the office in the form of gossip or a series of conversations with other team members. The result is usually underlying internal frustration in the organization.
What makes a healthy team work? We have no lack of talk and training on this topic. Multiple assessments are available to help discover what each person brings to the team so the right fit can be made. And yet teams still struggle to function in a healthy manner.
Some focus on changes in their work environment in the hope that they will help make a healthy team. Yet with all the training, assessing, and changes to the work environment, too many teams still function in an unhealthy manner. Too often, people are forced to take assessments and training that is meant to make them better team members. And still the team remains dysfunctional.
I will contend that there are three essential, foundational principles necessary for creating a healthy team whether at home, at work or the place where you volunteer your time. For those attempting to create healthy teams, these principles are simply irreplaceable.
Last week I suggested some things that you as a leader should take into consideration when implementing change. What all leaders need when it comes to implementing change, is buy-in from the people affected. Once you have buy-in you know the change will be implemented, and you will have the support of those who will be affected by the change.
The challenge is how do you go about getting the buy-in of those who will help implement the change and those whose life will be affected by the change?
One of the biggest challenges most leaders face is implementing change. Let me say, I know change is inevitable and necessary, and there is no way to avoid it. Change generally is never easy for most people. And it gets more difficult when a leader comes along and attempts to change things that people are used to.
Many leaders find it challenging to implement changes either because the people are resisting the change, or the way the leader has decided to do it.
I can recall while pastoring I came up against having to make changes with some inflexible people who I knew would resist the changes. It was difficult, I was able to make some of the changes, and some I had to accept were not going to happen under my leadership.
Here are some things I have learned about implementing change.
As a leadership coach, one of the comments I most often hear from leaders is about how overwhelmed they are by all they have to do. I know very few leaders who are not feeling constantly overwhelmed.
Some are so overwhelmed they are unable to sleep well, relax on vacation, or be present in the moment. Too many leaders have lost the ability to fall asleep naturally; their minds are unable to rest when they are trying to sleep because they feel so overcome.