Being a Leader Means Inspiring Change
by Lynn Giuliani
If you are going to inspire change in your organization, team or company you most be involved and visible. It takes far more then simply being present, but “engaged”. Being active, involved and believing in change is part of any leader’s job. Leaders need to model and embrace new ideas. Their visibility when demonstrating their commitment to change is very important to those they lead. To inspire other others means to generate enthusiasm. The best way to do so is to participate yourself and show your beliefs and enthusiasm in new ideas.
Set clear and specific expectations.
A leader needs to be specific and clear on what their expectations are. This means to communicate it verbally and in writing as well as review those expectations individually with each team member. Often there is miscommunication where folks interpret new ideas differently. When they are received both verbally and in writing, clarity becomes much easier.
Be a coach.
To inspire means to coach and mentor ones team members. The simple formula is 2 – 10 minutes a day of individual time with each person within an organization, department or team. The basic principle of this is to ask versus tell. Ask open ended questions that demonstrate your genuine interest in what the team member has to say. Acknowledge and recognize their responses, encouraging their commitment. Guide them by asking open ended questions about their involvement, goals and approach to any initiative. With their own answers they actually end up holding themselves accountable. Always follow up with coaching. It is the follow up that builds in accountability and truly demonstrates your support and involvement.
Here are a few benefits of coaching including:
1) Building self worth and self development among employees.
2) Initiating commitments to action.
3) Motivating and instilling additional levels of self confidence.
4) Establishing mutually agreeable goals.
Empowering your team.
Empowering others is influential. When you empower you work through people. You allow others to reach the highest levels of their personal and professional development. Simply defined, empowering is giving your influence to others for personal and organizational growth. You share yourself by empowering others and enabling them to function at their very best. Too many leaders tend to hover over their employees. When you empower others you show that you truly believe in them. You allow them freedom of personality and process and relinquish your “control”. You publicly provide them authority and influence to obtain the highest level of potential. You hand them the baton to carry out your and your department/company’s goals.
Lead by example!
“If you lead and no one is following you’re simply taking a walk!” Leading by example demonstrates how an initiative should be undertaken. It models the level of professionalism and commitment you are seeking from your employees. It essentially defines one’s expectations through your demonstration and leadership.
As I travel throughout the country, I find “staff don’t know what good looks like.” They fail to understand what is expected of them because no one has ever made expectations abundantly clear and then lead by example. All too many managers want to “delegate and dump.” It is only through demonstration and leading by example that one clearly knows how to succeed. Think if you were to buy 5 year old Johnny a bicycle for Christmas. In order for Johnny to successfully learn, you would have to lead by example. You need to get on the bike, ride and demonstrate the balance and skills required to ride a bicycle. It would be absurd to simply hand Johnny the bike and expect him to ride. Leading by example is a form of teaching.
Rewards and recognition.
The number one principle in leadership is … “You get what you reward.” If you are trying to encourage more of a certain behavior, you want to reward the behavior you are looking for. This is the one minute manager in play. Those companies that are most successful have a number of rewards and recognitions for actions, activities, initiatives, goals, etc. in place. Many times we need to reward even the smallest of efforts in order to encourage more of the same and move towards the overall end result we are looking for. Recognition is seen as the number one factor in employee retention. Working in a company where employees are recognized for their efforts and appreciated for their contributions creates loyal employees.
We spend more time at our companies then we do with our family and friends. Having fun, laughter and interaction that is enjoyable should be an important part of the culture and morale of any company. Fun should be part of every workplace.
What are you doing to create fun in your company?
Here are some ideas collected from the many companies I have worked with:
- Children’s bubbles and a fan! It always brings a smile and laughter to those around them.
- Contests, campaigns and competitions.
- Dress up days. Themes such as western, Hawaiian or carnival days.
- Contests and rewards tied to performance.
- Walk a day in the boss’s shoes and vise versa.
- Car washing.
And many,.. many more.
Inspiring change takes effort, and commitment. Make it fun too!
Call Lynn at 360 319-6776 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
She will gladly help you with your sales success through individual sales coaching, classroom training or custom designed programs.
* Featured Book of the Month*
Book: The Master Motivator: Secrets of Inspiring Leadership
-by Mark Victor Hansen
This book provides a step-by-step process on how to motivate people. The author calls for clear expectations, supporting
requests, training, feedback and articulating optimal solutions.
The author asks that we complement the team when appropriate.
A pyramid is depicted. It shows the following from bottom to top:
The volume will assist in motivating people during every
stage of the work experience. It is worth the price charged
for readers who will apply the contents dispassionately.
Get it on Amazon.com
TODAY'S ACTION PLAN
Be involved with your team. Lead the way by demonstrating the best approach to success. Be their role model and remember to have some fun along the way!