Early in my business career, I worked as a team leader on a high-level project. I had what I thought were great ideas, and I was excited to jump in and get started. I immediately doled out assignments, telling everyone exactly what to do and how to do it. Unfortunately, one of my team members disagreed with the vision that I tried to share.
I didn’t spend the time I should have explaining my reasoning and collaborating with my team to ensure that we all felt we were moving in the right direction. As a result, this lone team member did all they could to sabotage the project, and it was ultimately a failure.
Since then, I’ve come a long way, leading many successful and profitable companies, and I’ve learned a few things about the best way to do it. In fact, I have come up with a set of 4 guiding principles that have been successful for me many, many times over.
Trust is perhaps the most important principle in leadership. If you build trust within your organization, then it will run smoothly. I’ve learned through experience that micromanaging doesn’t work. If someone can do the job, and build that trust with me, they deserve to play an integral part in the company. If they don’t build that trust, they probably don’t belong in our organization. While everyone needs self-discipline, it can’t come from the top down. It has to come from personal ownership and pride in what they’re accomplishing.
Clear business goals are almost always the key to success in both the short and long-term. You need a clear vision of where you want to go, what you want to accomplish and how you will achieve it. Stephen R. Covey, someone I admired greatly, said, “If your ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take gets you to the wrong place faster.” This is true in both personal and organizational goals as a whole.
As my opening example illustrated, if everyone in your organization doesn’t share a unified goal, you will have a much tougher time reaching it. If someone doesn’t believe in the vision, they won’t give their best effort to push for that final destination. That is why it’s critical to spend the time and energy necessary to truly sell your vision inside your organization. Build that trust, and keep the end goal in mind as you go, and everyone is more likely to get behind you.
In addition, implementing a good leadership team development program with the help of experts can help your organization achieve unity and leadership success.
A leadership team development program promotes continuous learning. This means providing opportunities for team members to learn new knowledge and skills and to develop their leadership abilities.
When team members are constantly learning and growing, it’s said that they’re better equipped to lead the organization into the future. With this, organizations can create a leadership team that’s united and focused on achieving the organization’s goals.
For instance, an enterprise transformation program is a comprehensive, customized program that can help large regional, national, and global organizations attain unprecedented, sustainable gains with shared goals and objectives. With this program, personnel can be leaders in the future.
On the other hand, accelerated coaching programs for executives are science-based one-on-one coaching, aiming to uncover behaviors and blind spots that impede their desired goals and performance.
4. Execute the Vision With Kindness
People respond to the best kind of treatment. As you move forward with your vision, keep kindness at the forefront of all you do. Employees that are treated with respect are employees that will continue to respect both you and your vision.
Be empathetic by trying to understand others’ perspectives, even if you don’t agree with them, to build trust and rapport. Also, be compassionate by showing that you care about their well-being for them to feel valued and appreciated. Treat everyone with fairness, dignity, and respect, regardless of their position or title, to create a positive and highly productive workplace.
In addition, make sure that everyone is treated right, regardless of their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, to create a sense of equality and justice in the workplace. Show willingness to listen to feedback from your team members to improve as a leader.
I truly believe in these principles. Last year in one of my current ventures, we made building trust our internal priority for the entire year. We focused on extending trust to every employee in their role – giving guidance, then empowering them with what they needed to get their job done. From there – we let them find the best way to accomplish the company vision. Without the burden of micro-management, our sales improved by around 30%! It’s difficult to argue with that kind of success.
Building trust takes time and energy, but it is always worth it in the long run. With a foundation of trust, sharing a unified vision becomes easier. Respecting your employees can turn into expecting more from your employees – and because they trust you in return, they will rise to the occasion.
About the Author
Glenn Jakins is a serial entrepreneur with a multi-decade track record of taking creative ideas and turning them into successful products that change lives. With a strong background in logistics and operations, he has helped launch multiple 8-figure companies and been instrumental in the increase of tens of millions of dollars in sales for many more. Currently, in addition to other investment ventures, Glenn heads Humless as CEO, pioneering reliable power systems based on clean energy sources.