Have you ever had a leader that you absolutely couldn’t stand? They give you responses like “Because I said so”, always have a bad attitude and make you feel as though you are beneath them?
Those are qualities that are rarely the sign of a good leader and more often than not the by product of someone with problems displaying emotions and empathizing with the people who work for them.
When it comes down to it and when you're a leader in an organization it’s always more than just saying I'm the boss, I'm the guy who tells people what to do, I'm really cool and all powerful and all knowing.
What it really comes down to is it's understanding the way your team is thinking, it's learning how to see through the eyes of each one of your team members. Learning what they're going to do and how they're going to react and respond to the things you say and the things you do.
It's also being strong enough to be able to display the overall company vision and long term strategy to your team.
Help them to understand that vision and then get them to rally behind that vision.
If you can't develop a vision and a long term strategy and if you can't develop a long term plan to showcase to your team they will never rally behind you. And this is the reason so many of us run into problems getting our team on board to do a lot of stuff that we want them to do.
If you are going to give your team additional workload or introduce new concepts to them you absolutely need to be able to explain the WHY to them. Otherwise, they are not going to be excited about it because they fundamentally do not understand the WHY how it’s going to benefit them and what it’s going to do for the organization as a whole.
You really need to focus and work on your why, because If you can’t explain your WHY and the company why you will never be able to rally your team.
And if you can’t rally your team, you're going to be incapable of being a good leader in the long run and your team is going to have an incredibly difficult time following you and eventually, you will be left by yourself and unable to lead anybody.
So remember in order to be an effective leader you really need to learn and understand what your team is thinking (through empathy), who they are, what they're going to say about your leadership and vision and then you need to be able to react and respond based on the information you have and understand about your team.
Then you can display your why and your long term vision to truly rally your team behind what needs to be done. Even if it’s going to be more work initially, they will follow you if you give them a good reason as to why it is important in the long term.
Be able to display and showcase a long term vision that your team can rally behind!
Now, once you’ve decided that you need to create the vision and that vision needs to be displayed to everyone who follows you it’s important to map it out and to understand it better than anyone else.
To be able to create your vision we need to look 12, 24, 36 months (and longer) from now and work to understand where you would like to see your business at and what it looks like at that point.
Once you’ve created this high-level overview you need to work backward to build the timeline of how you are going to accomplish this strategy. Some things to think about:
- What does it look like every step of the way?
- What are some potential pitfalls?
- How do you pivot shift when things don’t go according to plan?
- What does the competitive landscape look like and how do you stay a step ahead of your competitors?
- What does staffing look like and who will you need to accomplish your strategy?
After you’ve thought long and hard about this and have created the vision, the strategy and the long term roadmap to success, your next step is to work to understand how to visually and vocally express this to your staff.
It’s important that the way you display the vision of the company is exciting and gets them motivated to make things happen and put in the work because they believe in the vision.
If you have a team that believes in your vision they will be much more likely to work harder, longer hours and ultimately be committed to the success of the vision and the part they play in it!