It takes a lot of hard work to become a manager, but even more to become a leader.
There’s a saying by Motivational Speaker and Author Brian Tracy: “Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.”
It’s a powerful statement, because the truth is, management is about more than just directing and managing people. Staff also need someone who will take the time to encourage their strengths and develop their weaknesses; the kind of leadership that makes staff want to work with you to achieve a goal, rather than be pushed to do so.
There’s a great little illustration that’s been doing the rounds on LinkedIn lately; it’s likely you’ve already seen it, but it truly is a powerful reminder of the importance of developing your employees. It takes skill to become the ‘boss’ of a company, but it takes humility, insight and a willingness to work with your staff, to become a great leader.
Many times throughout the last decade I’ve been asked about how I motivate my staff, and as I’ve commonly shared, it’s important to show people the value of their work. For example, back when we were in our early years I’d often take the time to just sit down with our sales staff and run them through the process of contacting customers. I did this because I not only wanted them to succeed in their role but to also know that I understood the challenges of their job. After all, when I started SponsoredLinX I was not only the Founder, but also the receptionist and salesperson!.
Anyone can hire just another cog in the machine to get the job done, but do you want robots or motivated employees? Do you want to be the kind of person who barks out orders that fall on deaf ears, or do you want to be a leader?
If you’re struggling to get results from your staff it’s worth taking a look at the bigger picture. You might even want to ask your team (via an anonymous survey) for their true thoughts on the company and what would make them feel more valued. It could be confronting, and maybe even a bit scary…but above all, it’s guaranteed to give you vital feedback on how you can become more than just a boss to your employees.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams.