Outstanding Leadership Skills

by Brad Worthley

Do your employees perceive you as a “boss” or a “leader”? I have always disliked the word “boss” because I would like to think that I did not boss my employees around. A true leader does not have to boss anyone around, because your employees will be more than willing to follow you out of desire.
What your employees call you is also going to be determined by what you call yourself and the words you use around them. I allowed my employees to call me the President, co-worker or anything other than their boss.

Reinvent yourself if needed, your co- workers may welcome the change.

In This Article

* Avoid the mushroom treatment

* Are you a “teacher” or a “coach”?

* Walking the walk and talking the talk

* Lights, Camera, Action!

* Words of Wisdom

If you have never heard of the “mushroom treatment,” it is a very unpleasant experience. It is keeping your employees in the dark and feeding them B.S. Keeping the employees enlightened and informed is crucial in being an outstanding leader. You possess a lot of information that you think the employees may not need to know, but I will ask you to re-evaluate that position. Employees need to know the big picture in order to understand how their job impacts the overall company.

Imagine if you worked in a factory that made cars and your job was to make the steering wheel. Day after day you made the steering wheel, but you never got to see how the rest of the car was made and never got to see the final product. True, that lack of knowledge may not impact the quality of the car, but what about the quality of the employee? Wouldn’t it be nice to see the end result of our work and know that our job made a difference in the overall big picture?

Are you a “teacher” or a “coach”?

Teaching is a one-time event, where you provide information and hope that someone does something with it. Coaching is continuous, ongoing and never ends. You can never reach a point where you can pat yourself on the back and say: “Thank goodness, I am finally done coaching my staff.”

Coaching is all about providing ongoing education for our employees and following up to make sure they understand and apply what they have learned. Coaching also lets the employees know why they should make the change, instead of just telling them what to change.

It is also very important to “inspect what you expect” from people. If you do not follow up on what you have coached them on, they might perceive that you do not care, which could lead them to not caring as well.

Walking the walk and talking the talk

Are you willing to do the things that you are asking your employees to do? If so, are you consistent about doing them? If you want the employees to follow your lead, they need to see you practicing what you preach.
If you want your employees to use the customer’s name, then you should be using theirs and the customer’s name frequently. If you want them to offer the customer a handshake, then you better be shaking theirs and the customers as well. You need to make a point of showing your employees that you believe in what you are asking them to do.
Lights, Camera, Action!

When you walk in the door to your company, you must realize that the employees are watching every move you make. Many of them are looking at you to see what kind of mood they should be in, or how fast they will work. You are like a mirror and your employees are looking into it to see how they will behave.

Before you walk into your working world each day, I would like you to think like an actor. When the door opens, you are on stage, the lights are on you and the employees are watching the show. Make sure that your behavior emulates the behavior you have asked of them. Hypocrisy is one of the number one de- motivators.

Words of Wisdom
“If you lead through fear you will have little to respect; but if you lead through respect you will have little to fear.”

Brad Worthley, an accomplished business consultant and professional speaker with over 27 years of business management experience, is also an internationally acclaimed customer service, leadership and motivational expert.

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