Do you tell your team what to do, or sell them on where to go and let them figure out how to get there? Do you step out yourself or expect others to move first? Leading can be tricky business. How do you balance letting people make mistakes and grow, while you demonstrate the way to success? Both can be accomplished if your focus is on showing others how to succeed.
“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and actions.”– Harold S. Geneen,
Here are three practical areas for showing others how good they can be:
No better way for showing the way than going the way. Giving speeches, reading books, studying your industry. These are all very important steps in showing the way. Your team can learn what to do and what not to do from your tutelage. But there’s a difference between reading the owner’s manual of a car and getting behind the wheel and driving. Your actions demonstrate the proof that your words will lead to success. Get out there and do what you say others should do.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”– Walt Disney
Stop doing something and start doing the right thing. Mistakes happen. Wrong choices are made. These are part of a successful career – if you rebound. Once again, your example here is priceless. Be willing to open up and share your missteps and how you overcome them in real time, not just the history but as they happen.
“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road.” – C. S. Lewis
Don’t just look forward, look back to see if anyone is following. Ok, so you are out front demonstrating everything you are saying. You’re like the drum major in a marching band, leading the way forward. Have you ever noticed though, that everyone once and a while the drum major turns around the see that everyone is in step and marching in the right direction? In the same way, you need to check in with your team to make sure they understand your examples and are having success of their own.
“Thinking good thoughts is not enough, doing good deeds is not enough, seeing others follow your examples is enough.”– Douglas Horton