We’ve all come across them. Those leaders who people naturally gravitate toward. Though it seems counterintuitive, the magnetic effect these leaders have on people is not because of how people feel about the leader. It’s because of how the leader makes people feel about themselves.
These leaders have mastered the embodiment of two basic facts about people:
Fact 1: Every person matters.
Fact 2: Every person wants to feel valued.
By keeping these facts in mind, you can master the skills necessary to achieve leadership excellence. Here are three skills that will have the highest impact:
1. Help People Connect the Dots. In my post, “A Pharaoh Walks Into a Bar,” I illustrate why team members need to understand how their daily jobs fit into the big picture. It is your responsibility as a leader to help your team connect the dots. You may use formal tools like strategy maps, or pull up to your nearest whiteboard. Regardless of your delivery method, take the time to sit with your team members to help them visualize their role in the success of the organization.
2. Help People Grow. I know a CEO who likes to joke that, “The only thing worse than training your people and then they leave is not training your people and they stay!” All joking aside, one of the main reasons people give for leaving companies is that they stop growing. Growth brings energy, vitality, life, and challenge. Without growth, we’re just going through the motions. Create a culture of learning and growth to maximize the collective talent of your team.
3. Give People Sincere Appreciation. People who don’t feel appreciated are often the first to burn out or jump ship. It only takes a minute to recognize a team member for making a positive contribution. But, doing it right requires more than the occasional “Attagirl!” Give timely and specific praise to show your team members how you value their contribution. Here’s a quick demo to show you how.
One final secret to mastering leadership excellence – you can’t fake it. Leaders who genuinely care about their team members will invest the time to help each one feel valued. Be committed to helping them connect the dots, helping them grow, and giving them sincere appreciation. Every day is an opportunity to help people see the best in themselves and achieve their highest potential.