How many “managers” have you encountered that will say one thing, and then do the opposite? I can assume at least 90% can agree to that. When we think about leadership the words: trust, credibility, relationships, communication, and consistency come to mind to name a few. What better way to attach those words to your name than to walk your talk?
The importance of connecting your words with action is critical in developing into a true leader.
Lesson 1: Measure ALL your words
You have to realize that once you have been placed in any leadership role you are on a stage 24/7. You no longer get the chance to “vent” to other coworkers or display inappropriate behavior. Your constituents are watching you at all times. This is a very important realization to be made. Make sure to THINK before you SPEAK. This will take conscious effort because it will not come natural. After lots of practice and discipline, it will soon become a habit. But like I said it will take a lot of effort on your part to control the words that come out of your mouth.
Lesson 2: Develop a “stupid” filter
This is the infamous term that Ron Hurst loves to use. The stupid filter helps you measure your words. Whenever a “stupid” thought enters your brain and you are about to speak your mind… use your stupid filter and DON’T say it. Using visuals, such as the stupid filter, will help you control your thoughts and train your brain to leave out the negative and derogatory terms out.
Lesson 3: Make promises lightly
Have you ever been walking through the shop floor or office and your employee stops you and says, “Hey I’ve got a great idea!” Of course, we want to empower our employees; however, NEVER promise something that you aren’t sure can be done. As soon as you say, “Okay.” They will think you are going to follow through with it. This will damage your credibility and trust with the employee. One way Ron Hurst advises this situation is to get on the employee’s email and send himself an email with the “great idea.” Many of you are probably thinking, that seems silly why don’t you have ask the employee to send me an email. Well… there are some issues that could arise. 1) The employee doesn’t know how to send an email (highly doubtful now a days but you can never be too certain) 2) They will send you an email and you will have forgotten all about that conversation and never follow through with it. Therefore, by you sending the email, you are able to write exactly what you need to write in order for you to remember what was discussed. Another tactic to be done, is if you know there is no way the idea would work, don’t be afraid to say NO. However, you can say it in a matter of, “That’s a great idea, but we don’t have the resources at the time to make it happen, but I like your creativity and keep those ideas coming!” This will inspire the employee to continue to give his/her ideas to you and won’t hurt their ego.
Lesson 4: WALK YOUR TALK
This is the most important lesson. Make sure when you DO make a promise, you follow through. There is no better way to hurt your credibility than to say one thing and do the opposite. Don’t be a crowd pleaser. You are a leader. You are meant to stand alone and make the right decisions for your team. This is why politics can make things so messy. They are infamous at making promises and then never following through. You are there to serve your employees and do everything in your power to help them become successful.
Developing into a true leader takes a lot of effort and commitment. Hey, if it were easy there would be many more out there! That’s what Developing Leaders is all about. Trying to help the potential develop into true servant leaders and destroy the old way of management!