Why Leadership Helps You Recruit, And How To Demonstrate It
We've recently written that the quality of people's relationships with senior management is a big part of employee engagement.
Happy, loyal and motivated staff cannot be bought with good facilities and financial incentives such as a good salary or gifts.
Added on 29.03.2016
No matter how well someone is compensated for their time, if they are not truly inspired in their job then they are less likely to give their very best in their work and in their dealings with others. It is this extra 'sparkle' in the workplace that creates an environment that encourages the best ideas and the best work, and this has to come from the top.
If we had to boil good leadership down to one phrase, it would be 'lead by example'. Here's a list of the qualities you should demonstrate to set that example and inspire people.
Have Passion and Energy
Not just for the job, but for life in general. You need to personify the 'do what you love / love what you do' ethic, because such energy is contagious. If you want your team to be inspired, then you need to inspire them.
This can sometimes mean what others are afraid to say - or hear. By all means be tactful, polite and kind, but never shy away from the truth.
Put People First
The less formal and more consistent mentoring and coaching is, the better it is received. Be sure that you are known to be approachable, and encourage your team to pick up the phone or knock on the door to get your insight, advice, opinion and clarification. Be sure also to create the strong impression that you see this right at the very core of your responsibility and that it is never a distraction or interruption from work.
You should challenge those who you work for you, but don't micro-manage them. Instead, collaborate. Learn to step back and delegate effectively, because you'll be empowering your team. And, while we're on the subject, learn to trust your recruiter and rely on their experience, because you'll get better-suited candidates for your vacancies.
Leave Your Ego at the Door
Be prepared to hire people who are smarter than you, be prepared to ask them to simplify things for you if you don't understand, and be prepared to listen to them. You hired them because they know better than you do where some things are concerned.
Listen - and Understand
Make sure that you really listen to what you're being told. Even if you are going to disagree, repeating a person's question or statement back to them with 'So you're saying that...' shows them you have paid attention. And be sure to seek, and understand, the views of everyone involved in any issue. The best way to analyse a complex issue is to consider it from multiple angles.
Learn - and Encourage Others To Learn
This doesn't mean jumping on all the latest bandwagons, but it does mean maintaining cutting edge industry knowledge and keeping an eye out for ways to innovate and improve. It means trying out new things and not being afraid to make changes. You also need to encourage and nurture this curiosity and bravery in those that work for you, so look for opportunities to coach people and to build their confidence in continuous learning and development.
See the 'Big Picture'
Taking a step back first allows you to see whether something needs doing at all. Then, if it is important, can it be delegated? A good leader does two things: first, they look at things from the widest possible angle; second, they only do those tasks that cannot be done by others.
Don't Make Your People Fear Failure...
'Fail often, fail fast' has become a new saying precisely because failure is so often taboo. But don't fear failure, and don't make your team fear the repercussions of failure. Taking calculated risks is good for everyone, so be sure to take the time to learn from each failure without facilitating a 'blame' culture.
... Instead, Foster Resilience and Resolve
Kipling famously wrote, "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same..." and this is vital. As important as making sure that everyone learns from the experience by seeking to identify the cause of failure, and circulating methods to prevent further failure, is the ability to shrug it off and keep going undaunted. Don't let a setback become a disaster.
If you have demonstrated all the qualities above, then you should have the confidence to pursue your convictions in the face of adversity or criticism, or both. Your decisions will be wise ones, even when they are bold.