Great leaders are known for their vision, their ability to make tough decisions and inspire their staff. But what does this mean in practice? Here are 12 things great leaders never do.
1. They don’t put things off
A real leader knows when to make decisions and to take appropriate action. They also know that keeping all options open is a sign of weakness.
2. They don’t listen enough.
If a leader is not prepared to listen actively, then there’s something wrong. Many so-called leaders are so confident of their infallibility that they never really listen. They also make a pretence of listening which may result in a premature assessment and poor decisions. The result is they lose their employees’ trust, confidence, and loyalty.
Successful leaders know how to listen with empathy. They are also willing to answer questions, clarify issues, and respond to concerns.
3. They don’t sit back and relax
Many leaders seem to be satisfied with achieving moderate success and take it easy, once certain objectives have been reached. The founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, once said, ‘The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.’ The intelligent leader knows that striving for better results and greater success is the key to a successful business.
4. They don’t know how to communicate
Many managers fail to inspire their colleagues. They lack the skills in communicating the company’s vision, policies and strategies to their employees. The result is that teams work badly.
Great leaders spend some time in organizing what they need to communicate and the best way of doing it clearly. They know that this time is well spent and will pay off handsomely in the long run. They also realize the potential of multi communication platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In to maximize contact.
5. They don’t know how to delegate
When poor leaders do not know the strengths and skills of each team member, they find it practically impossible to delegate.
Proper assessment of each member’s abilities is the key to successful delegation. Staff feel involved and valued.
6. Their values don’t reflect the company’s ethics
All too often, ineffectual leaders do not share the values and company’s ethics wholeheartedly. No surprise to learn that their teams lack inspiration and are satisfied with mediocrity.
The most successful leaders are totally convinced about their company’s values and are committed 100% to following these through in their business relations. There is total transparency in their staff assessments, business dealings and their hiring and firing.
7. They don’t view setbacks negatively
‘Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.’- Henry Ford.
Uninspiring leaders are often fearful of obstacles and this may very well delay their decisions and affect their action plans negatively.
Dealing with setbacks and obstacles is no stranger to the successful leader. He steers clear of those colleagues who were cautious and can now say that they knew X would happen because of Y. He will never play the blame game, either with himself or his staff.
8. They are not emotionally intelligent
Many business leaders and executives display an astounding ignorance or a lack of awareness of emotional intelligence. They are not even aware of EI and what it involves. They fail to realize the damage done by not being able to control their emotions. They fly off the handle at the slightest provocation and they are socially inept. They shout and criticize people openly and they do not make any effort at all to hide negative and harmful emotions. Staff morale plummets and there is a fearful and threatening atmosphere.
Successful leaders know how to control their emotions and they are calm in a crisis. They are also aware of their staff’s moods and emotions when faced with setbacks and know how to praise and encourage them, whether things go well or badly. This is the atmosphere where motivation will thrive and positive staff relations will soar. Learning how to resolve conflict and improve communication will help any business to flourish. You can only do that by being emotionally intelligent.
9. They don’t see the value of feedback
Everyone craves praise and recognition after a job which has required effort, thought, dedication, patience, and sweat. Poor leaders tend to be mean with praise but also cannot be bothered to give constructive feedback.
The best leaders know when a person needs help and they will care enough to give the help and encouragement needed for success. If it is done helpfully, it can transform a mediocre employee into a high performing one.
10. They don’t think outside the box
Poor leaders tend to micro manage and oversee every little detail. This stifles creativity in their employees.
Brilliant leaders know how much leeway and responsibility they can give their employees, without ever having to supervise and suffocate. The results will speak for themselves and employees will respect you for the confidence you showed in them.
‘It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.’ – Nelson Mandela.
11. They don’t seek advice
Weak leaders always want to display how much they know and how they are on top of the job. This means, in reality, that they rarely seek the advice of colleagues because they are so intent on maintaining their position of authority.
Wise leaders know instinctively that their employees can be a source of inspiration, ideas, and even sound advice. They know that they need to learn too.
12. They don’t see the value of excellence
‘Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.’ –Steve Jobs
Simply put, great leaders are dedicated to excellence in everything they do. This can range from innovation, staff relations, communications, goal setting, giving feedback and making tough decisions. The pursuit of excellence is the simplest way to describe great leadership.
I would love to hear from your experiences with leadership. Please share!
All the best
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Most of the times organisations do not recognise how poor leaders affect their company. It is not tangible but they actually cost a lot of money.
See below 7 ways!
1. They don’t set clear goals with their people.
About 70 percent of people want to have goal-setting conversations
often or all the time, but only 36 percent actually do. When
managers aren’t skilled in setting goals that are specific, trackable,
relevant, attainable, and motivating, the result is multiple priorities,
unclear action steps, and poor line of sight on how work contributes
to larger objectives.
“All good performance begins with clear goals,” is a favorite
saying of best-selling business author Ken Blanchard. Blanchard’s
recommendation? Identify 3 to 5 key goals for each employee and
make sure they are written down. Goals that are written down are 18
percent more likely to be achieved. Writing down the goal also makes
it easier to review
2. They don’t align goals to team, departmental, and organizational objectives.
Only 14 percent of organizations report that their employees have
a good understanding of their company’s strategy and direction.
When people don’t know where their company is going, they can
end up working on projects that are out of step with organizational
Make sure all team members are working on the highest-priority
tasks. Ask managers to check in and review priorities with
their people. Make sure the work is meaningful, on target, and
contributing to overall organizational goals
3. They don’t check in on progress.
More than 73 percent of people want to have goal-review
conversations often or all the time, but only 47 percent
actually do. And 26 percent say they rarely or never
discuss current goals and tasks.
What gets measured, gets managed.
Research conducted by Gail Matthews, professor of
psychology at Dominican University in California, found
that people who write down their goals, share them with
someone else, and have regular weekly check-ins are 30
percent more likely to achieve those goals than people
who do not.
4. They don’t provide feedback.
Research shows that 67 percent of people want to have performancefeedback
conversations often or all the time, but only 29 percent actually
do. And 36 percent say they rarely or never receive performance feedback.
Without feedback, people don’t have a way to make course corrections or
to know how they are doing until it’s late in the process. No one feels good
when work has to be redone because of a lack of feedback along the way.
According to executive coach Joanne Maynard, a few key attributes of good feedback are
• Focus on observable behaviors, not personality traits.
Feedback should be clear and directive and should focus on
• Keep a positive end goal in mind. Paint a positive picture of
the desired outcome that gives people a vision to work toward.
• Offer to be an accountability partner. Change is hard. Offer to
provide appropriate direction and support as needed.
5. They don’t adjust their style based on the needs of the employee.
Nearly 54 percent of managers use the same style of
leadership for all people in all situations regardless of
whether a direct report is new to a task or already an
expert. Half the time, this results in a manager either
oversupervising or undersupervising.
The best managers tailor their management style to the
needs of their employees. For example, if an employee
is new to a task, a successful manager will use a highly
directive style with clearly set goals and deadlines. If an
employee is struggling with a task, the manager will use
equal measures of direction and support. If the employee is
an expert at a task, a manager will use a delegating style on
the current assignment and focus instead on coming up with
new challenges and future growth projects.
6. They don’t listen.
When The Ken Blanchard Companies asked 1,400 people the
question “What is the biggest mistake leaders make when
working with others?” 41 percent of respondents identified
inappropriate communication or poor listening.
Here’s a three-step model designed to help managers slow
down and focus on what people are sharing.
• Explore—ask open-ended questions such as, “Can you tell
me more about that?” or “How do you think that will go?” or
“What does that really mean?”
• Acknowledge—respond with comments such as, “You must
be feeling …” or “So, if I’m hearing you correctly, what you’re
saying is ….”
• Respond—now that you have a good understanding of the
direct report’s point of view, you can carefully move forward
with a possible response.
7. They don’t change (without training and support).
A majority of new managers—60 percent—underperform or fail
in their first assignments. Worse yet, as Harvard researcher Linda
Hill has found, managerial habits developed by new managers
often continue to hobble them for the rest of their careers. With
two million people stepping into their first managerial position each
year, it’s critical to get people the training they need.
Unfortunately, research by Zenger Folkman shows that most
managers don’t receive formal training until they are ten years
into their career!
Does it sound familiar?
Nieves- Personal, Corporate & Executive Coach
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Leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example
The work world is tough: Wake up, go to work, deal with the boss (or if you are the boss, deal with everyone), make money (ideally to make more this year than last year), come home, manage personal life, go to bed, wake up, repeat. That's plenty to deal with every day. Why get fancy (and waste time) by trying to also understand WHY you need to be a strong leader?
If you are a leader you need to understand how your work impact others and WHY did you become a leader on the first place?
Being a Leader is inspirational and tough at times so here a brief summary of what makes a great leader?
What makes a great leader?
Inspiration. They’re inspiring. They bring out the best in their employees. They don't micromanage. They create a positive workplace culture and give people wings to soar.
Integrity. It’s one thing to rouse employees with a moving speech, but to actually get employees to trust them is another thing. Great bosses are trustworthy. They’re accountable. They expect everyone to take responsibility for their actions, most of all themselves.
Humility. Great leaders don’t surround themselves with "yes employees." or need their ego to be constantly stroked. They consistently seek opportunities to help and serve others.
Empathy. Leaders who possess this trait are not only interested in the bottom line, but the people responsible for the bottom line. They understand the needs of their followers.
Decision-Making. They are great decision makers. They welcome honest feedback and are not afraid to seek out differing opinions, because their focus is doing what is best for all.
Support. They invest in people. Such managers push employees to grow and develop. They recommend and provide opportunities for staff to reach their full potential.
Humor. Running a business is no joke, but an amazing boss has to be able to see the humor in things. They are strong but light hearted. They don’t take themselves too seriously and put their employees at ease especially in tense situations. They have a great sense of humor.
Appreciation. They appreciate employees. Their passion is people. They make everyone they come into contact with, feel valued. When employees have a boss who truly appreciates them, they are willing to go the extra mile to ensure successful outcomes.
A good boss is better than a good company. A good boss would discipline you, train you, develop you.” -Jack Ma
A bad boss can make you sick. Studies show having a bad boss raises a worker's chance of having a heart attack by as much as 60 per cent. High levels of stress is directly linked stress with atherosclerosis, the disease of the arteries that in turn causes heart disease. What was it about a bad manager that increased the risk of heart disease? The stress and anxiety caused by unfeasible targets, lack of support, unfair practices and threats of punishment.
There is an abundance of bad bosses in the workplace which account for employee engagement being at an all time low. Self-serving leaders can be both destructive and ineffective. Employees yearn for good bosses. A recent study says that 56% of employees would turn down a 10% raise to stay with a great boss. Most companies don't currently think about great managers as a benefit or publicize that benefit to prospective employees, but this is the best incentive in retaining good employees. All the money or benefits in the world will not retain good staff if they have a bad boss who makes their time on work miserable.
Type YES if you agree!
All the best
How to set goals and objectives for your business
As a business owner or senior leader, it’s important that you take the time to set goals and review your business as a whole.
In January many businesses start working on their Business Plan for the year so this is what I would cover this month.
Having clear, well-defined goals can:
- Help your business grow
- Achieve your objectives
- Improve teamwork and collaboration
- Help everyone understand the direction your business is heading in.
The new year is a great opportunity to take some time out of your business to reflect and review. Not only can it help you evaluate the effectiveness of your strategies from the previous year, it can help you set your sights on new goals and objectives for the year ahead to help you set yourself up for business success in 2019. Your goals should form part of your business plan and will likely become your business objectives.
Before you start
Before you even begin to write down your goals, you need to know what areas your business needs to improve in, or could improve in. Although you may already have an idea of the key areas, it’s important to regularly step back and review your business.
Here are some help tools and strategies you can use to help you assess your business:
SWOT analysis – identify your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Benchmarking – research similar businesses in your industry or location and compare industry averages on income, and expenses. This can help you assess how your business is performing. Check out our information on finding government statistics.
Market research – do your homework and research the market and industry of your business to identify customer needs, trends and changes in the market or technology.
Setting SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and timely) goals can help you evaluate the goals you wish to set. Think about whether they are realistic. You should write down your goals in your business plan to help keep you on track to achieve them.
Here are a few things to consider when setting your goals:
Specific – be clear about what you want to achieve
Measurable – make sure the goal can be measured, and you can recognise if you’ve achieved your goal
Achievable - check that your goal is something you have the time, money and resources to meet
Relevant – ensure your goal is relevant to the direction you want your business to head in, for example, increasing profit, employing more staff, increasing brand awareness
Timely - set a realistic deadline for completing the goal.
Example of a SMART goal
- Overall goal: I want to grow my gardening business.
- Specific: I will gain four new clients for my business.
- Measurable: I will measure my progress by keeping track of how many new clients I gain while maintaining my current client base.
- Achievable: I will gain four new clients as I currently have four available spaces in my fortnightly client scheduling diary.
- Relevant: Adding clients to my customer base will allow me to grow my business and increase my income.
- Timely: I will have four new clients within three months.
- SMART Goal: I will gain four new clients for my gardening business within a three month period filling my current available diary places. This will allow me to grow my business and increase my revenue.
Achieving your goals
Once you’ve got your list of business goals, you’ll need to figure out how to achieve them. Be realistic in what you can achieve. It might be helpful to break down the steps into smaller chunks.
Here’s a list of things to consider when planning your strategy to achieve your business goals:
Time frame – how long do you expect a task will take to complete (include both a start and finish date)
Actions – describe the actions you are going to take in detail (e.g. research five different ice-cream suppliers in Hobart and make a list of their pros and cons)
Responsibilities – write down the person or people responsible for achieving each step
Resources – detail your budget, staffing requirements and any supplies you’ll need
Desired outcome – describe what you expect from your actions and how you’ll know when the goal has been achieved.
How do I know if I’ve achieved my goals?
Put a system in place to help you measure your goals and keep you on track. Review on a regular basis to ensure you are on track or amend if your business is changing.
Remember : It is not about knowing your goals, it is about taking action. Click here if you want the tool to help you with the process.
You can keep it simple, such as ticking off a completed task from a list, or use more complex measurement processes if that’s relevant for your business.
Don’t forget to reward yourself and your employees when you achieve your business goals ! We do things in life when we know the why and when they motivate us.
All the best,
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