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Imagine a staff meeting that employees eagerly attend because they know the meeting will generate stimulating discussions. People will exchange ideas, support each other and build on each other’s suggestions. Everyone feels good when they come out of that staff meeting! Hard to imagine? Aw, c’mon. Dream a little . . .
Imagine working with a team of people eager to develop themselves professionally, who not only want to build their own expertise but who encourage others to learn and advance. Imagine a workplace where people enjoy being surrounded by others engaged, like them, in doing and being their best, where staff members sometimes get so excited about what they are doing that they use a lunch hour or an evening at home to read up on a topic related to their work.
Unfortunately, leadership is not all about influence, perks, and big offices. There is a reason that leaders are paid the big bucks, and that is not simply to lunch on the corporate account and tell others what to do. Instead, leaders have significant responsibilities and are often accountable for substantial operational, technology, budget, and personnel decisions.
As you can imagine, these decisions aren’t typically easy. More likely, they are complicated and multi-faceted with both short and long term implications. Definitely not for the faint of heart. So how do strong leaders make tough decisions?
When your employees are stressed, it’s impossible not to see it. They’re shorter-tempered with one another, more likely to get sick or have health problems, and, as it turns out, are less productive. Stressed employees report that only about 9% of them are engaged at work, which means that the more stress you heap on your employees, the less they’re going to perform for you. If you fear that your employees’ performance is decreasing, make sure that you understand how stress can affect employee engagement.
Stress doesn’t have to be related to money. Certainly, the amount of money that they’re making can have a significant impact on employee stress. If they’re unable to pay their bills, they may find themselves wondering why it’s worth giving their all at their jobs at all!
How many famous leadership styles tout “Bring in the revenue!”…”Push your employees to the top!”…(and) “The heck with values–sales and growth are what counts!” One famous leadership style, which has–since its inception 8 years ago–definitely brought in new accounts, top revenue and an expanded reputation, places its greatest focus on “mission,” values and employee happiness. This famous leadership style belongs to Neil Grimmer, the founder of Plum Organics, the no-BPA, no-fructose, no-artificial ingredient, baby-food and child-snack maker with 150 products bursting with pure fruits and vegetables–and promoted by Wal-Mart and Target!
New leaders earn their promotion. They are successful, they have proved their value and now they must lead. Many new leaders, typically, make one of two primary errors:-
They lead from the middle, or
They just don’t lead at all
Lead From the Middle
You’ve just been promoted, or you have come in from outside and are new to the team. You want to prove your worth – what you know, what you can do, how much experience you have. You must ‘prove it’ to the people who promoted you, and you must ‘prove it’ to your team. So, you roll up your sleeves and dive right in. You want to show you can do it faster, better, smarter, with fewer resources and still beat the deadline. The more you are at the coalface, the more you are showing everybody just how good you are.
Have you dreamed of inspiring others, but hesitation left you in the background while someone else took the limelight? Have you wanted to guide your co-workers, but weren’t sure how? Did you have creative ideas to better your company, but couldn’t find the right opportunity to present them? Within every one of us is the ability to become a leader, a great leader at that, even if you’ve been a follower your whole life. How do you go about accomplishing such a dream?
Let these five essential tips get you started: