At times I come into contact with leaders who don’t get lesson 1 in leadership. They just don’t. They say one thing and do another. They believe that by talking (some do it a lot!) and not actually walking around to see their troops, they are great leaders. Think again!
Take a leader I was talking two weeks ago. A nice enough guy. Easy going. Tells me he gets the job done – well. He boasts that he’s ‘out and about’ talking to his people each day, spending at least half of his day on the floor with workers or out in the field with his sales reps. Impressive, I think.
Then I chat to some of his staff about their work and what their roles are, and I learn that he has not been onto the floor since he started. Two years ago. Why this dishonesty, I ask myself? Perhaps he lives in denial and thinks that by occasionally greeting his people he is ‘walking the talk.’ Or perhaps he doesn’t want to embarrass himself in front of me. Either way, I shake my head. He doesn’t get it!
Talk’s cheap. Behaviours are what count!
Forget everything else you have learned and know this.
Leadership is about people and relationships.
- You cannot have loyal, devoted followers if you don’t build trusting relationships with them
- You cannot build employee engagement if you don’t venture out of your office all day and interact with your staff
- To build relationships you have to engage
- Get into the mindset that you need to serve your people, and not them serve you. The better they at their jobs, the better you and your organisation perform
- The more interest you show in them and attention you give them, the more they will respect and trust you
- You will never build a great and engaged workforce if you sit on your bottom behind your desk all day.
Lesson 1 in leadership. People matter most!