Leadership: The Key To Success OR Failure
As I work with my client family members who are building their service-based businesses, I notice that leadership will either create their business success or create their business failure. I see how the fate of the companies my client family members are determined by their personality traits and their leader effectiveness. If a client family member is a true leader, good manager of people and their behaviors, and has the leadership characteristics I deem essential, based on decades of experience, they can move their company to the accomplishment of the key objectives for the organization to flourish.
In this article, I will explain some leadership theories and discuss leadership development. I will illustrate that transformational leadership is necessary for all managers and share with you how servant leadership creates prosperity for a company.
Several years ago, my best-selling book, Stop Managing Start Coaching, dealt with my firm position in running multi-million dollar businesses and consulting with top business, that the command and control model of transactional leadership was dead. We could not motivate people or their behaviors with rewards and punishment. I have continued to back this ideology and it is part of the Heart-repreneur® cause and philosophy. Heartrepreneurs do business by embracing our employees, client family members and vendor partners. We do not use command and control and we know that we can not manage people. We can only manage behaviors. We believe in transformational styles of leadership and put human relations at the heart of what we do.
I am a big believer in the leader-member exchange and leader-member exchange (LMX) theory. This is how I see Heart-repreneur® leadership working best. This theory focuses on relationship-based leadership with a two-way communication and establishes relationships based on trust and respect. It goes perfectly with the Heart-repreneur® philosophy of authenticity, transparency, and integrity and in my opinion and based on my client family member results, allows the creation of successful companies. I am constantly evaluating the company owner and their team for their habitual patterns, thoughts, and emotions so that I can offer them course correction to better align with the Heart-repreneur® methods of business building. As a clinical psychologist, as well as a business strategist, I have an unusual approach to building a company. I not only help with a business strategy I also bring in trait theory which is an approach to personality. I make sure my client family members have the right characteristics and personality characteristics of effective leaders. Some of the traits I help develop in the leader are self-confidence, persistence and even charisma. I have found these are essential leadership qualities for building a profitable company.
Over the years I have studied a lot about leadership and read a lot of books and articles as well as attended many courses and training. My years of gaining knowledge about the topics of leadership ranging from path-goal theory, leadership with teams, women leaders, leadership strategy and more has lead me to form my own leadership position which I bring to my client family members so they can have all the decades of my learning and experience to instantly apply to build their companies.
Some of the works cited that I share with my clients are by Good to Great, by Jim Collins, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek as well as Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take action, also by Simon Sinek.
Enough about leadership theories. The real question is how do you develop yourself into a great leader so that your company can profit and succeed? In essence, my answer is that transformational leadership is necessary and you need to work on your own personality traits and style. It is your leadership quality that will determine how effective you are as a leader and as you improve your leadership style and characteristics, your team can get on the same page with you and really help you and drive you to accomplish your company vision. This type of servant leadership in co-creation with your team is how to grow a successful business.
The Case Study: Proof
Being transparent, I am going to share with you how I personally made the shift from a transactional leader who had no emotional intelligence to an effective Heart-repreneur® leader. This life lesson I hope and believe will be of high value to you. I am being very vulnerable here in an effort to help you learn from my mistakes and more importantly earn from my mistakes.
Let me take you back to the second company I was building in my mid-twenties. I had no training as a manager, leader, coach at that time. I was quickly building a company and suddenly found myself with over 30 team members. Many of them I did not properly train, yet I expected certain results from them. I remember being very frustrated by their lack of results. I did what people had done to me in the past when I had worked for them. Without thinking I reacted and followed what I knew. I began punishing the people who were not achieving the goals I had set for them. I began commanding them to achieve more and taking away perks and benefits when they did not step up. Within a few short months, my team rebelled. They held a meeting with me sharing their upset and anger. At first, I was a bit shocked. I was only doing what I had experienced when I was a worker.
Instead of responding, I reacted. I added more punishment to any team member who had spoken out and shared anything but glowing comments about my leadership. How dare they!
Soon, they began quitting. I was left with only a few team members and I believed none of this was my fault and all of this had been done to me.
Luckily, I had a friend who watched this unfold and who loved me enough to share her perspective on my lack of leadership training and skills. I am grateful for her. I woke up.
I enrolled in leadership courses, hired a leadership consultant and team trainer, went to seminars, began reading books on leadership and team development and hired people to help me work on my own personality traits. I made a decision that I would re-build my team.
This time I fostered open communication, collaboration, and co-creation with my team members. This time I deeply tuned in and listened to my team and I dedicated time and resources to their training and if/when something wasn’t quite right in my eyes, we had honest communication about that and we came up with a solution. I began to actually enjoy my team members more and I had a HUGE aha … people are basically good. They want to do good work. They need help and training and respect and acknowledgment and not to be beaten up or beaten down. If I could see people as good and help them create more of what our joint goals were for the company, they would enjoy being a part of the company and work with me to build the business.
I went from struggling to motivate people to build a multi-million dollar business with superstars. My team members became my friends and even though this company was built over thirty years ago and sold after we hit financial goals, I am still friends with many of the team members who were by my side building a company we were all proud of.
What I Learned…
As I went on to build many more companies over the decades and to consult with over 5,000 business owners worldwide, I learned many leadership lessons. My biggest takeaways are here for you. These are some of the quotes I share with my client family members and also in my professional keynote speeches.
You can’t inspire others… you can inspire yourself.
Leadership is not about managing people, but about inspiring yourself and then having others catch your wave of inspiration.
Your work is much too important to pursue with anything less than your total commitment.
Life is too short and too precious to not live it with passion and pursue it with real zeal.
We inspire ourselves.
All great leaders inspire themselves and create contagious energy that others respond to.
You can do anything if you have the enthusiasm.
What You Can Do Right Now!
Now that you have this information so that you can build your company from the inside out with the right personality traits and leadership style it is time for you to take some actions. I believe it is essential for every business owner to learn coaching skills so they can stop managing and start coaching. I have all of my business owners and managers and even business consultants learn coaching skills so they can manage behaviors and motivate people and achieve joint goals as a Heart-repreneur®. Step one is to get a copy of Stop Managing Start Coaching. The subtitle of the book describes the result you will get when you read and implement the effortless action plan there: How to Make YOUR Employees Happy and Productive So They Help Your Business Prosper and Thrive. The book contains proven ways to dramatically increase employee morale and retention and shows you how to create higher productivity – and profitability. I share my own proprietary coaching method called Extraordinary Coaching Method (ECM) in the book. The book will give you key coaching skills and help you bring them into your company fast. You will have my step-by-step process helping you implement the changes needed to improve your leadership style as well as to improve employee morale, decrease, turn-over and actually have your employees and team helping you to build your company. I believe you will find, as other readers have, that my Extraordinary Coaching Method (ECM) not only makes sense, it will make a real difference in how your team members or employees feel and will impact how your company will perform in the future.
I also believe that as a leader you need to learn the key coaching skills. No matter what your experience, training, background, beliefs, or personality traits, to be an effective leader you need to know how to coach people to success and there are specific skills for doing this. I have a special program called Coaching In The Workplace that I designed to help you learn the critical skills to develop more effective and productive leadership skills. The course is based in part on my bestselling Stop Coaching, Start Managing book that has received international acclaim.
This leadership coach training focuses entirely on building the skills required to be an effective and successful leader in your company. If you are ready to develop skills that will propel your business to much greater success, this program is going to move you faster. The of the curricula includes many modules. Here are just a few of the modules you will receive:
Releasing stress: You can’t coach your staff with a knot in your neck. You’ll learn techniques for avoiding stress, and to cope with it when it’s present.
Developing a More Motivated Staff: You will learn specific techniques and approaches to leadership to help your staff (and your peers and managers, for that matter) be energetic throughout the day.
Techniques for Staff Development: Use the techniques you’ll learn with these training modules to help your staff, team or employees to reach their own potential.
Helping Your Staff/Team/Employees Set and Achieve Goals: As you learn coaching skills you will have specific techniques to encourages individual goal setting and individual accomplishments.
Coaching Collaborative Relationships: Learn effective ways to create smooth and productive working relationships with colleagues across your company.
Creating Inherent Self Sufficiency: Learn how to get the best results from your team by developing their strong decision making and problem-solving skills.
Now it is YOUR time to take action.