As leaders, I think we sometimes wander around wondering if we are being effective. How do we really know? There are all sorts of measurements: did we meet our bonus goals? Did we meet budget? How did our associate surveys turn out? There are many things that can tell us how we are doing at managing our departments and personnel, but how do we know we are good leaders?
I believe there are two things that can tell us if we are being an effective leader. One, I believe that the biggest compliment can come from those you are leading. If they appreciate you and show it, if they follow your leadership examples, if they trust you to lead the way; those are all huge compliments and signs that you are a good leader.
The second way I believe you can truly tell if you are a good leader, and that your leadership style is working, is by getting a compliment from your peers. That wonderful thing happened to me today. Not only did it happen to me today, but it happened in a meeting with many of my peers. In addition, my CEO was in attendance. Not one, but two Directors, who I respect greatly, commented on how much they admire how I run my departments – yes, plural, I have two departments that I oversee. One of my peers made the comment that she wished I could bottle up my leadership style and give it to others. I was floored. It was such a huge compliment. To have it said and then seconded by another peer in front of my CEO was priceless. I was humbled and flattered.
Truth is I wish I could bottle it up to show others. It is so easy for me, yet so hard for others, but it took years of practice and lessons, hard lessons. I learned that you have to listen, you have to problem solve, you have to concede at times, you have to be assertive, and you have to care. Most importantly you have to put your ego away, which I’ve blogged about before. That does not mean that you can’t be confident and even arrogant when needed, but for the most part your ego has to be hidden from view. Ego gets in the way of making decisions that are good for all.
There are so many more nuggets of “great leadership made easy” that I would love to share, but I will simply leave you with this: listen (no, really listen) to your staff, be assertive in order to get things done, help problems solve, really care about your staff, and put your ego away. I guarantee if you can do those things, you too will get compliments from those you lead and be admired (and even envied) by your leadership peers.
Good luck!><(("> Julie Silbar
Julie is a ><((“> Friend of Catch Your Limit, a management and marketing firm with offices in Tallahassee, Florida and Richmond, Virginia. To contact Julie email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or to learn more about Catch Your Limit, visit www.catchyourlimit.com.