THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: What is it that you’re trying to accomplish? Define your real objectives. Give people a mission worth caring about. Take time to prepare your message so that it’s well received. Practice being adaptable.
When I hear business owners talking about needing more passion, it’s often leadership that they’re looking for — people who can both lead forward and boost momentum as they drive from behind.
Think about the sales/service role. How much influence do the people in this role have? Can they make decisions within in the company and on behalf of customers? Can they take actions, but they’re not doing that? Or is the problem that they don’t have the authority to act when they see the need? Probably a mix of both. What can be done to open up decision-making and create more opportunities for action?
Keep in mind that while it may feel riskier to allow people to make decisions, no one is mistake-proof, owner included, and almost all mistakes can be corrected. Start small and build on successes.
Give people a context for their actions. What do you want as outcomes for the company and its people? Be clear about more than what’s expected. Lay out where that’s supposed to take the team. What’s over the next hill and the one beyond that?
It’s OK to expect a lot from people. But to succeed long term you also have to give people a vision of what it is they’re working to accomplish — both so they can recognize it when they see it, and so they understand the motivation behind what’s
MAKE THE MISSION WORTHY
To boost engagement, explain why the company’s vision matters in terms that people can grab onto and care about. Will results put more food on peoples’ tables or a better roof over employees’ heads? Can the company’s mission provide better job security and more opportunity for advancement, both personal and professional?
Take time to listen to the people around you. Understand their struggles. Dig into their needs. Find ways to tie solving needs to the company mission. Look for clues about what people want that you can use to unlock individual and group passion and intensity.
LET YOUR MESSAGE RESONATE
While we are called upon throughout the day to quickly respond, it is worth taking the time to prepare for what’s to be said. Give your message a chance to come across well by allowing thoughts time to percolate. Think about the tone and attitude of the words you use, communicating with respect and compassion for everyone around you. Offer people a challenge, but do so in a way that inspires them to step forward by offering encouragement and showing enthusiasm.
If you are frustrated, slow down until you are in command of your emotions and able to show people the upside of your message. Give people opportunity to grab hold and show what they’re capable of producing, rather than blaming people for what has not yet come to pass. A positive attitude and belief in the potential of people will yield significantly greater results both short term and long, as compared to finding fault and accusing and impugning.
Practice adjusting your style of delivery to meet the needs of the situation. At times people need someone to rally them, to help them energize and focus. At other times your people may need someone to listen and brainstorm with. Look for cues. Are people acting with enough urgency to meet the needs of the current conditions? Are they clear about what needs to happen? Help fill in the gaps.
LOOKING FOR A GOOD BOOK? Try “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves, Patrick Lencioni.
Andi Gray is president of Strategy Leaders Inc., StrategyLeaders.com, a business-consulting firm that teaches companies how to double revenue and triple profits in repetitive growth cycles. Have a question for AskAndi? Wondering how Strategy Leaders can help your business thrive? Call for a free consultation and diagnostics: 877-238-3535.