A huge shift that I made in 2017 is that I've merged my two worlds of business consulting and High Performance Coaching. It was like I was operating in two different realms but didn’t know how to connect them.
But what I’ve come to realize is that it comes down to Leadership - whether in business, a CEO, entrepreneur or in life, we all can benefit from becoming stronger leaders in life. I am going to hit the ground running in terms of that message in 2018.
Because this applies to everyone. The CEO. The entrepreneur. The manager. The stay at home mom. The student. The word needs strong leaders now. Better leaders. More courageous leaders.
We need those leaders to start showing up in all areas of life.
I want to start diving into this topic of leadership and start the conversation in terms of what separates the great leaders from the not so great leaders? Specifically, I want to focus in on the traditional sense of leadership; those who are leading a team in a business or an organization.
Whatever role you are in, and wherever you currently feel that you are at, I want you to keep this in mind. You can’t solve what you don’t acknowledge. Challenge yourself to really take a close look at your leadership. It may not feel good, but keep yourself open and allow yourself to go there. Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that you develop a strong team. A team that respects you, that is fulfilled and that wants to stay with you and your business.
So, why do some leaders fail?
It’s because they fail to put people first.
They view their teams as a to-do or a task list. You may not think you’re doing it, or you may not be intending to do it. Most leaders who fail in this capacity do so because they simply don’t know how to lead a team; whether that be a lack of understanding of people, a lack of people skills or a lack of knowledge in terms how how great leaders behave.
If you manage or lead a team right now, it is your obligation to know how to lead them. And the first thing you need to do is to take full ownership. As a leader, if it has to do with your team, then it has to do with you. Period. Because what happens with you trickles to your team; and what happens with your team trickles down into every other aspect of your organization. It’s crucially important.
I challenge you to really take a look at where you’re at right now. What is happening with your team? What is your leadership style? How would your team describe your leadership style? How do you show up for your team? How well do you communicate? Are you a dictator, operating by simply telling people what to do? Sure, that might get you good results...but at what cost? Or, does your team do things because they have a desire to want to help your business grow and be apart of something bigger?
I highly encourage you to open the lines of communication with the people around you. Get their input...ask them these questions so you can really start to reflect and get real with where you are at. And perhaps start to connect the dots between your leadership, your team and your level of success and happiness.
A word of caution: If you’ve never asked your team for feedback and there is no openness there, you will need to take baby steps. Chances are, they are not going to feel comfortable coming out and being totally honest with you. You’re going to have to build trust with your team and lead by example. Show them with your actions that you’re making a pivot and shift with your leadership, with your presence, how you're being more mindful, how you’re working to improve communication. And over the course of time, that will start to build more trust and your team will feel more and more comfortable to offer you their honest feedback.
Why does all this matter?
First of all, it matters for your business. Most people who leave their jobs do so because they feel undervalued. They don’t feel like they have a purpose within the business, they don’t feel heard, and they aren’t fulfilled. High turnover in your business has a huge ripple effect; it causes lack of synergy among the other team members, it costs you money and time to continually replace and train new team members, and it creates a reputation that perhaps your business is not a great place that people enjoy working in.
Secondly, it matters for your people. As a leader, you should care deeply about your people. When you are in a role of leadership, you owe it to your team to give them that fulfillment. A person spends more time at a full time job than they do at home with their families. They spend so much time helping you build out your dream or helping your company; you simply cannot take that for granted. If they are not having an existence at work that is fulfilling, if they are not set up for success with the tools they need, if they are faced with unrealistic expectations, criticism or a leader who is unsympathetic to the realities of life, they are inclined not only to leave, but to give less than 100% while they are working for you.
I completely understand, though, from a leadership perspective why this can be challenging. When you’re in charge and you’re responsible for everything, it is so easy to be overwhelmed and consumed by the work that making sure your people feel happy, fulfilled and satisfied just isn’t always at the top of your priority list.
But I’m telling you this: your team NEEDS to be at the top of that priority list. You can’t just hope that they will create their own motivation and happiness, that they will just seek out their own development, give themselves praise for a job well done and figure everything out on their own. Place a high priority on doing that for your team. Let them know that they’re the most important thing. And don’t just say it; don’t just plaster a mission statement up on the wall that says “people come first”. Show it with action. Show up with integrity and understand the impact that you have. Don’t just settle with being a bad or even a mediocre leader. Stand out and create a legacy for yourself that is beyond that.
If you don’t know how to lead or you’re lacking some critical skills in this area, invest in your own development. Reach out and go get the skills that you need. It’s not about being this perfect, incredible leader. It’s about putting your priority into your people and having them know that they are the priority. There’s nothing more important, and it is such an honor, to be able to lead people and to be a part of them creating an amazing experience in their own lives. That’s not something that we should be taking for granted.
There is nothing more beautiful than when you see synergy with a team and the team feels fulfilled, purposeful and satisfied. It doesn't have to be perfect because they’ve got your back. They have your back because they know that you have theirs.
Your people are your biggest assets because they are the forefront of your business. Without them, you don’t have a business. Even if you already are a strong leader, challenge yourself here in terms of how you can do better. How can you improve your growth, your openness, the culture of open feedback, in development of entrepreneurs within your business, with how you follow up and show up for people?
We need to create people focused cultures that also create happy, healthy work environments. It’s incredible what happens with strong leadership and when leaders truly understand that it’s all about their people.
For more content and tools on becoming a better leader, make sure to follow me on Facebook at Change by Choice as there will be lots to come in 2018 in this area.
And for all my free tools and downloads, join my Members Lounge here: https://charlotte-ferreux.mykajabi.com/store/GCgCFewi