Over the last several weeks we featured twelve of Richard Voreis’ 15 “Leadership Best Practices Self-Evaluation.” This week we will finish with the last three.
To date the best practices include:
—Optimizing productivity without intimidation;
—Representing a role model with a high degree of ethical conduct;
—Demonstrating imaginative leadership and imparting a vision for the future;
—Excelling in training, leading and motivating people;
—Communicating effectively to all employees; especially the values and priorities that drive success;
—In terms of effective communications, being known as an avid listener;
—Balancing negatives with positives, not just one or the other;
—Uncompromising in personal “leading by example;”
—Expecting great things from themselves, expecting the same high-caliber performance from others and always setting high personal standards for others to follow;
—Taking responsibility for failure and sharing “lesson learned the hard way.” Show people a leader is human helps them learn by example;
—Subtly provide guidance by “planting” ideas in the minds of others to motivate success and giving credit to others even when it is a leader’s ideas; and
—Very good at influencing and inspiring people so they believe in themselves and believe they can accomplish challenging tasks.
The last three best practices are:
—Treat everyone with respect and dignity;
—Exhibiting drive and energy with a bias for urgency, excitement, enjoyment and results; and
—Making an obvious contribution to the success of a company.
As I reread all 15, I can see why these are paramount for the self-evaluation of leaders.
Treat Everyone with Respect and Dignity
At the Dwyer Group we have something called the code of values. In the Waco newspaper on Sunday October 13th there was an article about our CEO and Chairwoman Dina Dwyer-Owens taking the stage with some leading business innovators at the 2013 Growth summit in Las Vegas sponsored by Fortune. One of the other innovators was Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh. A few years ago Tony sold Zappos to Amazon.com for $1.2 billion. Yes, that is billion with a “b.”
Dina’s book, “Live R.I.C.H.” and the company’s code of values were showcased in the television show Undercover Boss. One of the code of values is “Acknowledge that everyone is right from their own perspective.” Once you acknowledge everyone is right from their own perspective it helps to treat everyone with respect and dignity. This also helps you get through the days when the U.S. Government is shut down. The last thing I want to do at times is to understand some politicians are right “from their own perspective” … but that helps me adhere to Voreis’ No. 13 Leadership Best Practice.
Exhibiting Drive and Energy with a Bias for Urgency, Excitement, Enjoyment and Results
Urgency. That is the toughest one for so many people I know. Is it in your operation also?
This reminds me of the story that my vice president Brad told me about when he was operations manager for Glass Doctor of North Texas. They had a customer service representative who received bonuses based on what he produced while talking with customers on the phone. It was the end of the month and he needed just a few dollars to hit his bonus. At 4:45 p.m., the representative was getting ready to end his day when Brad reminded him that he just needed a few more dollars. In fact, he could have put windshield wipers on his own car and received the bonus—which Brad had hoped he would have the urgency to do!
The employee left at 5 p.m.—just a few dollars short.
It wasn’t long before the employees “future was freed up” to find a job that fit him—one that didn’t depend on achieving results or having this sense of urgency.
We all need employees who have an urgency to achieve the results necessary. We want and need for them to have this enthusiasm that drives results and need for them to enjoy their jobs. Enthusiasm and joy within your employees can spread like wildfire.
What are you doing to help drive urgency, excitement, enjoyment and results?
One of my favorite quotes is “The speed of the leader determines the rate of the pack.” So look in that mirror and see yourself how your staff looks at you when you walk in the office in the morning. Are you energetic? Excited? Do you show enjoyment for your job and your staff? You set the tone! You set the pace! You set the speed.
Making an Obvious Contribution to the Success of the Company
Scoreboard. Have you ever been to a sporting event where one group of fans starts chanting “scoreboard … scoreboard … scoreboard … scoreboard?” I love that chant and have always been a firm believer in judging my own results based on the scoreboard—not based on if I achieved those results the way that I thought I should have achieved them. As a result of managing people for more than 40 years now, I’ve always looked for those team members who achieved—not worrying about their style or methods—as long as it is honest.
Do me a favor. Write down the most important person on your team.
Now write down the worst member of your team.
Did you have a tough time writing down who is most important? Did two or three names come to mind? Was it much easier to identify the worst member of your team?
If this is the case, make sure you are using these 15 leadership lessons to motivate and keep your top performers who make an obvious contribution. It sounds to me as if these people are very integral in your operation. On the other hand, what plans do you have to motivate and change your worst team member? Should you free up their future so that you can hire someone who might end up being your best team member sometime in the future?
Being a great leader is hard. Simple—but hard. That is what I love about Voreis’ 15 best practices. They allow you to look in the mirror, without anyone present, and be honest with yourself if you are implementing these practices. If you aren’t, what are you going to do to change yourself?