Friday, May 24, 2013
Leaders Must Lead: The Three "F's" of Leadership
There comes a point in every relationship, organization, business, and related activity when leaders must lead. The various teams have done their designing. The committees have reviewed it. Management has approved it. Now, it is time for leaders to take control and execute it. This is true whether we are talking about building a rocket ship or selling a house; once plans are made they have to be executed.
Leaders are the people that make it happen. They execute the plans and insure the goals are met. Whether they are leaders of a large group of fellow associates or they are an individual performance leader, such as sales leader, they set the pace and standards of the job to be done.
Leaders accomplish this through other people. A team leader will guide and direct his team insuring all the members maintain their focus on achieving the desired results. A sales leader will work with all parties of a transaction to insure they stay focused on making the transaction. The primary function of leadership in any situation involves working with and through other people to achieve the results of the goal.
Working with and through other people can be challenging but that is why you are the leader. As a leader it is important to learn and apply the three F’s of leadership in all their work relationships and interactions with other people. A leader should treat everyone with respect by being:
Your reputation is one of the most important assets you have. How people perceive you will determine how willing they are to work with you. As a team leader a positive reputation will make your associates put out the extra effort needed to accomplish any goal. As a sales leader your reputation will bring business and clients to you.
Being fair is simply treating all people the same. If people know they can trust you they will want to work with you. Be honest with all parties and work for a win-win solution to any problems that arise.
Make time for all your associates and business partners. This will go a long way to helping you achieve the reputation of being fair. Showing favoritism in any business relationship can have strong negative consequences.
Even in businesses where professional and corporate guidelines/rules appear to restrict your relationship with one party or the other in a business transaction you can still be fair in your actions. Be honest. If you cannot do something tell the party you cannot. By following the guidelines to the letter you are maintaining your fairness in the business relationship. Simply applying the rules equally to all parties with fairness and honesty helps you achieve your goals.
In the old days when you said a leader was firm you meant he ruled with an iron fist. There are still times when a leader has to be strict but being firm means more than this. It means being a decisive leader, one who can make a decision and follow through with it.
When being firm you need to stick to your principles and company policies/rules in all your business relationships. Don’t be indecisive when it comes to doing what is right or wrong. Let your principles and policies guide you in your decisions and how you implement actions.
When you make a decision stick with it, don’t be wishy-washy about it. You are not a “yes person” but you are the leader and at times it is your job to make the hard choices that are necessary to accomplish the goal.
Being firm also means when your decision or plans need to be changed you change them. But, you base the need to change on the facts needed to reach your goal. A good leader knows when and how to be flexible and adaptable.
Be open the suggestion, ideas, guidance and advice. A good leader does not make decisions in a vacuum but in the end a good leader makes the decision.
A good leader is an honest leader. His very principles demand truthfulness and honesty. He shares all the facts that he can with his team and/or clients to help them accomplish the goal.
When working in a team environment a good leader deals with all situations with truthfulness whether with the team or an individual. If praise is justified he gives it honestly and freely. If correction is needed he handles it with the same frankness, dealing with facts.
An individual leader such as a sales leader is frank with his associates and clients. He gives them all the facts, both good and bad, so they can make the best decision for their goals.
By following the three “F’s” of leadership a good leader will find the interaction with fellow associates and clients easier and more rewarding. Developing a reputation of being fair, firm and frank in your business relationships will help move you from being a good leader to being a great leader.