As the tech and mobile industry continue to expand and shape the way we do business, it is becoming apparent that how companies determine their KPI’s is being redefined. When it comes to growing a successful business, there are going to be many factors that play a crucial role in this process. One of them being the ability for organizations to help others step into a bigger role via leadership development.
Leaders aren’t chief executive officers, chief operating officers, chief financial officers, admirals, or generals. Leaders aren’t presidents, mayors, Congressmen, or clergy. “A leader lives within each of us” (Kouzes & Posner, p. 390). Leadership is everyone’s responsibility. From your customer service reps to your marketing team, in today’s economy, everyone must expand their abilities and this also includes leading.
Merriam-Webster’s On-line Dictionary defines leadership as “the office or position of a leader, capacity to lead, the act or instance of leading”. The lack of clarity in the definition contributes to the mystification surrounding the term leader. Add the way people in leadership positions sometimes act and it’s no wonder there is confusion.
So what exactly is it?
What does this ephemeral term “leader” embody? Lead – guide, show the way, direct, pilot, go in front of, and go ahead, these are all synonyms of lead. It’s important to notice that force, yell, coerce, push, cajole, pressure, bully, and intimidate are not synonymous with the word lead. According to many of the best speakers on leadership, the days of dictatorial, authoritarian leadership are over.
Everyone, whether they recognize it or not, has a sphere of influence; they are surrounded by people at work, in stores, in the neighborhood, at church, and even the season ticket holder in the next seat who they can influence.
“If a person stops moving long enough to stand still, extend her arms parallel to the floor, and turn in a slow circle, it becomes apparent that everyone who falls inside of that circle falls under his or her sphere of influence” says business coach Dean Jones from The Coaching Institute. “It’s that simple.”
Leaders Build Relationships
Relationship is the foundation on which a leader builds the future. Leadership, apart from relationship, is a long uphill struggle fraught with difficulties and slippery slopes. People want and need to feel valued and respected. Those two intangibles top employees’ job satisfaction list ahead of salary or promotion.
In order to influence people and lead them, a person needs to build a relationship. Companies are concerned with return on investment. The leader understands the best investment she can possibly make is in her people, her peers, and her management. She builds relationships horizontally and vertically across the organization.
In the frantic chaos that embodies a regular work day, cluttered with impending deadlines and unexpected data calls, how are relationships built? It is by reaching out to one person and taking advantage of one moment and one opportunity at a time.
A good leader builds relationships by developing active listening skills, getting to know the people she works with, providing relevant feedback, encouraging new ideas, creating a team atmosphere, and empowering people.
It takes courage to be the kind of leader who, through excellence, hard work, perseverance, and initiative, earns the right to shape the culture from within.