Why do people follow leaders?
Hint: it’s not because of that really great PowerPoint presentation on the new strategy you gave at the quarterly all-hands meeting. Or because of your tenure. Or title.
The simple answer is we follow leaders because of how they make us feel. (And by the way, to be a leader, you need to have followers.)
There's nothing as invigorating or energizing for me as spending time with clients working on some of their toughest internal communication challenges. I spent some time recently training leaders on two-way communication with a focus on how to plan any kind of communication, as well as the six ultimate interpersonal skills needed for a productive and successful interaction. The day was filled with education, lots of interaction, and significant chunks of time dedicated to practicing the critical skills. I celebrated with these leaders as they connected the dots and saw immediate application for what we covered, and I felt their frustration when the perfect moment for empathy during a role play turned into a lecture of a valued employee.
Ready to create, revise or revamp your company strategy? If you’re like many organizations today, that process starts and stops with a small group of executives working through mounds of data, then drawing on their own business instincts to draw up a plan.
While that may seem like the fastest and smartest way to arrive on a strategy, I’ve seen that process fail many times in my work advising companies. In essence, the process ends far too soon, and is too limited in scope. Leaders end up paying lip service to proper alignment and communication of their strategy. They put all their resources into building their strategic plan in relative isolation, then drop off when it comes to investing in its future.Read More
When you ask employees, they want to be able to connect with their leader—today more than ever before. Employees want to know what you have to say; they also want to know what you stand for.
Here are some tips to help your employees get to know you:
Every day, bosses have a profound impact on their employees’ work lives and careers, not to mention their employer’s bottom line. Scores of research demonstrates that a highly engaged workforce drives higher productivity, while unengaged workers invest less effort, time and commitment toward an organization’s goals. Worse, unengaged workers leave, driving costly turnover inside companies.Read More
If you ask employees, there’s a short-list of what they want from their leaders.
As you read what follows, think about how you’re doing, and where you might need to focus to better engage your employees.
Here’s what employees expect:
Know your audience and speak to them. Great leaders inspire employees to action by giving them feelings of significance, community, and excitement.
Leaders provide the context and inspiration to move organizations to success. That means it’s the leader’s job to paint a picture of the future or deliver difficult messages with clarity, courage and compassion.