How Do You Make Your Workers Loyal? Leadership is Action, Not Position

personnelIf you are managing people as an owner of a business, manager or supervisor, how do you make your workers loyal to you and the organization?

And since managing people involves leadership, what kind of a leader are you?
The Oft-repeated problems in management and leadership
These are the oft-repeated questions asked by business owners, managers and supervisors in many seminars and one-on-one consultation, as far as I can remember. These are age-old problems in management and leadership.
How do you get your workers’ loyalty?
Again, how do you get the loyalty of your workers? Once you have gained your workers’ loyalty, how do you hold their loyalty for long?
Winning the loyalty of your people in the workplace may not be difficult. But more difficult is making their loyalty last, and make them stay in the organization.
This is so because of competition, where some firms just “pirate” your good people to join them by offering them bigger pay, incentives, and more fringe benefits.
Leadership and Motivation are the key
Through the years I have observed that the best way to gain and hold the loyalty of your personnel is to show interest in them and care for them, by your words and actions, in everything you do.
This involves leadership. And what kind of a leader are you? Leadership is action, not position. This means you must develop leadership ability.
Leadership ability is what you’re capable of doing, that you must know how to motivate your people. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
A good manager or leader knows how to act, to do. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
Leadership is action
In the final analysis, it is wonderful when the people believe in their leader.  But it is more wonderful when the leader believes in the people, in their capacity to work productively, to be efficient and effective.
This way, the human resources in the organization are maximized to bring results, more output, higher profits.
oils down to managing people, in leading them, getting their loyalty and retaining their loyalty, for effective business performance.

If you are managing people as an owner of a business, manager or supervisor, how do you make your workers loyal to you and the organization?

And since managing people involves leadership, what kind of a leader are you?

The Oft-repeated problems in management and leadership

Continue reading

Five Elements of Authentic Leadership

In Ancient oriental Philosophy, wood, fire, earth, metal, water are five basic substances in nature movements, all five elements of nature could be integrated into the contemporary leadership and management essential.
Five Elements of Nature to Define the Authentic  Leadership
Wood – Means doing good things with elegance and personality. By nature, wood need grow and sprout in the Spring, Same as “Wood style” of leadership, blossom with innovation, inspiration and influence,  to lead via nature, not via brute force.
Fire –On behalf of propriety, self-esteem, mix humanity with humility,    “Fire-Up” Summer style leadership will lead with passion, sincerity, vision and mission, perception with great presentation.
Earth—or Soil stand for gentle temperament but confidence and honesty. “down-to-earth” style leadership means great attitude, taken responsibility, the listening skills and nature connection and engagement.
Gold—On behalf of justice with strong temperament,  “rule of gold” means equality, you should treat others as you want to be treated, gold could also mean the autumn, harvest, to deliver the sustainable result, with measurement culture, the incentive and rewards to the contribution.
Water –On behalf of the flowing wisdom,  the insightful observation, the analytic prediction, and the art of good management practices.  Water may also mean Winter, the knowledge accumulation, the energy re-charging and long term sustainability.
Also be said that benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom and trust of the Five Elements
are the substance to achieve the Level Five leadership Mr. Jim Colin defined:
The person who knows how to build enduring greatness through paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will:
1) Drive for sustained results: The difference between the Level 5 and other leaders is that they are driven to produce sustainable results for their organizations. The idea is that level five leaders create long term sustainable change.
2) Set up successors for success: Level 5 leaders are generally more interested in the success of the organization than there own personal success. They want to leave a lasting legacy of an organization that continues to prosper. They are self confident enough to hire competent people (get the right people on the bus) and then delegate.
3) Modesty: Should demonstrate compelling humility. They act with quite, calm determination; and rely on inspired standards, not inspiring charisma, to motivate.
4) Take responsibility: Level 5 leaders stand out because they take responsibility when things go wrong. They do not look to blame others when things do not work out as expected. In addition, they rarely seek to take credit for things that go right, generally seeking to attribute the success to other factors.
5) Organization focus: The ambition of the Level 5 leader is first and foremost on the organization. Their desire for success for the organization that they lead far outweighs their drive for personal rewards.

In Ancient oriental Philosophy, wood, fire, earth, metal, water are five basic substances in nature movements, all five elements of nature could be integrated into the contemporary leadership and management essential.

Five Elements of Nature to Define the Authentic  Leadership

Wood – Means doing good things with elegance and personality. By nature, wood need grow and sprout in the Spring, Same as “Wood style” of leadership, blossom with innovation, inspiration and influence,  to lead via nature, not via brute force.

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What is Good Leadership in the 21st Century?

In this article I will examine the subtle changes in what is good leadership that have occurred over the past few decades, and how the modern perception of good business management and leadership skills has warped over time.
The first change that I can discern is the principle of accountability and transparency. In the 1960s, people never knew how much their leader earned as a salary or in bonuses. All payroll information was top-secret, and salaries of the board members were sometimes not even known by other board members.
Fast forward to 2012, and leaders have their salaries published in the financial reporting of the corporation. In the UK – the Companies Act 2006 states that if the total remuneration of all directors is greater than ?200k, then the full pay details of the highest paid director must be published.
This sensitive disclosure has caused a wave of shareholder backlash in recent weeks – met equally by the disgust of the leader subordinates themselves. This has had a bizarre effect on leadership in these organisations. Leaders now feel more like they must ‘justify’ their salary to their subordinates, and are therefore less likely to make huge demands of employees without also showing that they are putting in ‘super’ levels of effort and hours to make the company a success.
The second change in good leadership has resulted from the unbalancing of the developing economies away from primary (farming) and secondary (manufacturing) industry, and towards services. The consequence of this seismic change in the economic landscape is that fewer ‘worker bees’ are required, and more creative individuals, educated professionals, and aspirational employees have emerged. The management route is now on the table in almost every organisation, and is pushed to lower-level employees as a way of tethering themselves to the company, and motivating them to excel in their job in the hope of beginning a career path out of a entry-level job.
This has meant that leaders are trying to not only ‘direct’ the actions of workers, but also to ‘recruit’ them into the larger vision of the organisation. An example would be the larger ‘manager class’ of workers in supermarkets  – almost all of whom began stacking shelves, but joined a management scheme because they exhibited the right leadership traits, and eventually marginally increased their wage.
The changes outlined above are two of many incremental developments in the world of leadership. Why don’t you take a look at your own organisation, and see how the role of leaders has changed there over the past 30 years?

goodLeadershipIn this article I will examine the subtle changes in what is good leadership that have occurred over the past few decades, and how the modern perception of good business management and leadership skills has warped over time.

The first change that I can discern is the principle of accountability and transparency. In the 1960s, people never knew how much their leader earned as a salary or in bonuses. All payroll information was top-secret, and salaries of the board members were sometimes not even known by other board members. Continue reading

Leading When there Aren’t Enough Indians

As Peter Drucker once said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

But what does it mean to do the right things?

By definition the term leadership means the position or function of aleader, a person who guides or directs a group. Traditionally leadership has been defined by having a specific role such as a c-level executive, a Prime Minister or President, and so on.

RonaldRiggioHowever, according to Ronald Riggio, a professor of leadership and organization psychology at the Kravis Leadership Institute, the definition of leadership is changing and the lines of responsibility are becoming blurred.

Riggio discusses how overuse of the word leadership has rendered it nearly meaningless in an Inc. article titled, “Not Enough Indians – How do you lead when everyone gets to be a ‘leader?‘”   Continue reading

Lead With Self Confidence

I’ll never forget one particular manager I worked for early on in my career who surrounded himself with “Yes” men and women.
He lacked the self-confidence to lead and and it showed in his decisions and in his circle of advisors. He failed to earn the respect of his staff, which resulted in little innovation or inspiration. Turnover was high, and morale was low. (The opposite of what it takes to be a Level 5 leader.)
Self-confidence in leadership is important for many reasons.
Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book, a non-profit organization providing books for children, exemplifies a self-confident leader.
New York Times reporter Adam Bryant interviewed her on early leadership lessons.
It crystallized for me 3 ways a self-confident leader inspires the work environment:
It doesn’t mean your the smartest person in the room. Have the self confidence to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Know how to lead and inspire and foster new ideas. People will respect you and want to work with you. Give credit where credit is due and let them make you look good. You get the credit for having them on your team!
Your people define your culture. You might have an idea of the culture you are looking for. Have no mistake, you are hiring to fit that culture. Your interview questions will tie in closely with the culture you seek. In First Book’s example, they wanted self-starters and leaders. It was very important to what they were building. So they asked interviewees “what have you started or built?” A self-confident leader knows the culture will evolve as your organization and your people evolve. Give them some say.
No one is afraid to tell you if you have a bad idea? This is my biggest takeaway. Do you instill an environment of collaboration and respectful debate? Would your staff be too fearful of telling you your idea is no good? And can you handle the feedback in a humble way if they did so?
You may or may not agree with them, and in the end, you have the final right to veto – you are the CEO, after all.
Try this exercise: Ask your employees, your clients, and your stakeholders – “What are three things you love about working with us and three things you would fix if you could?”
Some of my best leadership lessons come from my previous employers; both the good and the bad. What about yours? What would you add to the list?
selfI’ll never forget one particular manager I worked for early on in my career who surrounded himself with “Yes” men and women.
He lacked the self-confidence to lead and and it showed in his decisions and in his circle of advisors. He failed to earn the respect of his staff, which resulted in little innovation or inspiration. Turnover was high, and morale was low. (The opposite of what it takes to be a Level 5 leader.)
Self-confidence in leadership is important for many reasons.
Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book, a non-profit organization providing books for children, exemplifies a self-confident leader. Continue reading

Categories and Types of Leadership

Leadership has a formal aspect (as in most political or business leadership) or an informal one (as in most friendships). Speaking of “leadership” (the abstract term) rather than of “leading” (the action) usually it implies that the entities doing the leading have some “leadership skills” or competencies.

Types of leadership styles

The bureaucratic leader (Weber, 1905) is very structured and follows the procedures as they have been established. This type of leadership has no space to explore new ways to solve problems and is usually slow paced to ensure adherence to the ladders stated by the company. Leaders ensure that all the steps have been followed prior to sending it to the next level of authority. Universities, hospitals, banks and government usually require this type of leader in their organizations to ensure quality, increase security and decrease corruption. Leaders that try to speed up the process will experience frustration and anxiety. Continue reading

When your words don’t reach your listener’s attention… Change This!

good_listener.jpg It’s frustrating when your co-workers, audience members, teenager or even your dog (!) won’t listen. While you can’t control how they receive what you say, you can control how you send it. Here are a few tips on why people don’t listen and what you can do to change it.

1. Short Attention Spans

When asked to guess the average adult attention span, most people say around thirty minutes. According to statistics, however, the average adult attention span is actually only seven seconds. That’s right! Every seven seconds you go away somewhere. You think about something else. In fact, you could actually be taking a mental break right now! It is a normal part of how the brain integrates external stimuli like when your computer starts defragging for a moment while you type. Continue reading

Top 25 Leadership Quotations

leadership1.jpgPonder what it takes to be a true leader with these practical quotes that will lead you to a more precise understanding of the secrets to successful leadership…

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”
–Anonymous

“No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.”
–W. H. Auden

“Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.”
–Warren Bennis Continue reading

Leadership Skills – 10 Ways to Develop Your Potential

leadership21.jpgHave you ever heard someone say, “Actually, I have to admit that I think I am really bad at managing other people. My staff all hate me and I’m incapable of doing my job”.

The answer is no, of course. No one says this either because they don’t believe it, or because they don’t want to appear incompetent. Unfortunately research tells us that from the employees’ perspective, there aren’t that many terrific managers out there.

What should we take out of this dichotomy? Perhaps at the least, we could all admit to ourselves that there is room for some improvement in the way we lead others. After all, it’s not the sort of skill that is easy to get 100% right all of the time. It might just be that we don’t specifically know what improvements to make, so here’s 10 ways to start: Continue reading

Reframing the Failure: Creating Success

pozitive_man.jpgI am fascinated by problems. I like to think of myself as a solution oriented individual. However when problems creep into my life as they always do I know that I am in for a major learning experience.

I just finished reading a book this week that belongs on the bookshelf of every entrepreneur. It is called “Juice, The Creative Fuel That Drives World-Class Inventors by Evan I. Schwartz.” This book allows you to take a peek inside the labs of the brightest minds and better understand how they relentlessly question and discover the infinite number of ways that we can imagine and create solutions. The book is an awesome expose on how world class inventors on the planet search for problems, seek to understand them and develop solutions that can only come about by perceiving the problem in a different manner. Every entrepreneur should read this book! It is chock full of wisdom that we can apply to our business lives.

Albert Einstein once commented that the most fundamental question we can ever ask ourselves is whether or not the universe we live in is friendly or hostile. He hypothesized that your answer to that question would determine your destiny. Continue reading