Leadership is a rich and meaningful word. It stirs up a sense of idealism, excitement, hope and courage. It is a word that inspires us to be our best, a word that we associate with those who have made the greatest difference in our lives. In short, leadership is a significant part of the answer to whatever challenges our organizations may face.
The essence of leadership is having a clear and compelling vision, the power to translate that vision into reality and the ability to rally people behind that vision. A leader may have a clear vision. However without the power to translate that vision into reality they really are not leaders, they are controllers. Translating a vision into reality has to do with motivating and gaining the support of others and channeling their efforts into a common direction. High performance leadership, therefore, is about empowerment and relationships.
Controllers impose external control on their followers/subordinates. For example, a controller would possibly micromanage employees. What are the effects of their tactics? The job may be completed, but at a higher cost with employees simply doing the minimum amount of work required. For example, a controller would not nurture teamwork or may stifle opinions and other ideas. Deep down, controllers do not believe that people can be trusted. They believe that if you want something done right, do it yourself. In other words: “I am more important than others.”
Empowerers create an environment where their people are motivated and committed. For example, an empowerer would encourage brainstorming and feedback. What are the effects of their tactics? Goals are achieved by empowered and engaged employees when new ideas and processes are formed. For example, a team working for an empowerer takes personal ownership and pride in their work. An empowerer believes that people can be trusted. People can succeed and do well at their jobs. In other words: “I succeed when my team/organization succeeds.”
In order to become a high performing leader, ask yourself: what kind of controlling behaviors do I exhibit? Then, ask yourself, what kind of empowering behaviors do I exhibit? Then, simply mark down the actions you will take to become a more empowering leader and remember, people may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
RedRock Leadership believes growing companies by growing individuals. We also believe in challenging the status quo in everything we do. RedRock Leadership provides world class training and coaching to entrepreneurial minded sales and business leaders.
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Founder of RedRock Leadership