If you could improve your results by 25-30% what would that mean to you?
There is no magic formula or product to offer. However, sustainable, measurable results of 25-30% increase in productivity IS possible–the answer lies in one word…leadership. Sales are important, marketing is important, PR is important, but without leadership they will all eventually fall short.
Leadership is a word frequently misunderstood and misused. Dr. Creflo Dollar has said “If you don’t know the purpose of a thing, abuse is inevitable.” The same holds true for leadership. Leadership is not based on position or even job function. There are often people who are in positions of “leadership” that do not exhibit leadership skills. Likewise, there are “leaders” throughout an organization who, because they lack the “title,” are not given the opportunity to lead. Everyone has leadership potential; however, it must be developed and true leadership must be understood.
Of all the definitions of leadership, Peter F. Drucker says it best,
“Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not “making friends and influencing people”, that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”
Why is leadership so important? John Maxwell calls it the “Law of the Lid:” a business or organization can only grow to the limits of its leadership. If the leadership is weak, it doesn’t matter how great the concept, product or service, it will never achieve financial greatness or market dominance. Fail-Safe Leadership authors Linda Martin and Dr. David Mutchler identified symptoms of ineffective leadership, some of which are listed below (take the full leadership test to see how your organization fares):
- Excessive meetings
- Lack of personal accountability
- Difficulty terminating poor performers
Other symptoms include:
- Unclear (or complete lack of) organizational goals
- Cliques (among management/leadership team)
- Declining customer/membership base
An organization that reflects any combination of the above symptoms may have a leadership challenge. That is not to say there are no leaders, or that you, the reader, are an ineffective leader, it does mean a leadership challenge exists. While these symptoms have dire consequences if not corrected, they can be changed.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR LEADERSHIP
Before you can expect improved results, there must be a positive behavior change. Any change in behavior is a result of goals that are set (the best goal setting process includes the five critical core elements of goal setting). However, the key to achieving goals rests in our attitude. You may have heard this poem:
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny. (Unknown)
You can not expect sustained, measurable improvement in your results without first changing the attitudes of your leaders. The many “New Year’s Resolutions” that have been set and failed is a perfect illustration. Goals were set, intentions were good but two things happened: 1) you didn’t change your attitude about the habit being changed, and 2) you failed to use all five of the critical elements of goal setting, primarily the consideration of obstacles. Think about it, nothing truly changes until we change our attitude about it.
Depending on the organization and its current leadership, this may not be an exercise that can be done without a neutral third party to assist. When habits are entrenched they are hard to see and fear of loss (of control) causes people to become territorial and move into a self-preservation mode. Whether you attempt to improve your leadership yourself or involve a third party, do not begin this exercise if you are not totally and 100% committed to it. One of the biggest mistakes organizations make is to begin down the road of self-improvement but when it becomes hard or “touches too close to home,” they discontinue the journey and what began with promise ends as an exercise in futility. Each time this happens, trust is eroded and a “can’t do” or “don’t care” attitude grows within the organization. Consider your best approach and in the meantime, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I an effective leader (not manager)? Would I follow me? Why?
- Do I display the core values of the organization (whether people are looking or not)?
- Do people obey me or follow me?
The answers to those questions may be revealing. Leadership–it just might be the answer to growth that’s been eluding you. Now, one last question…
If you aren’t getting the results you want…what is the impact if you do nothing?
Karen Hosey,President and CEO of Z.O.E. Consulting, LLC. has over 20 years experience in strategic planning, sales and leadership development. She currently assists businesses and ministries in achieving their vision through customized processes in strategic planning, and leadership, sales/customer service development. As a business coach, she guides leaders (and those aspiring to be) to fulfill their potential. She is an energetic, motivational conference and seminar speaker who uses her experiences to entertain and educate on a variety of topics that relate to business, management and self-improvement. Visit our website [http://www.zoeconsulting.net/] or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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