The Lead Wolf Model of Leadership

Effective leaders are driven by a model. A model is a tool used to predict future outcomes of current decisions. Effective leaders build their models on the sum of their experiences, knowledge and deeds as well as their mistakes. This truth is at the core of learning how to be a winner instead of a survivor.

o Servant-leadership encourages collaboration, trust, foresight, listening, and the ethical use of power and empowerment.

o Recognition and praise raises self-esteem. Positive feedback and ample communication allow employees gratification and a newfound confidence in the organization. Command and control works for the military but leadership in the business environment must be built on dignity and respect. Remember, employees are your most precious asset. Respect them, train them, coach and mentor them, trust them and they will create competitive advantage for your company.

o Companies today are increasingly characterized by a large and incredibly complex set of independent relationships between highly diverse groups of people. To be successful, you must determine how to get active involvement, innovation and creativity out of your employees. Success depends on more than just “best practice” success drivers. Success demands a superior level of leadership–a level that requires deep commitment. This commitment will not flourish in workplace environments that are still dominated by the “slap & point” or the “carrot and stick” method of management often used in the past

o People cannot “Live to Work” they must “Work to Live”. This is about keeping family life and personal values in perspective.

o People are the most important ingredient to every organization and the organizations behavior. People and how they are treated will reflect the organizational characteristics, the way it acts and interacts with its own people.

o Leadership —- Make no mistake – leadership is about Trust – Respect & Integrity.

Employees won’t start respecting you as a leader until you start respecting them

Employees will not trust you as a leader until you start trusting them

Gaining trust and respect from your employees is built on a platform of integrity.

o Ethics are the breeding ground for trust. Do the right thing – always and commit to conducting yourself with the highest standards of ethics and integrity.

o An effective leader is only as good as the people he/she surrounds themselves with.

o “It’s not about power and politics; it’s about principle and process.”

o Employees want to take pride in their leaders. They are eager to give their trust, but demonstrating the kind of leadership character that deserves that trust cannot be over-emphasized.

o Character is built around a true concern for the people within the organization. It is based on fairness and consistency.

o The culture and environment of the organization are going to have a major impact on leadership’s self-expectations. This is a critical element that executives who are not successful fail to recognize. Organizational culture is extremely important to successful growth.

o Problems with staffing and retention may not be due to bad hires or a low unemployment rate. In fact, they may be related to poor leadership insight by not recognizing employees as a core competency in the business strategy. Although employees may not fit the strictest definition of a core competency, it is a fact that employees are the ones responsible for creating many of the core competencies. It is an undisputable fact that failure to recognize the importance of employee contributions will lead to failure regardless of your business strategy.

o The leader has to be an agent of change. Most people in most organizations prefer not to change, It’s scary. One of the roles of leadership is to cause change, to create change, to force change, to instigate change. Whatever verb you want to use.

o Creating change, managing during turbulent times, or fostering growth after restructuring all depends on a balance of leadership. No one person can make a company successful. It takes a lot of people, but one person with a command of leadership can transfer enough influence, creating enough leadership amongst the management group to guarantee success

o Change really occurs more easily when everybody sees the need for it.

o Communication is key in creating an environment that encourages employee retention. Respect, belief in employees, empowerment and involvement are key factors in retaining employees. Effective leadership & respect must be demonstrated at every level in the organization.

o Leadership without communication is like a gun without a bullet. It looks impressive but it can’t do anything.

o Next to people, communication is the most critical element to success, whether the company is in a growth mode or facing challenges to maintain market share. Failure to communicate is like a virus that can lead to total failure.

o Communication is essential to developing trust. Trust is necessary to get people to reach down deep inside and give everything they have under the most difficult circumstances. Trust will allow people to give their discretionary energy to meet objectives.

o The only way to develop trust is through communication – talking to people with respect to gain their respect. Respect is a key ingredient in developing trust .The reason people follow any leader, especially in the business world, is due to trust. Trust is gained when people think the company cares about their welfare and recognizes the role they play in creating a profit.. People have to think that the company not only cares about their problems but that the company will make every effort to solve them

o Leadership and communication are intertwined. Together, they help create solidarity. Solidarity implies a unity within a group that enables it to manifest its strength and exert its influence.

o Miscommunication, rumors and garbled messages cause conflict and distrust

Effective leaders go through a never ending development process that includes education, self study, training, experience and coaching and mentoring from one or several individuals that have a very positive influence on their personal development. Leadership is the ability to influence, inspire and motivate others to accomplish specific objectives. It includes creating a culture that helps direct the organization in such a way that it makes it cohesive and coherent keeping short term tactical goals and objectives in alignment with long term strategic initiatives. The success of leadership in this process is directly influenced by the individual leaders’ beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge and skills.

Position and title may give you power but power in itself does not make you an effective leader. To become an effective leader there are specific skill sets that you must understand and master. This does not come naturally. It takes dedication, passion and commitment to the process. That commitment, dedication and passion includes a tireless effort to improve on specific skills and the development of a personal leadership methodology. This is often referred to as your personal leadership model.

This is “The Lead Wolf” model of leadership.

Become a “Lead Wolf”.

E-mail if you would like a copy of the “Lead Wolf Leadership Creed”. – Sign up to receive “The Howl” a free monthly newsletter that addresses real world industry issues. – Straight talk about today’s issues. Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution’s “Leadership Strategist”, founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage.

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