Leadership - 7 Leadership Keys That Will Have Your Team Running Your Business In No Time
...Or You Looking To Sell Up Tomorrow!
Having a great team is mostly... no TOTALLY... about being a great leader. Think about it, would you follow (work for and give your all) someone who you didn't respect, value and get inspired by? Arrh, probably not, in fact if you're a business owner, maybe this was part of your decision to start or buy your own business... you just weren't inspired working for other people.
If I walked into your business and asked all your team for an honest answer to "why do you work here?" ... and ... "what about the owner, tell me about her/him?" ... Would you be confident that what they all say about you and you business could be included in your eulogy?
Discover the Keys to KNOCKOUT Leadership that attract KNOCKOUT talented people to you and your business in the first place plus, get them fired up and inspired to produce KNOCKOUT results...
What century, were you programmed for Leadership in?
Are you leading the troops in the same old way, day after day?... you know... you're the boss, they should do what you say, you've got the answers, you're in command and control, you expect orders to be followed. After all, that's the way you were led; as a student, as a child, as an employee.
You see, before any of us were born around 1850 what was happening? ... The Industrial Revolution was in full swing, ‘employees' were being created where previously people had been self-reliant ... as a farmer, or barrel maker or carpenter. And as people poured off the land and out of the villages to the big cities to work for big textile companies or steel manufacturers the whole functionality of the enterprise was totally shambolic, chaotic and messy. So what happen? It got organised... hence the ‘organisation‘ was born. Key people through history played their role in sorting it out. Hey, great we needed this..... but... by the 1960s it was so ‘organised' that it drove nearly all independent thought out of people, so much so that people at work became a ROBOT, a COG IN THE MACHINE, a BRAINLESS INTERCHANGABLE PART!
Leadership became about Planning (don't even get me started on traditional business plans... wait, I will actually... next week I'll attack ‘the plan'), about Rules, about ‘The Best Way' and about Principles of Management. The earth keeps moving and evolving, we are now well past the Industrial Age, the World Wars, the Atomic Age, the Space Age, and well into the Information Age, perhaps now entering / already entered a new Age of ?????. So, stop using old methods to ‘manage employees' and start to ‘lead talented people'!
Wake up everybody, people have brains... your team are the people that will make or break you and you company (note: if you find that hard to believe and you find yourself saying "yeah but James, you haven't seen and experienced my staff" well... YOU HIRED THEM!!! "Yeah but It's just not that easy James, you can't find good people" ... totally, I agree, it's not easy, but the fact is... KNOCKOUT leaders attract KNOCKOUT talented people.... which produce KNOCKOUT results! So you must become a KNOCKOUT Leader!)
Here's 7 KNOCKOUT Leadership Keys to put in the ring, and box about with... in front of a mirror ...
1) What's the Big Idea?
KNOCKOUT Leaders... Create Opportunities for Talented People to Shine through a great Vision of the future. They then focus on Developing that Talent to create a Profit Machine.
a) Creating Opportunities: We hear a lot about Accountability and Responsibility together, but they are quite different. Give a member of your team total responsibility for an area of your business i.e. the opportunity for them to shine (or be dull as!), then YOU hold them Accountable with a Performance Review (weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly).
b) Great Vision: Think about great leaders of the world and you might think about people like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi... these people had huge Vision of how things could be different (and virtually no power relative to what we would call power within government). Yet each man changed the world.
c) Developing Talent: In the book; Jack: Straight From The Gut by Jack Welch (the CEO of GE from 1980-2001... he added more than US$450 Billion in Market Cap during his tenure. WOW!) he talks about developing talented people, so much so that when he retired his top three managers all became CEOs of huge companies, one GE, one 3M, one Home Depot.
d) Profit Machine: The Business is a Profit Machine (i.e. a vehicle for producing profit) and people create, run, develop and innovate the Machine. People are not part of the Machine. Long term the Machine will replace current roles, people will get new roles, hence why people are the innovators. Get interested to the edge of obsessed with the Profit Machine making more....PROFIT, know the numbers to get the Profit you want!
2) Ok, So... What do I Do?
KNOCKOUT Leaders... are always Doing things. Things that bring them closer to believing the future is possible and that take them further away from the present. The present just makes them angry.
a) Just Do It: Nike has got it! Do STUFF.... Not plan ... Leaders constantly are acting, they are trying new things, they are DOERS ... and then they simply Re-DO until it works better and better (think Bill Gates and Microsoft, they are constantly launching new products and product lines, are they perfect version 1, hell no!!!, but it's out there in the market place making sales and they can then improve for version 2 and eventually totally re-do with a new product launch. The point is, if they spent all the time planning to iron out the bugs they'd never get it to market in time and not be one of the top 5 companies in the world.)
b) Get Pissed Off: Get really angry about the way things are. What annoys you about....? Most of the great leaders of the world have basically done something about something that annoyed the heck out of them.
c) Get Optimistic: Positioning and branding expert Harry Beckwith (and author of the amazing book Selling The Invisible) once said to me "The Optimists have it in this world, pessimists only have the empty consolation of knowing that they were right".
3) Yeah, But In What Way?
KNOCKOUT Leaders... find others who are also different from the norm and will challenge the status quo. They also realise that because they are always doing and trying things they will make mistakes and that this is to be encouraged from everyone in the team.
a) Find Bizarre People: If you are looking for a cookie cutter business and a cookie cutter life get cookie cutter people. If you want a business that is bizarre compared to the rest (remember it would be bizarre to be in the top 5% of profitable businesses in your industry, or country, or world... the other 95% are the norm), you've got to find bizarre people that are different to the rest.
b) Make more mistakes than successes: Look, making mistakes is just part of progress, Thomas Edison failed so many times until he found the right formula for the light bulb (3000 in fact!!!). Kids fall down thousands of times to learn how to walk. We accept these as fine and normal, but business is different??!! I don't think so! Do stuff, it fails... try another method. I'd rather fail 99 times to have one huge massive success, that only have 5 ok successes.
c) Venture Culture: You must support an environment in which risk taking is cool and accepted and embraced... let's have a whole lot of ‘ventures' or projects or gambles or bets or bunts. And you know what? It's ok if 99% don't work, because one of them will change your business? Your industry? Your life?
4) What about People?
KNOCKOUT Leaders... Are activists for talented people and earn their trust through integrity. They are relationship stars who make an army of meaningful connections with talented people through relentless networking.
a) Talent Activist: Did Henry Ford (Founder of the Ford Motor Company) hire talented people? You bet... he hired talented experts that knew more than he did in key areas of the business. In fact so much so he was once famously taken to court for being ignorant!
b) Trust through Integrity: To be credible you must do what you say you will, this one gets me wild! People that don't return a phone call when they say they will or do such and such a task by the date stated. Hey look, nobody's perfect we all understand that, but repeated behaviour and how it matches your words will have someone form an opinion about you. Hold integrity as your number one value and you'll be building trust and cred all over the place.
c) Relationship Stars Connect: A connection is not on the surface, a connection is not just a business card, a connection is... dare I say it ... Bonding. Wow I did. Find the common and not so common ground, why is it not common? People with ‘charisma' the world over are liked by people... why? They make people feel smart, funny, interesting and important.... it's not the opposite that people often think it is (that charismatic people are interesting, funny, smart and better people).
d) Relentless Networking: The more people you met, the more you increase your chances of find talented people that can help you. Join a networking group or two, attend events, get out there.
5) Now, what about actual direction?
KNOCKOUT Leaders... Create whole new markets they don't follow others. They use all available resources. They are KNOCKOUT salespeople and KNOCKOUT storytellers.
a) Create New Markets: Think 34 year old Google founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page... Leaders in an industry where previously there just wasn't an industry (web advertising). If you follow you'll never create massive value, you must innovate either product or a service or a way of doing things or an experience.
b) New Resources: Read: [new stuff, new technology]... embrace it or forget it. You don't need to understand it, just appreciate it and utilise it. Seek it out, or people that know about it ... ask; how can I...? or even; who knows how to...? or; what the....?
c) Salespeople: This is a biggie! Love sales, we are all salespeople, get over it..... it is not a bad thing... forget the baggage... you must get passionate about selling.... about selling yourself, your company, your solutions, your ideas, your vision... to customers, to suppliers, to talented people (previously employees of the organisation), to anyone that will listen.
d) Storytellers: Nothing sells a message like a great story, nothing! What's your story, tell it, tell it and tell it again... let people know about it, your successes, your vision, your lessons, your products, your services, your solutions, moreover.... the experience that is you and your company.
6) What about me?
KNOCKOUT Leaders... Ooze Passion! They love what they are doing and express their passion. They own the brand and the change they want to see in the world. KNOCKOUT Leaders seek out new information and truths about themselves and focus on doing stuff that matters.
a) Express Your Passion: Anyone that I have ever known to be great at Leading People, loves to lead, and have the ability to express their passion and ignite passion within others. Don't be afraid to let the world know what you have a passion for... hint; if it's not leading.... ummmm find someone that does have passion for it to run your company!
b) Own the Brand: Richard Branson in his wildly entertaining book Losing My Virginity takes you through his life and tells of his journeys and adventures. His company values are how he lives, Richard Branson is Virgin. What are your company values and do they line up with your personal values?
c) Seek Out: Seek and you will find. KNOCKOUT Leaders realise that they don't know everything and that it's ok to keep learning, in fact they love it, just when they think they've got it, a new piece of information is for a deeper level of understanding. What are you currently... Reading, Watching, Listening to, Observing, Doing, Failing at, and Succeeding at?
d) Focus: Find your point of focus and nail it. I once asked Brad Sugars (Who has sold over 1000 franchises worldwide in Action International) what the key to success was, he came back with FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS. Where's your focus?
7) Does what you do matter?
Woah... big question huh? Didn't think you'd be asking yourself that question today did you? ... Why go by each day, just plugging on... "another day, another dollar", doing the same old stuff. And you're never too old or hard-done-by... Michael Hill at the age of 41, after the loss of his family home in a fire in 1979, revolutionised the jewellery industry in New Zealand and Australia to lead his company to be listed on the stock exchange just 8 years later. In 2007 MHJ has a Market Capitalisation of NZ$400M!
KNOCKOUT Leaders... Leave a Legacy!
This week's action points...
Tilt your world on its axis about 90 degrees and try to stay where you are today. Go on! Leave the old world of leadership behind and find your way in the new world, or sell up and do yourself a favour.