Recently, I was contacted by an individual who asked me about the possibility doing some training. We did not get that worked out, but he asked me this. “Since we cannot have you come, can you share something with me that I can in turn share with my leaders that would help them be more effective?” Here are three things good leaders do to be most effective in their leadership roles. I firmly believe these are essential leadership skills. So much so, that I believe if you’re not doing these three things, you’re not leading. Let’s take a look.
If You’re Not Doing These Things, You’re Not Leading
This is what I do. I talk about leadership. For the past 35 years at least, I’ve thought about leadership because I was a leader, a manager, a supervisor in organizations before I started my own business. I’ve thought about why leaders do what they do, how they could get better, what kind of an impact leaders are having and so on. That’s what I do.
And for the past 15 years or so, I’ve thought about how that leadership applies to banking, to financial services. Why? Because 15 plus years ago, I was invited to come on to a bank board, a community bank board specifically. So I’ve taken my leadership work for the last 35 years and I’m applying it in a banking environment.
Recently, I was contacted by an individual who asked me about the possibility doing some training. We did not get that worked out, but he asked me this. “Since we cannot have you come, can you share something with me that I then in turn can share with my leaders that would help them be more effective?”
3 Things Good Leaders Do
I shared with him these three things good leaders do — that every leader can and should do — whether they’re officially and formally trained or not… three things good leaders do to make their leadership more effective. I’m going to share these three things with you as well.
#1. Good Leaders Plan
One of the first things good leaders do — that you can do too — is plan. Plan. Too many leaders think that they can shoot from the hip or from “the lip” without planning what they are going to do or what they’re going to communicate.
Planning is essential to us effectively accomplishing longterm goals and objectives. Now when I talk about planning, I could talk about planning from two different areas.
I can talk about strategic planning, why we’re planning what we’re doing. Then, I can talk about functional planning, planning to accomplish something today. Strategic planning is what we’re going to play in the future. Functional planning is what am I going to do today that will lead me closer to my strategic plans.
Number one, leaders have to plan. A leader without a plan, frankly is not a leader. They’re confused and they’re creating confusion for those people who follow them. A leader must plan.
#2. Good Leaders Communicate…Well
Here’s the second thing. In addition to planning, a leader must communicate. Now, I certainly am not the first one that said that to you. You have heard other people talking about the importance of communication, and frankly I don’t apologize for saying it again.
Why? Because some people just don’t do it. There’s a lot of leaders out there that are trying to lead effectively. They really want to be an effective leader. They try to lead effectively, but are horrible communicators.
Number one, you’re a horrible communicator if you don’t communicate. If you keep it all inside without letting people know what you’re thinking or feeling, the reality of it is you have not communicated.
The second is this — if you try to communicate what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling, but you do it poorly, you’re not a good communicator.
Listen to this. If you think the only way to communicate is by what comes out of your mouth as opposed to what goes into your ears, again you’re not a good communicator.
Now, if you have a plan, be it a strategic or functional plan, and you’re not communicating that plan effectively to others, you are not leading. I try to help people understand how to plan, but also try to help people understand how important it is to communicate.
#3. Good Leaders Execute
I said there were three things, how to plan, how to communicate, and thirdly, how to execute. Execute.
Anybody who’s read any of my books or any of my work, anybody who’s heard me speak, you’ve probably heard me share my definition of leadership. My definition of leadership is basically three things. One thing it is not, two things it is.
Leadership is not position. It’s not about the title that we hold or the office in which we reside. Leadership is not position itself.
Leadership is two things. The ability to offer service and the willingness to take action. The ability to offer service, to do something for someone else, that would be part of your plan.
That could also be part of your communication. The willingness to share information, the willingness to tell people where we’re going by way of the plan, the ability to do something, the ability to offer service, but the willingness to take action to do it. Execute.
There are so many people that talk about what they’re going to do, communicate, plan for what they’re going to do — and they never do it. Or they do it very poorly. They don’t execute well — or they don’t follow through well. And they don’t incorporate other people into the process.
The Basics of Leadership
For most people, now, I’m just talking about the basics. But the basics for most people oftentimes have not been covered. Read this article for some added ideas on strategically developing your leadership skills.
For most effective leaders to be more effective in what they do, they have to plan more effectively, both strategically and functionally. They have to communicate more effectively, both spoken word, listening in every kind of communication.
There’s a lot more that we could talk about there, but in the end, they’ve got to execute. They’ve got to take action and action that is again aligned with the functional or strategic plans that they’re working and that which they have communicated they would do.
These three things should get you thinking. And whether you’re a banker or whether you’re in some other sort of industry, the concept is still the same. Leaders must lead and the most effective leaders plan, communicate and execute.
Do your company leaders need to improve how they plan, communicate and execute? I can help you make that happen. Let’s connect! +1.270.365.1536 or [email protected].
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