When certain elements are in place and consistently practiced, they will launch you forward. Conversely, when they are not in place, you will limp through fits and starts. Let's start with two of the six elements of leadership to be explored in future issues.
KNOW YOUR ROLE
Your perspective should be to create success for the team and the individuals on the team — not simply for your resume. Your focus is to build high self-esteem environments so that all staff are focused on putting everything they have out there for the club. When we operate in environments that are not high self-esteem-oriented we end up having too many people on the team wasting energy in a protection mode, holding things in rather than putting it all out there.
One of the best ways to create high self-esteem is to start people on leadership tracks immediately. If your club does not, then start a sales department committee that is volunteer-based and designed to support and promote everything the department does. By doing so, you will see who in the department rises to the top by taking on more responsibility. You will see who has strong organizational, communication and relationship-building skills, as well as those who do not.
Additionally, your role is to be the leader. You are the one who communicates a sense of what can be and create that vision for all the staff to see. You are the one who drives the culture and so much of that is about communication. Do you have the courage to confront and the willingness to take action when things need to be corrected? Or are you alright with letting things work themselves out in their own time? Remember, when it comes to correction — it is always professional, not personal. In being the leader, you are the exemplar — the most outstanding example for your organization. Your behavior and attitude are the foundation that the other sales people model their behavior and performance.
Finally, in knowing your role, consider whether you have created an environment for accountability and success. Some simple elements that help to establish that environment are tracking systems, clearly documented methods of behavior, your integrity, your sense of fairness in how you treat all people and situations. Do you build trust by showing humility when you have erred — huge for establishing trust and accountability. Have you created an environment that is friendly but not all about being close personal friends? Being close personal friends (even with a few) makes it harder to be fair and professional.
KNOW YOUR TEAM
How well do you know your team? Do you communicate with them in the way that is most effective for them or are you communicating from your perspective? Do you know how they want to be managed and lead? Do you know their perspective of your management and leadership abilities or are you operating under your perception of their perception. Remember, their perception is reality when it comes to how you are leading, communicating and managing the team.
Once you know the reality of the situation and are not operating in the vacuum that we sometimes create in our minds, your ability to lead your staff will rise to a new level. We have all witnessed what a change in leadership can do for an organization on all levels. Assess where you are in these areas and how a subtle change could impact your organization.
Karen D. Woodard-Chavez is president of Premium Performance Training and provides staff training and organizational consulting. She can be contacted at 303-417-0653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.