When it comes to leadership, everybody has their own ideas about how best to lead.
As a CEO and sales trainer with over 20 years of experience, I have had the pleasure of working with a number of unique business leaders. I want to share my wealth of knowledge on leadership, which I have collected from the best of the best. I feel very fortunate to have learned from these bright people and hope you too are able to gain something from their wisdom.
I've summarized the 6 most attainable and useful lessons on leadership. These tips are broad enough so that no matter which department you're in, there is something for everyone.
6 Simple Leadership Tips
1. What you share matters. Tell people as much as you can so that they feel empowered to act like a business owner. Share with them how your company makes money, what the company’s revenues are, what key activities drive revenue generation, and so on. Let them help you develop your company philosophies. Let them create the business both with and for you.
By keeping your team in the know, you are signaling that you trust, value, and most importantly, need them as a part of the business. Have you thought about what you share with your team, and is it enough for them to feel important?
2. Keep your emotions in check. Understand that what you feel and what you say are not dependent on each other. People don't appreciate when you speak from an angry or very negative place. Remember that people don't know how you feel, and generally they don't care. Don't take it personally.
See yourself as two entities: you, the person, and you, the sales leader. When times get tough, ask yourself: how would you, the leader, respond to this situation? I guarantee it will be different than how you, the person, would respond. If you are able to separate yourself from the position, you will not only be more effective as a leader, but you may even be happier and more composed in your personal life.
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3. Clean up your messes quickly and efficiently. People respect integrity, both in life and in sales. When you apologize for a mistake, do so without making it too much about you. Address what you are apologizing for, take responsibility and hold yourself accountable, and simply state how you will do better next time. Hear feedback if applicable, and then let people get past it. A team that can overcome challenges together will yield positive results.
4. How you speak is everything. People are much more receptive to positivity and encouragement. When giving feedback, sandwich in some praise so that the person is not discouraged, but rather is motivated to work harder and succeed. Be a coach to your team. If you want to inspire, speak to a persons's bigness, not their smallness.
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5. Confront your key concerns about someone. Surface key issues, especially withheld communications between you and the other person. Don’t let them fester or else you could be setting the person up to fail, and thereby failing your team. Be proactive, and keep an open communication with your team members.
6. Appreciate the people who work for you, who work above you, and who work with you. Better still, appreciate people. For more on this last tip, check out the interview we did with Judith W. Umlas, the Senior VP of International Institute of Learning, who encourages folks to lead with gratitude and what to consider when doing so.
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If you are in a leadership position, you have the power to decide how your employees feel. Relationships with employees are just as important as relationships with customers. Fostering a culture of open communication, trust, and accountability will take your team a long way.
If you want to take actionable steps beyond this article, learn more from our eBooks. We offer exercises, solution-based workflows, and other resources so leaders and teams like you can thrive in sales. We hope these leadership tips bring tangible results for your business, as well as help you make a lasting impression on your employees and customers.
What other leadership tips do you love? Did any of these tips resonate with you? Tell us in the comments below – we love to hear from you!