Plumbing organizations, and businesses are not made great simply by brand alone. Their greatness is guided by great leadership. The leadership that a company has is just as important as the products or services that they provide. Dell, BlackBerry, and Blockbuster were all companies that had phenomenal success but crumbled due to poor and inadequate leadership.
There is a quote from the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that says “You must choose but choose wisely”
The captain of your ship will determine whether you reach your destination or sink into the abyss.
10 key components to becoming a great leader or selecting someone to lead your business or organization.
Your team looks up to you and if you want them to give their all, you will have to be committed to giving your all too. It will help you to gain the respect of your subordinates and infuse new energy in your team members, which helps them to perform better. If they feel that you are not fully committed, it will be a grueling task to motivate your team to achieve company goals.
To be an effective leader, you should be confident enough to ensure that others follow your commands. If you are unsure about your own choices and qualities, then your employees will never follow you. As a leader, your level of confidence is what will help you gain the faith and trust of your team and assertiveness will help to gain their respect.
Apart from having a vision and clear plan for your company’s future, a leader should have the ability to make the right decision at the right time. Decisions made by leaders have a profound impact on the company and the entire team. Too much hesitation on important action items can kill team morale and kill their confidence in you as well. It’s much easier to make decisions when you’re abundantly clear on what you’re trying to achieve, why you’re trying to achieve it and how you plan on achieving it. Your mission (why), values and strategy (how), and metrics (what) serve as bumper lanes and filters to your decision-making. With this foundation, many questions answer themselves, which is arguably faster than time spent engaged in an exhaustive debate or mental wrangling. After building this foundation, you’ll begin making decisions faster.
Leaders should develop empathy with their team members. Unfortunately, most leaders follow a dictatorial style and neglect to be empathetic at all. This fails them in their efforts to connect and gain trust. We are all human and we all have everyday problems that affect production. Understanding this and feeling their pain is a step in the right direction on becoming an effective leader.
Honesty and Integrity
Honesty and integrity are two important ingredients that make a good leader. This is probably one of the most important keys to being a leader and without it, no real success is possible. You can’t expect your team to be honest if you lack these qualities yourself. Leaders succeed when they stick to their values and core beliefs. Your company culture should be one that revolves around integrity and honesty. The importance of these qualities should be reinforced to your team members and clearly conveyed in your overall business mission statement. Your reputation relies on it.
Being an inspiration to your team requires you to be dedicated to modeling the performance that you’re seeking from them. If you want them to be forward thinkers, you too have to be a forward thinker. Give them a reason to look up to you and look to you for guidance. Encouragement is the fuel to the fire that is inspiration. Let your team know verbally and in writing that you believe in them and express the value that they bring. This will supply them with the positive energy they need to continue to be top performers.
John Baptiste Moliere says “It is not only what we do, but what we do not do, for which we are accountable.”
It’s easy to take credit when things go right, but what about when we fail? That is usually when the blame game starts and that phrase about everything rolling downhill rears its ugly head. However, leadership without accountability is leadership without credibility. As a leader, the successes and failures of the team will always lead back to you. If they fail at a project or at fail at meeting deadlines you have to ask yourself if you provided the structure and tools that they needed to be more successful. So in addition to assessing how and why they failed, hold yourself accountable for it as well. Ask yourself if you were accessible and what you could have done differently.
Be a good communicator
Clear communication will help your team to be more organized and strategic in meeting their goals and implementing your vision. In meetings, have an agenda that outlines or highlights key objectives. Leaders are not ambiguous. A good rule of thumb when communicating is the “KISS” principle. Keep It Short and Simple. Use short sentences when confirming what was mentioned to ensure your understanding. Ask direct questions when trying to get to the heart of a situation. A good communicator can inspire people to do their best.
Be Creative and Innovative
“Innovation distinguishes a leader and a follower.” -Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs, one of the greatest innovators and creative minds, got it right. In order to get ahead in today’s fast paced business market you have to be a creative thinker. This is what will make your company stand out from the rest. Think outside of the box and take the time to listen fully to the voices that really count, your team leaders and customers. Also take the time to listen and believe in yourself. Take on and conquer your own fears and challenges, before you face the many business challenges requiring extra creativity. Above all, remember that creativity in business is not a solo act. Good leadership is bringing out the best in creativity through collaboration, and customer engagement.
Empower your team
A leader, trains leaders. You cannot do everything, right? It is important for a leader to focus on key responsibilities while leaving the rest to others. This means empowering your team and delegating tasks to them. If you micromanage your team, they will develop a lack of trust and more importantly, you will not be able to focus on important matters, as you should be. Delegate tasks and see how they perform. Provide them with all the resources and support they need to achieve the objectives and give them a chance to bear the responsibility.