September 5, 2013
Your Leadership is Showing by David Thompson
One of my earliest jobs was with a large supermarket chain, where I spread my hours among three locations. While the products, customers and employees were similar at each location, the leadership style of the store managers was very different. Even as a college student working part time, I could see the different impact two of the managers had.
At the first store, it was openly discussed to watch your back while working for “George,” and no matter what, be sure your actions do not bring negative attention upon him in the eyes of regional leadership. He “ruled with an iron fist.” No error seemed to go unnoticed and was often publicly addressed. Few, if any, words of appreciation were uttered and the work atmosphere left a lot to be desired. His dictatorial style did not endear him to staff nor serve to develop future store managers.
At the second store, “Ron,” provided a more collegial environment, combining a healthy dose of personal interaction, camaraderie, and task clarity. Success was shared, and you always knew support and encouragement were a “few feet” away. Problems were handled quietly. Impressively, team members were frequently promoted to management positions at other stores.
Ron’s leadership focused on the team and created a healthy environment for working, learning and growing. Whether full or part time, employees were all encouraged to be active participants at this successful supermarket. They were developed to be future leaders by the positive example exhibited by this store manager.
In fact, Ron’s leadership showed through in others.
What about you? How often have you made a conscious decision to step back and take a second look at your leadership style? Are you approachable? Do you communicate in a manner that draws others into the conversation and leaves them feeling valued, appreciated and understood?
Whether you like it or not, the evidence of your leadership is not only identified by profits or your personal actions as a leader, but many times is defined by the actions of your team.
Think about that for a moment… if we are truly serving effectively as leaders, the fruits of our efforts can be measured not only by what we accomplish but also by the accomplishments of our team. Some leaders take credit for success and point fingers when things are not going as well. True leaders find ways to shine the spotlight of success on their team while shouldering the disappointments that are sure to come from time to time.
Right now, take a moment to mentally look around your company, or your home. What do you see… successful, vibrant, upbeat, productive people sharing in the joy of the environment that YOU are leading? If not, take a look at your leadership style and seek ways to forge it into the qualities needed to enhance the lives of others. I guarantee you it will enhance your business, your family and your life.
Look around…. your leadership is showing…..through the lives of others.