On May 3, 2012
If you inspire people, you have the first ingredient for growing profits.
If you do not possess a magnetic personality, you can still inspire people and grow profits. You do that by developing your communication skills. Perhaps, Warren Bennis said it best1:
"successful leaders have an extraordinary, though not necessarily charismatic, ability to communicate their vision in a way that allows their people to make it their own and give it personal meaning."
Bennis boiled it down to 4 traits of leadership:
- Attention - the leader's intentions are clear, strong, and visible...successful leaders exhibit focus
- Meaning - followers understand and buy into the leader's vision
- Trust - the leader's actions are consistent with the leader's expressed vision [i.e., Integrity as Spirited Leaders defines it]
- Self - the leader has high self-regard and high regard for others...errors are seen as mistakes, a necessary opportunity to learn
These 4 traits of leadership empower people by:
- making them feel significant,
- focusing on their developing competence rather than failure,
- creating a shared sense of community, and
- making work exciting and worthy of dedicated commitment.
Making people feel significant
: this matches the wisdom of Dale Carnegie who taught - people want to feel important
. Stated another way, people want to be recognized in a positive light. And this explains why constructive criticism is an oxymoron
. We all know this. We all forget this. Successful leaders forget it much less frequently.
Focusing on developing people's competence rather than failure
: a great way to do this is to do strength assessments, embrace strengths-based learning, and provide your people strengths-tools
Creating a shared sense of community: community has taken on a whole new meaning with the explosive growth of social media...consider, for example, the impact of Facebook. So, it now takes much more thought and effort to create a meaningful sense of community. Creative thought must be applied.
Making work exciting and worthy of dedicated commitment: again, the pace of change makes this more complicated. The businesses that figure out and make workplaces more exciting will have a chance to survive. The rest will not.
- 'The Leader-Manager', (1986), edited by John N. Williamson