Thursday, April 18, 2013

Leadership Credibility


Leaders with credibility are self-aware. Blind spots are our stumbling blocks, our bad habits that
hold us back from being the kind of leader we aspire to be. Resolve to take a risk this year and learn
how to lead from the ones who matter most – those following you.
 
Consider the following behaviors that crush leadership credibility and employee motivation
(trends uncovered through employee focus groups and surveys across industries and levels):

§ Lack of direct feedback Telling others around the person or saying nothing at all.
Common employee complaint:
“You can tell they are unhappy with me but won’t talk to me directly about it”

§ Solitary decision making Making decisions that impact others without soliciting their feedback.
Common employee complaint:
“This directly affected my job but yet they didn’t think it was important to ask me what I think”

§ Talking out of both sides of your mouth Being hypocritical, contradictory or overly political.
Common employee complaint:
“Mixed messages”

§ Forgetfulness Forgetting conversations and instructions given. Poor listening skills.
Common employee complaint:
“I have to take notes just to be sure I can prove later we had this conversation”

§ Unpredictable/ Reactive Crisis mentality, often adopting the reactions of others.
Common employee complaint:
“We’re headed one direction today, we’ll be headed the opposite direction tomorrow”

§ Fairweather boss A fan one minute, a critic the next.
Common employee complaint:
“You have their support until it becomes unpopular”

§ Unrealistic or assumed expectations Expecting others to possess the same work ethic or
assuming unspoken expectations will be met.
Common employee complaint:
“I failed at something I didn’t even know I was being evaluated on and never got the chance to
discuss it”

§ Not understanding their employee’s jobs Assuming credibility can be earned without
understanding the inner workings of the team.
Common employee complaint:
“If they had any idea what we do they would make better decisions instead of making our jobs
harder”

§ Breaking promises/ poor follow through Unreliability in all its ugly incarnations.
Common employee complaint:
“They hold us accountable but when it comes to them there always are exceptions and excuses. ”
 
Leadership behaviors that build credibility and employee motivation:
·       Assuming the best and delaying judgment
·       Reliability in word and deed
·       Soliciting their input in brainstorming and problem solving
·       Challenging them to think outside their job description
·       Taking a genuine interest in employees as individuals
·       Delegating learning opportunities not just problems
·       Laughing at yourself and fessing up when you blow it
·       Encouraging creativity
·       Giving others the freedom to “fail forward”
·       Operating from a hope of success rather than a fear of failure
·       Asking “how am I doing?”
 
You can make great strides in the coming year toward becoming the kind of leader you
most admire.
 
The first step is moving out of your comfort zone and asking for feedback on how others see you
modeling these behaviors. Learning about how others perceive you will reveal ways you can be
more effective and is surprisingly liberating.

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