As a leader, are you fair with your those on your team? Many leaders would say “Yes!” or at least “I try to be!” What distinguishes average leaders from great leaders is not if they’re fair or not, I think everyone tries to be. What’s different is their definition of fairness.
We live in a time where a premium is put on political correctness and it carries over into how we lead our people. Leaders think that to be fair they must spend and invest equal amounts of time and energy in each person on their team.
How would you define fairness?
The common answer is: Fairness = treating everybody the same. That is not fairness. As U.S. Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter said, “It is a wise man who said that there is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals.“
Have you downloaded the trueU app yet? I partnered with trueU and released eight Leadership Lessons that are rolling out over the next several weeks. This week we released “Finding Your Sweet Spot.” It’s a great, short video to consider what you’ll focus on going into the new year.
– Search for trueU in the iOS App Store or Google Play Store and check them out!
As a culture, we have forgotten how to listen well. With all the noise, interruptions, and activity the art of listening is being lost. To lead well we must listen well. Listening creates connection and understanding which is necessary to lead others.
This post is being written from personal experience. I have found myself guilty of poor listening more often then I’d like to admit. See if you can relate to one of the following situations that have happened to me:
If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.
60% of first level managers fail in the first 12-24 months. I’ve seen it happen too many times. A leader gets stuck and his role and responsibilities outgrow his abilities. Or an organization promotes a top performer and doesn’t understand why that individual isn’t a great leader. Each level of leadership requires different competencies and focus. A leader that relies on what got them to this point will get stuck if they don’t continue to grow and adapt.
Everyone has the ability to be a leader. Leadership is learned not something you’re born with. Even if you’re an individual contributor in an organization you have the ability to influence people and set the culture. It’s important we understand both where we are at and the competencies required of our role. While some say there are up to seven levels of leadership in an organization, I think it can be simplified to four.
As a parent, I’ve realized the extraordinary power my words have in the lives of my children. I can encourage and inspire my children to greatness, or bring them to tears with just a few words. Even though at work you’re dealing with adults, the power your words have is incredible.
The language you and your team use set the direction and atmosphere for your organization. Average leaders don’t give any thought to the words they use in their emails, team meetings, and hallway conversations. Great leaders are intentional about identifying unhealthy language and replacing it with language that is life-giving, encouraging, and forward-looking. They understand that language creates culture.
Coaching happens through strategic conversations. Strategic conversations don’t happen by accident, you must be intentional.
In the busyness and day-to-day grind, it can be easy to miss opportunities to have intentional conversations with the team you lead. Coaching your team to develop them personally and professionally is one of the most important jobs you have as a leader. This not only benefits your team but is necessary for your organization to be healthy, succeed, and grow.
How can you ensure these conversations happen? How do you bring up the sometimes difficult issues that need to be discussed?
Leadership is about people. As leaders, we are responsible for helping our team grow and develop. Our goal as leaders is not simply to get more output and performance but to help them discover and grow in their talents and gifts.
Good leaders will coach their people for performance while great leaders coach them for development. To coach your team, it’s important to have tools to help their development move forward. Here are the five qualities I focus on as I coach people for growth and development.
Throughout history, the Jewish people have been one of the most persecuted people but also the most prosperous. How is it they always find ways to succeed and thrive in very difficult circumstances?
In his book “Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money” Rabbi Daniel Lapin talks about a key view of the Jewish people: they are always looking for ways to add value. If you make “Always Add Value” your mantra in the marketplace you will be noticed and differentiate yourself from your competition. Rewards, recognition, and resources follow those that always add value.
If you want to be great at leading, coaching, consulting and helping develop others then you should read this book. We simply talk too much for others when trying to lead them. We hinder their growth, impose our own thoughts and ideas, and hold them back. Learn how to listen well and lead others by asking great questions. This book has 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon and 365 customer reviews.