Thank you for tuning in to the Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! The best leaders know how to do a few things very well, and one of the most important is leading people. In this week’s episode, we’re diving into four things successful leaders always do. Applying these four principles to your leadership will help you gain more committed, engaged employees and greater personal satisfaction and success.
1. Talk about their goals, not just company goals.
As an entrepreneur or business leader, you are probably very invested n your company’s goals. The reality is that most of your employees are not as concerned. They care more about their personal goals than they do yours. Good leaders know how to use one-on-one meetings to help frame business goals in terms that employees care about. For example, discover how increasing sales will help their family and improve their life.
Q: Where do your company’s goals and your personal goals intersect? What do you find motivating about working for your company? Do you think that is the same as or different from your coworkers/employees? Why?
2. Give your team a voice.
Giving your employees a voice will help them feel like they are contributing to the goals they are striving to achieve. People don’t want to work for dictators; they want to feel like they matter! Paying attention to this aspect will help increase employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention.
Q: Describe the last time you brought your team in on a big decision. What comments did they make that you expected? What surprised you? How did their suggestions affect your decision?
3. Pay attention to the little things.
Leadership is challenging because the subtle things make a difference. It is about how you greet your team members, how focused you are when they present you with a problem, and whether or not you remember the subtle details of their lives. Together, small steps make a big difference!
Q: How often do you interact with your boss/coworkers/employees? How do you greet each other? How does your general rapport impact your relationship?
4. Have a small number of fundamental goals
Keeping one priority is a common challenge for entrepreneurs. As their businesses grow, many entrepreneurs try to keep doing everything they did in the past. To accomplish your most important goals, you need to focus on less. You do that by empowering people to support you and clarifying what only you can do.
Q: If you could only have one goal for your week, what would it be? How would you protect your time to ensure that you accomplished that goal? What tends to get in the way of completing the tasks only you can do?
Give your team a voice. One of my favorite ways to do this is to ask this series of four questions at a one-on-one or team meeting.
How are things now?
How should they be?
What will happen if we don’t change?
What rewards will there be if we do?
Reframe your company goals for each employee. During your next one-on-one, ask questions to help uncover your employee’s key motivations. You might discover they are looking for security, power, competence, freedom, or something else. Then, focus on helping them see how each of the company’s goals/their job’s goals helps them fulfill their needs and motivations.
Do you find yourself struggling to discover and protect your priorities? Try asking yourself these questions in order:
What is required of me? (at home, at work, in my relationships)
What will give me the greatest return?
What will give me the greatest reward?
Once you have answered them, decide what you need to stop doing to keep those priorities in order. Delegate what you can, and invest in what gives you the greatest return and reward.