LAST week, I talked about my participation in a leadership and life-coaching program that I joined seven years ago. As I said, I would like to share the lessons I learned there, coupled with the experience of being in a leadership position in our family corporation.
The first lesson is to step up.
Opportunities abound for leadership. You may not necessarily be a leader by position or by rank, but life always offers many chances for you to show some facet of leadership -- whether it is your passion, dedication, creativity, diligence, discipline or commitment. The problem is that most people hesitate to show this side of themselves. They don't want the attention. They don't want to stand out, and so they lose out.
The second lesson is to recognize the doers.
There are talkers and there are doers, and one who is good at talking is not necessarily good at doing.
One of the key points the seminar facilitators drummed into us was that we should always measure our success or failure based on results. That means if you set a sales target of P10 million within 1 month, and by the end of the month, you only achieved 9.99 million, then you have not accomplished your goal 100 percent. If you set a personal goal not to be late for work throughout the year, and you missed one day, then you have not achieved that goal.
How eloquently you compose your goal doesn't matter. The reason or excuse why you missed that one day, or why you lack that 100-peso sale doesn't matter. Your intent and desire to achieve that goal doesn't matter. Only the results matter, because results don't lie.
The talkers have their place. They sometimes generate some bright ideas. But ideas without implementation will merely remain as pretty dreams. It is ultimately the doers who will give you results -- and some doers are not what you expect them to be.
If you want your organization to go somewhere, place a high value on your doers.
The third lesson is to empower the doers.
Our seminar group was divided into several smaller groups and each group had a leader. The leaders of each group formed the council of leaders and we had to meet regularly to update each other and plan how to achieve the group goals. Along the way, I noticed that some of the leaders were not so cooperative, and some were only talkers -- they would promise this and that but had little or no results.
My coach's advice was to open the leadership council to other members of the team. We went through the group's list of names one by one and he helped me identify and recognize those who had potential. So I opened the invitation to the entire team and began to observe who would respond. Eventually, the person who became my most trusted second-in-command was not even one of the group leaders. But he took the challenge to step up and show his interest and commitment, and I rewarded that by ceding more and more control and authority to him.
The fourth lesson is to understand and love your team.
That old saying is very true -- people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Being a very cerebral person, I had difficulty connecting with some people in my team. Thankfully, my coach and teammates were very supportive in helping me in this regard. I went to the point of personally calling each member of my team just to talk to them and get to know how they are.
Do not always sound high and mighty. Do not act like a know-it-all. Be humble. Show people you are willing to listen and that you care.
* The seminars mentioned are still being offered by OCCI Global. The program trilogy consists of three courses - Flex, ALC and Leap. You can read more at www.occi.ph. This is not a paid endorsement.
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