Leadership is both the hardest and the simplest of the three pillars of stress-free success. It’s showing people the way to go and the way to be whilst on that journey. It is setting a direction and a standard of behaviour. The best leaders show consistency in both or, at the very least, only make a considered change that would make sense to an observer. For that’s who your employees are, observers of you.
We are all familiar with the principle of setting goals. A goal is the destination. To achieve the goal, you set out towards it. You tell the team the direction you’re heading and what the destination is.
It’s likely that you have more than one goal. How do they align? Are they in similar directions? Are you directing your team towards John O’Groats and Land’s End at the same time? Are you asking them to build the cheapest product but also make it the highest quality product?
Be clear and consistent on direction. Multiple goals are best if they align to, or complement, each other.
Standard of Behaviour
The other part of leadership is setting a behavioural standard. This is the way you want the team to work.
You can tell your team what behaviour you want them to display with customers, for example, and they might meet that standard just by you informing them. It’s not often that this happens though, you must show them how to treat customers, by behaving that way yourself.
Remember, kids do what you do, not what you say! Your team is the same. If they see you doing disrespectful things towards your customers then they will think that that’s okay, it’s the standard you set, no matter what you say.
Treat customers and your team consistently. An easy mistake is treating your team differently from your customers. They are all people. Treat people consistently and your team will tend to follow your lead.
So, set direction with goals and standards with behaviour.
What’s the secret to making leadership as easy as possible? Clarity on goals and alignment with values. Work on these two things and you’ll be a better leader than many.