The power of an organization’s leaders in creating the organization’s values, environment, culture and actions is immeasurable. The keys to financial success and a profitable business are not the strategies or the systems of the firm. The character and skill of individual managers, who practice what they preach and recognize the manager's role in coaching employees, are what count. One must start with a deep understanding of “why” you want to see the change or improvement. Make certain it is congruent with what you deeply believe. Then, understand and follow these guidelines
- Help people achieve the goals that are important to them, as well as the goals that are important to you. Make sure there is something for each of you that will result from the effort and work.
- If you make a rule or design a process, follow it, until you decide to change it. Why would employees follow the rules if the rule makers don’t?
- Model the behavior you want to see from others. There is nothing more powerful for employees than observing the “big bosses” do the actions or behaviors they are requesting from others. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Become the change you wish to see in the world." And, it will happen.
- Act as if you are part of the team, not always the head of it. Dig in and do actual work, too. People will appreciate that you are personally knowledgeable about the effort needed to get the work done. They will trust your leadership because you have undergone their experience.
- Build commitment to your organization’s big goal.
- Do what you say you're going to do. Don’t make rash promises that you can’t keep. People want to trust you and your leadership.
Managers who believe their job is to ensure that a strategy, vision, or mission is developed are sadly mistaken. Instead, the manager's most important value-added is to make sure the strategy is implemented. They ensure implementation by others when they walk the talk and lead by example.