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November 2003 - Be a LEADER-six things

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November 2003

Be a LEADER-six things

I concluded my December 2001 column by saying, "Next month I will tell what a leader must do to get others to follow." But I didn't do it. For the past two years people have pointed out my omission. I teach one and two day seminars on how to get people to follow. Here are six of the things I teach.

Listen Effectively. Studies show that much of a leader's time is spent in some form of communication-nearly half of it listening. There is a reason for that; to lead people, you must understand them. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.

Energize Constantly. Effective leaders energize those around them. They motivate others to do their best. Subordinates pick up their cues from the leader. If the leader is energetic, enthusiastic, and motivated, then most likely subordinates will be too.

Act Appropriately. Leaders are visible. And they can be vulnerable. People look to see if their walk matches their talk. As the old saying goes, "What you do speaks so loudly that I can't hear what you say." Actions do often speak louder than words.

Direct Efficiently. Leaders must guide or direct individuals to accomplish a mission or task. Efficient communication-the kind that informs clearly and specifically-is the key to directing effectively. If there is a communication bottleneck in the organization, look up. That's where the neck is.

Encourage Others Openly. Nothing brings out the best in others more than encouraging them-recognizing a job well done. Studies show that encouragement is a powerful motivator resulting in increased self-esteem, productivity, and worker satisfaction. Encouraged people work harder, smarter, better.

Rely on God Thankfully. Every time you handle a piece of currency with the words, "In God we Trust," be thankful. Acknowledging His help demonstrates humility-a humility every leader needs. We are like a turtle on the fencepost. He didn't get there by himself.

Notice that the first letters of these six things spell LEADER. Follow them and people will follow you.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

November 2003 - Be a LEADER-six things
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