In many ways everything seems to start with leadership. Good employees only follow good leaders unless they are just in it for the paycheck. I think it was Richard Branson who said that you should train people so they can leave, but threat them well enough that they will want to stay.
Some of my employees have been with me for over 25 years. I do not know if I am really a good leader because I dislike managing people. I am attracted to integrity and crave people willing to take calculated chances. I support the idea of pushing the limits, thinking outside of the box and if you fail, fail fast and learn. If people do not fail, I get suspicious of them. When people feel that you truly understand them and are willing to stand with them in the trenches, something magical happens – loyalty.
I had the great pleasure of listening to Molly Harvey speaking on leadership at our recent VARTrends conference. She was amazing as she outlined all of the things that good leaders do. In some ways it was overwhelming, as I have never gone through a leadership best practice checklist before.
To be honest, while listening to what it takes to be a better leader is eye-opening and educational, I can see that unless you actually get a coach like Molly’s to be at your side to help you digest, implement and perfect the skills, you will not be the best that you can be. I do not think that improving leadership skills is a plug and play – way too many moving parts!
We are in the business of helping businesses become bigger, better and stronger. Good leadership is the “glue” that connects everything any company must do to succeed. In many ways, it is irrelevant what the company does to succeed, as it may only be as good as its leadership.
Here are 10 powerful points that Molly made:
1. The new leadership is all about being the CEO of your own job. (I really like this statement!)
2. Leadership is changing across the world as fast as a mouse click. (Especially true when you lead the millennial generation).
3. Leadership is a behaviour, so live it.
4. Leadership is the ability to show up and allow everyone around you to step forth.
5. Are you currently engaged or exhausted in the work place?
6. A world-class organisation is nothing more than a series of great relationships.
7. The future is all about creating high-trust networks
8. To often today in business we say one thing and do another. Outstanding leaders say what they mean and do what they say.
9. Your presence and your rituals tell a lot about who you truly are as a leader.
10. Outstanding leaders have a zen-like focus over a small few things
Here are 3 questions that you should ask yourself every day:
1. What am I doing?
2. What’s working?
3. What do I need to stop doing?
Molly added, “Right now it is important for leaders to step up and live as self-aware leaders. Leadership of the present and future is all about living from the inside out. The new currency in the world is trust, authenticity and honesty. We are now living in the decade of the 3 Cs…connection, collaboration and community”.
I would add that today’s leader better have a solid vision of the future with the ability to adjust as the market throws curve balls. Thinking far enough ahead, but being nimble enough to react in real-time is a good skill to have.
Leadership can be a lonely place. Sometimes you need a shoulder to lean on. I would recommend that you seek the help of a leadership coach like Molly Harvey because she can help you reach your goals faster and better.
Julian Lee and Molly Harvey