Articles tagged "Leadership Credibility"
How you communicate as a leader is critical. There’s nothing new in that. However, what I’m finding more frequently is that leaders aren’t appreciating how loudly their silence speaks to their teams and what their silence says about their leadership. Whether it’s a company president, director of regional sales, or a team lead, leaders are staying silent too often. Their silence is not motivated by a fear of crossing a line on political correctness. Their silence is instead driven by a fear of unintentionally influencing their team’s thoughts or behaviors, and potentially stifling their team’s ability to take on new challenges. So instead, they say and do nothing.
How consistent is your team in delivering what you request? Do they do what you want? Do they deliver what you need? Are they performing the way you expect? If so, congratulations! You have mastered that elusive skill in clearly articulating what it is you expect of others. If not, it’s time to get clearer in how you give directions, ask for support, or suggest changes in output. It’s time to be clear in what you want of others.
You may have rolled your eyes when you read the title to this article. I know I may have too if I hadn’t just experienced two senior leaders not ‘walk their own talk’ just last week. If some of the best-of-the-best leaders I am able to work with don’t consistently walk their own talk, the likelihood that most other ‘mere’ managers and leaders don’t either.
On my return flight from a recent speaking engagement, I started talking with the gentleman sitting next to me as both he and I worked on our laptops. Roger was a senior level manager for a 250 person, defense contractor and was traveling to meet with his company’s leadership team for an off-site management and strategy meeting. Roger was finishing his notes on what he wanted to present to help create greater clarity, energy, and productivity throughout the employee population. When I shared with Roger what my company did, he asked if I’d mind critiquing his ideas. (Poor Roger, he had no idea who he’d just asked to critique his ideas!)
One of the professional organizations to which I belong had as its theme a few years ago: Keep It Real. It was meant to encourage us members to truly be experts in what we proclaim to be and do. To be honest, when I first heard the theme, I thought: Boring! However, over the past several months, I’ve come to appreciate it.
With the business environment continuing to be a challenge, it’s been interesting to note the validity of Warren Buffet’s famous saying: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”
I vividly remember, as I was wrapping up a training program a few years ago, one of the participants said, “You actually know this stuff don’t you? You actually do what you’re training us to do.” I looked at her and initially thought, “Well, yeah.” But then I realized, “Oh my gosh! They must have had others stand in front of them who didn’t know what they were talking about!”
For the first time in 22 years of business, I’ve also experienced a client blatantly lie to me. His business is in a desperate state, but his actions are what are concerning. He’s not handling the situation as a courageous leader would. He’s not respecting the business relationships that have supported him over the years. He’s breaking trusts and relationships. He’s killing his business.
There are far too many innocent victims of these troubled times. Yet there are many organizations and professionals who have been getting by, and as the economy has continued to pose challenges, are now being severely tested. When the economy was strong, it was relatively easy to hype less-than-excellent products or services.
But as the marketplace looks to make decisions more and more on legitimate value, how will your company stack up?
If your answer is “No,” now’s your chance to revamp. Challenging times are often the best times to revisit how and why you do what you do.
During your review process, it’s also the right time to ask,
So, how good are you and your company at doing what you say you do? In tough times and bad, do you Keep It Real?
Copyright MMXIV – Liz Weber, CMC, CSP – Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching.