On Engagement: You can’t clean a house without being in it

In the last post the focus was about Leading Change, today it is about Engagement. The “red line” however, stays unchanged and cannot be emphasized enough. Leaders are required for one predominant reason: to create results!

On that notion I define leadership as creating results THROUGH people. The key word is “through” and there is one more angle to consider: Leadership is situational. Leaders need to acquire a comprehensive “tool set” to deal with the wide variety of challenges in the most effective fashion.

Employee engagement: a key feature for success
Employee engagement: a key feature for success

Leadership is all about connecting with the people in your organization, on your team – employee engagement is a key feature. Here are again some very basic, common-sense ground rules for leadership. What would be the reason to document such common-sense ground rules? Very simple… common sense is unfortunately not so common!

As stated in earlier posts I have put together 8 different themes for these ground rules. Here we go with the third theme…

Effective leaders are fully engaged and have developed the ability to engage the people they lead because leading people isn’t just about getting the job done. To generate enthusiasm for what needs to be done effective leaders generally have to go above and beyond what the job actually calls for.

  • Leading by example. The best way to get a point across is to be the model to emulate. Set the stage with solid self-leadership (aka self-discipline) and walk the talk without compromise. Your employees will ultimately follow your lead.
  • Get your hands dirty. You can’t clean a house without being in it. Sometimes you need to show your employees that no one’s above doing tasks that are undesirable or unattractive.
  • Make a difference to your people. Create positive excitement and challenge your team with stretch targets. Stand out as a leader and role model for your employees. Never forget to recognize achievements small or big, an authentic mention of a job well done carries great value!
  • Gain trust and respect. When you get the trust and respect from your people you won’t need your formal authority anymore to get things done. You’ll have a much easier time leading employees when they respect your rules and boundaries and trust your leadership. Creating an environment for authentic engagement will support that effort significantly.  However, keep in mind that you can only gain trust by extending trust and respect is a two-way street!
  • Be empathetic to personal matters. What happens outside of work will always have a significant effect on the quality of work produced. Consequently, it is important to be sensitive and attentive if employees have personal issues that keep them from concentrating on their job and their tasks. The notion that people need to keep personal things away from the work place is wishful thinking. Reality is that personal life and work life are totally connected and impact each other at all times.
  • Be unique as a leader. You are unique as a person, we all are. Become the best “you” possible, embrace your uniqueness and integrate it into your approach to leadership. Every function requires something different and you should be proud to be adept at your particular role. Learn from others but don’t attempt to “impersonate” other leaders.
  • Remember that ethics matter above all. Be authentic and reliable in all of your business and personal relationships. Your reputation is the only possession that really matters long-term.
  • Be receptive for new ideas. Effective leaders are tuned to detect new ideas independent of the source. Make sure your mind is always open for the next thing, you never know where your next great inspiration will come from. Employee engagement will foster the flow of new ideas, too!
  • Get to know your people. Acquire more than just their names. Get to know your employees’ family backgrounds, likes and dislikes. If you manage to do so, not only will you become more personable but also far more effective. Remember, leadership is creating results through people!

Obviously, if you chose to apply these simple rules you will become a more effective leader. Make them your habit and they will serve you well!

Good luck and let us know if you have any queries: write to coach@qli-international.com or call (864)245-2324