Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog

Guest Blog: How to Take Your Leadership from Good to Great

When we think of good customer service, it’s important to remember that it starts with the leadership of a company or organization. We thought we might do something a little different this week and share a leadership article by Lolly Daskal. – Shep Hyken

Our personalities in great part determine how we influence the people around us. Every leader needs to understand that who they are being as they leading their employees will make the biggest difference when it comes to success.

Here are five powerful ways you can take your leadership from good to great.

  1. Be a rebel. I have always coached leaders, that when they lead, they need to have some rebel in them. A rebel is someone who is confident, and they get their confidence from their capabilities and competencies, which give them the confidence they need. But many leaders I speak with feel like imposters. This feeling usually comes from having self-doubt in themselves and in their abilities. Having self-doubt can cause havoc within a business, and it won’t allow you to manage in the way you need to and are capable of. In order to leverage the self-doubt, they feel, leaders need to be able to concentrate on their capabilities and competence, and to focus on the positive things they have accomplished.
  2. Be a truth teller. Great leaders know the secret ingredient to managing well is to speak with candor and to be honest with others. If things are going well, they need to tell people, and if things aren’t going well, they need to share that too. The worst kind of managing is through withholding the information your people need, or worse, by telling half-truths. I have found that leaders who withhold information usually come across as deceivers to their people, which then creates suspicion and doubt in their business. When information is withheld, employees end up feeling paranoid and this paranoia can wreak havoc on any business. The best leaders tell the truth and always speak with candor because they want honest relationships with those who matter most: their people.
  3. Be a hero. The best leaders are brave when most people are fearful, they are courageous when most people are afraid to take action. The best leaders know that things don’t always go the way they want them to, but they are brave enough to do what needs to be done anyway. The worst kind of leading is when people see or hear about a problem in the organization, and then don’t do anything to fix it. That kind of leadership comes across as a bystander, and it demonstrates to people that you don’t have the courage to do what needs to be done. Be the hero of your business and take the courageous actions that need to be done in order to succeed.
  4. Be a navigator. Great leaders are skilled at steering and guiding others through challenges and crisis, in ways that are practical and pragmatic. Because they are very good at what they do, people trust them. But some leaders feel like they need to fix every challenge and every crisis, and this bad habit can cause them to come across as being fixers who are arrogant. They tell people what to do instead of guiding them—they bark off commands instead of utilizing others’ talents and strengths. The best leaders coach and guide their people to empower them, instead of fixing their people, which actually disempowers them and comes across as arrogant. Be the navigator instead of the fixer and you will gain the trust and respect you need as a great leader.
  5. Be an inventor. The best leaders are those who take their craft and their management very seriously. At the heart of what they do, they do everything with integrity and they take great pride in consistently delivering quality and excellence. But sometimes leaders under stress will find themselves wanting to cut corners, go faster, and go cheaper, and think no one will notice. The truth is—and the best leaders understand this—that the excellence you bring, the integrity that you lead with, is a priceless asset in any business and will end up having great returns long into the future.

To be a great leader, make it a habit to lead with confidence, competence, courage, candor, trust, and integrity. These virtues will make you the best leader for your people and for your business, and they will make you as successful as you want to be and will take you from good to great.

If you want to learn more about being a great leader: Pre-order Lolly’s new book: The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness. www.theleadershipgapbook.com

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.

Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: United Airlines: One Month Later

 

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