1. Making promises when you are not sure you can keep them can lead to a loss of respect.
Take making promises seriously. View a promise, as a commitment made with an understanding that circumstances might arise that would make it impossible to keep them. Make those circumstances very clear to the person at the time promises are made. Breaking a promise can lead to a loss of respect on the part of the employee. He may question your integrity. A leader must have an impeccable character to earn the confidence of his employees. Don’t make promises you can’t keep and in that rare circumstance that you do break a promise, face the employee eye to eye explaining in detail why you were not able to keep your promise. Be honest about it.
2. Some employees whine, especially sales people. It’s part of their DNA. That does not mean you should ignore complaints that you consider whining.
No employee thinks his complaint is insignificant even if you think it is whining. It is still a problem even if the complaint is taken lightly or ignored. In fact it may grow and fester. An effective leader will address the complaint and not be afraid to tell the employee it is whining or trivial by explaining why. Even though the employee may not hear the answer he is looking for, the leader will not lose respect due to inattention. Of course how he delivers the message is important and should be done without belittling the employee.
3. A leader must show consistency and fairness in his treatment of employees.
Do you vary your approach with employees, being lenient with some and strict with others? There is a fine line between treating all employees exactly the same and showing consistency in the treatment of employees. Employees are all individuals with different backgrounds, different values, different goals, different ideas and different motivational factors.
The ability to recognize the differences in people and the ability to apply variable leadership methodologies is an important characteristic of effective leadership. That being said, it is extremely important that a leader does not show favoritism and give preferential treatment to employees. A lack of consistency in the leader’s treatment of employees destroys teamwork and trust. Do not give special privileges unless a special situation warrants it, and everyone understands it.
4. Becoming buddies with your employees is not a good idea and Corporate Recreational Mating is an absolute taboo. That does not mean that you should be cold and aloof. Leadership is about relationships but you must not develop a personal relationship to the extent that it compromises your ability to take command and show control when necessary.
Aloofness can detract from effective leadership. You can be friendly without losing authority or compromising your position. A leader must demonstrate competence and vision and at the same time show a sincere interest in the well being of his employees. Anyone whose job is to influence people and direct them in their work must maintain friendly contact with the group.
5. Being able to collaborate, share ideas and not be threatened by the transfer of intellectual capital is extremely important to promoting a team concept and an atmosphere that promotes confidence.
Sharing your thoughts, experiences, knowledge along with coaching and mentoring is showing confidence and self respect. This supports a culture of camaraderie. Share information whenever issues in your realm of responsibility affect operations in other manager’s areas. Absolutely do not circumvent the authority of managers reporting to you and don’t go around other managers.
6. Refusing an employees request without creating resentment is a tactful necessity of effective leadership.
The ability to say no without creating hostility is important. The key to accomplishing that objective is to recognize the request with sincerity and explain in detail why the request cannot be granted. Being sincere demonstrates concern and makes your personal regret believable.
“The ideal leader is courageous, strong and persistent, wise – but what really separates him or her from the pack is passion and vision. It’s not enough to be skilled administrator or a world-class manager. No, to be a true leader, we need the passion of our dreams – and a vision of how to make them real. Passion and vision are transforming forces that will fail unless we fuse them into one powerful source for change.