“Leadership is action, not position.” – Donald H. McGannon
As a leader, it’s not enough to give employees guidelines that dictate workplace practices. You influence the people who work for you through your words and actions, and they will model their behavior on yours.
Here are seven ways to reinforce the mindset and behaviors you want to see in your employees.
1) Stick to the rules
If you want your team to comply with workplace rules, follow them yourself.
2) Encourage innovation
Your employees can be a great source for new ideas, but they have to feel confident they have permission to explore and experiment. Let them know if they want to try something, it’s okay if it doesn’t work out – you can still learn from failures.
3) Avoid being a perfectionist
Inspire excellence but don’t expect perfection. Be realistic and fair in setting standards to achieve.
4) Define expectations
Write everything down. Don’t expect others to know how to handle situations if you haven’t defined a process. Have regular touch bases to reinforce values and culture so they are always top of mind.
5) Respect working hours
Except in emergencies, avoid sending emails and leaving voice messages for your team during their off-hours. They may feel that if they don’t respond immediately, they look less than 100% dedicated. They deserve their time off, so give it to them.
6) Keep commitments
If you promised to do something, do it. If circumstances have made it difficult or impossible to keep your promise, explain why and explore other solutions.
7) Avoid displaying negativity
Your positivity sets the tone for your team. If employees have to “block out” your pessimism to feel good at what they’re doing, they will be distracted and less productive.
When you lead by example, you inspire loyalty, confidence and pride in your team. They’ll go above and beyond for you, and feel committed to your business.
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