Leading People Toward Influence – The ABCD’s of Trust

ABCD

Leadership is an influence process. Whenever you try to influence the beliefs or behaviors of another person, you are engaging in leadership.

By this definition we are all leaders in some form or fashion.

Understanding Basic Leadership Roles

Q: Are you a parent?

You’re trying to lead your children.

Q: Are you a sports coach?

You’re trying to influence the performance of your team.

Q: Are you part of a team at work?

You’re engaging in leadership when you try to influence the behaviors of your teammates.

Q: Are you a sibling, spouse, friend, or neighbor?

You’re in a role that requires influence.

Virtually all the roles we play in life require influence and leadership.

Leading People Toward Influence

So, you are probably a leader in some capacity, if not in many. And with this, YOU have influence. But how do you lead people toward influence? How do you help others, and yourself, become influencers?

It all starts with trust.

Influence requires you to be in relationship with someone and all healthy relationships are built on trust. Trust, and thereby influence, doesn’t “just happen” in relationship. It is built through the use of specific and intentional behaviors. Our behaviors either build or erode trust with others.

4 Key Elements of Trust

There are four key elements of trust you must cultivate in your life in order to be a leader and person of influence.

These four elements are the ABCDs of Trust:

Able 

Leaders build trust when they demonstrate competence. People trust you when you have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to competently lead in your chosen role or profession. Able leaders produce results by using strong problem-solving and decision-making skills that allow them to set and achieve goals that produce a track record of success. People don’t trust incompetent leaders, no matter how lovable or respected they may be.

Believable 

Leaders are believable when they act with integrity. Behaving in an honest and ethical manner, admitting your mistakes, and “walking your talk” are key ways that leaders build trust. Treating people ethically and equitably through fair policies and not playing favorites builds trust and confidence in a leader’s character to do the right thing.

Connected

Trusted leaders connect with their followers on a personal level. They use good communication skills to establish rapport and they take the time to appreciate and recognize the good work of others. Connected leaders understand that leadership is about relationships. They understand that every person has a story – their life experiences, hopes, dreams, and fears – and they make that personal connection that lets their followers know they are valued and respected.

Dependable

Being reliable and dependable builds trust. Following through on commitments, doing what you say you’re going to do, and taking accountability for your actions (and those you lead) is all part of being a dependable leader. Dependable leaders have an organized system that allows them to follow-through and meet deadlines, and they are timely in responding to others and don’t drag their feet when making decisions.

Leadership Is Influence

Leading people toward influence is an inside-out proposition. It starts on the inside, with your desire to be a trustworthy person, and evolves to the outside where the ABCDs of trust thrive in your relationships with others. Remember, influence is leadership, and leadership begins with trust.

So how are you doing leading people toward influence? How are you building trust with them and teaching them to build trust with others? How well are you doing in the ABCD’s of trust? I would love to hear your thoughts! 

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Randy Conley
Randy Conley is the Trust Practice Leader for The Ken Blanchard Companies
He helps leaders and organizations build trust in the workplace
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Blog

Image Sources: liquidroom.com

On Leadership, Growth and Doing it Anyway

Do It Anyway

Do you know that song by Martina McBride titled “Anyway?”  

In the very first verse of the song she says this:

You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothin’
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway”

On Life and Making Lemonade

My husband graduated from college and spent 6 years in the Air Force.  Then we settled down in my home town to raise our family and he went to work as an engineer for a large company.  We raised 3 boys.

I began a business. We invested and began preparing for the day that we could retire. We seemed to be on the right track as a couple and a family.

But despite our best laid plans, life brought us some lemons. Our lives changed in directions for which we had not planned:

  • We did not expect that my husband would lose his job after 15 yrs
  • I did not anticipate that my business would begin to lose money
  • We did not know that our son would cost us everything that we had worked for (at least as far as the things of the world are concerned.)

Lemons, Lemons, and More Lemons

Our youngest son became involved in drug and alcohol abuse.  He spent 4 years going to jail, hospitals, and rehab. There were about 3 years that I did not sleep through the night in anticipation of a phone call from the police. I was never sure if they would want us to pick him up or identify his body.

To say the least, these were very difficult years for our family!

The courts held us financially responsible for the crimes that our son committed while he was a minor child.

  • We paid fees, restitution and hospital bills
  • We paid for couple of rehabilitation periods
  • We suffered emotionally, mentally, and career-wise

Because of the time away from work for court and family rehab sessions, my husband’s work performance decreased. When it came time for layoffs at his workplace, he was on the list.  When he lost his job, we lost our ability to pay for our home. My business began to fail and our property investments no longer rented for enough to pay the mortgage.

…More Lemons

As a result, we lost 2 properties, our home, and my business. We continued to fight to save our son. My husband finally found a job in a different state and he relocated. I had to remain where I was to close my business, sell the properties, and be with my son who was not finished with school.

On Making That Lemonade

Over time, my son finally completed his GED and got a good job. It took all the worldly possessions that we had, but our son is alive, healthy, drug free, and working.

After 18 months I was able to join my husband in our new home. I had to start over. He had to start over. I won’t lie, it was the most difficult time of our marriage. We became stronger than ever as a couple by pulling together for the sake of our family.

Although we were financially ruined, I can say with all the confidence in the world this:

Losing your fortune is not that big a deal. After all, it is just money. You can get more of that.

There is no battle more worth fighting that the battle to save a child. There is no amount of money that could change my opinion on the financial, emotional, and family decisions that we made. In fact, I would do it all over again for what we gained.

Keep Trying. It’s Worth It All

Now it is time to start building again.

Did I hesitate to start over? 

Absolutely.

Did I fear the idea of losing again?

You better believe it.

Is it going to be painful and difficult?

You better believe that, too!

Did it stop me?

NO!

There is nothing more painful than the thought of losing a child. Losing “stuff,” well that was easy by comparison. Your true success lies in what you put your hope in.

So, what sort of life-altering challenges have you faced that you were able to overcome? How did that build your character, your family, your relationships, or your business? Are you facing something now and need encouragement? If so, please connect with me and I think I can offer some sound personal advice. I would love to help.

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Phyllis Rodriguez

Phyllis Rodriguez is a Producer at Insphere Insurance Solutions
She serves as an Associate Broker, Short Sale and REO Specialist
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Web | Personal | 520-220-4021

Image Sources: rlv.zcache.com.au

Effective Leaders Are Story Doers, Not Just Story Tellers

Mountain Climber

We all learn from stories, we get to practice our emotional responses and we can test our beliefs in safe territory.

“A leader is someone who demonstrates what’s possible.” ~ Mark Yarnell

Describing Your Purpose

Your story will be a narrative that describes your purpose in a way that is easily understood, is intriguing, inspiring and ultimately is sufficiently engaging to capture the imagination of your target audience.

It also will get them to spend, support or evangelise you. Without a coherent and inspiring story your organisation will have an uphill battle to influence and gain market share.

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” ~ Robert McKee

Knowing Your Audience

You have two audiences:

  • One is your workforce
  • The other is the people outside your organisation

For both groups the story is fundamental but insufficient on its own to ensure success in a competitive world. Not only must the story be told it must be seen to be lived by you and your organisation.

The Art of The Story

Alexander Mackenzie a world’s expert describes how storytelling lies at the heart of leadership. Leaders of highly successful modern organisations tell stories that:

  1. Are simple, truthful, unambiguous and based on sound ethics and core values
  2. Describe how you intend to make your workers lives, the world or society better
  3. Can be understood and cared about by anyone
  4. Are consistent aligned with workforce and clients
  5. Drive practical action underpinning a culture of wellbeing
  6. Motivate listener engagement with the story and action because of it.
  7. Underpin marketing strategies exemplifying these core values
  8. Use a full range of modern social networking platforms
  9. Create compelling and meaningful experiences

Being The Story

An authentic ”story doing” leader will claim in the company’s mission, “Triple XXX Inc is committed to developing its workforce”. They will tell this to clients and governments etc. but they will also tell the same story pro bono at high schools helping young people to understand why this principle is so crucial to business.

It’s that age old adage about “walking the talk”. If you claim to have “committed customer service,” have members of senior management shadow delivery drivers or man the telephones.

Our society is becoming more and more sceptical. Leaders who authentically embody their organisation’s story will drive success.

Do your story and not just tell it?

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

For a great introduction to leadership and storytelling check out Lisa Bloom’s site Your Actions Today

  • Take stock of the channels you use to tell your personal and organisational story.
  • How many are you supporting with an action?
  • Look at the missions of your competitors and look how they might be story doing
  • Select one element of your story and design up to three simple actions that bring it alive – then test them.

Recommended reading The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative – Stephen Denning

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.

Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–  

Gary Coulton

Dr Gary R Coulton is CEO of Adaptive Intelligence Consulting Limited
He empowers leaders to release their Adaptive Intelligence
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Web

Image Sources: cfile29.uf.tistory.com

7 Timeless Leadership Lessons from an Anachronistic Concierge

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Monsieur Gustave H. was a hotel concierge performing at the very top of his game at a time when Europe was heading into its darkest hour.

He was a man so devoted to his profession and committed to his personal values that it eventually cost him his life.  

7 Timeless Leadership Lessons

Here are 7 timeless lessons (including specific behavior & result) to be learned from Gustav H.’s exemplary leadership style at The Grand Budapest Hotel in Wes Anderson’s delightful new film of the same name.

Lesson #1:  Treat Others with Respect

Leadership Behavior:

Imprisoned with brutal thugs and murderers for a crime he did not commit, Gustave H. treats his fellow prisoners with respect, even earning the respect of the grisly (and artistically-gifted) gang leader.

“This is amazing work! Did you draw this Ludwig?”

Result: 

Ludwig includes him in his gang’s successful prison break plan.

Are there any relationships in your team or work circle you would like to improve?  If you want to improve relations with somebody, read why Dr David Burns views treating them with kindness and respect as the key.

Lesson #2:  Fight for your People

Leadership Behavior:

To his own detriment, Gustave H. twice stands up to soldiers on the train for harassing Zero, an immigrant worker (& Gustave’s deputy) traveling without proper travel documents.

“Take your hands off my Lobby Boy!”

Result: 

Full and eternal loyalty from Zero.

Lesson #3:  Treat Clients Well

Leadership Behavior: 

Gustav H. makes his guests feel special by comforting them in their time of need (intimate room visits not recommended).

Result:

He is left a priceless painting from a special patron and guest of the hotel.

Lesson #4:  Know Your People

Leadership Behavior:  

On unexpectedly meeting his new Lobby Boy, Gustave H. takes the time to interview/interrogate him and explain the rigorous demands and expectations on him as Lobby Boy.  During the intense interview, he also gets a picture of Zero’s skill set…which incidentally needs urgent developing by Gustave himself.

Result: 

By knowing what is expected of him and why, Zero is fully engaged and committed to fulfilling the demands and expectations of the job.

How well do you know your people?  According to Linda Hill and Kent Lineback, here are 7 things you should know about your people.

Lesson #5:  Demand the Highest Standards

Leadership Behavior:  

Eating night after night at a long, cramped table in a tiny back room, Gustave H. meticulously briefs his staff on how to maintain and improve the excellent service which is expected of them all.

Result: 

The hotel has an unparalleled reputation for service and quality.

Lesson #6:  Build Your Network

Leadership Behavior:  

Having exhausted all options while fleeing for his life after the prison break, Gustave H. contacts a secret society of fellow concierges for help.

Result: 

The well-connected network miraculously comes to his rescue.

What could you do to strengthen your network?  In what unexpected ways might a stronger network serve you in the future?  This insightful article from HBR provide practical tips on how to build your network.

Lesson #7:  Live Your Values

Leadership Behavior:  

Clothed in dirty rags after breaking out of prison, Gustav H. lives his value of good hygiene by generously spritzing himself at first chance with his beloved perfume.

Result: 

From then on, Lobby Boy and protégé Zero religiously follows his hygienic Best Practice.

Watch the entertaining trailer to get a colorful picture of Gustave H. and his magical world.

Which of these modelled behaviors would help improve your relationships?  Which would improve the performance of your team?  What would it look like to fight for your people, for example?  What might be the result? Please share your key learnings from Gustave H. or other fictional characters who have inspired you and what you’ve done with the learning.

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————
Timothy P. Nash

Tim Nash is a Development Coach & Consultant based in Munich, Germany.
He helps teams & team leaders achieve peak performance for breakthrough results.
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Web

Image Sources: filmhuisbussum.nl

The Seven Pillars of Transparent Leadership

Transparent Leader

The need for transparency in society is at an all-time high. Trust and transparency are crucial elements to every leader. People have grown tired of dishonesty and want to exist in a work environment that allows one to have greater transparency of words and deeds.

This is accomplished by eliminating the unknowns that continue to crawl into our minds with each relationship we are part of.

Truth Will Set You Free

Today’s employees want to be a part of a workplace culture that delivers the truth every single time.  They desire leaders that are proactive in sharing enough information and feedback with their teams.

In other words, they just want trust and transparency so they can be well-informed in their relationships.

People want to know that their leaders have experienced the same challenges and/or how they have overcome personal hardships. People feel closer to their leader when there is openness and clarity with expectations-trust in the day-to-day relationships whether it’s an employee or a customer.

Here are seven powerful things that happen when a leader can be transparent:

1) Being overwhelmingly honest

As a leader who wants to be more transparent, you have to deliver full disclosure of information to your team. It doesn’t help anyone if you are only sharing partial information needed to help our team be more successful.

You have to ask yourself these questions:

  • “Am I setting my team up for success?”
  • “Am I sharing important information to help them succeed?”
  • “Do they have all the pieces to the puzzle to make it a success?”

By taking the time to share all the information needed to make your people successful, they will trust and see transparency throughout the organization. When you share all the information needed, you are preparing the soil for growth and an environment of trust.

2) Delivering bad news well

Delivering bad news must be handled with care but important to share with everyone to build more of the trust and transparency in your organization. Occasionally, there are moments of bad news in every company’s journey to success. Those moments are the most crucial moments to be forthright and honest with your team.

We all heard that phrase that honesty is the best policy. It does apply in delivering bad news as well.

People would not perceive you to be less of a leader if the bad news is a reflection of your leadership and organization direction. Be humble and you will begin to understand that all leaders sometimes have set backs and it’s important to be honest about them. People understand leaders are human and at times need to make adjustments to their leadership approach.

4) Properly handling mistakes

The way leaders handle mistakes can be more important than getting things right the first time. Sometimes leaders think that admitting mistakes would come across as incompetence on their part. Admitting mistakes sends message of courage, accountability and humility.

Mistakes are part of an opportunity to be visible and human as you demonstrate commitment to honesty to your organization.

4) Keeping Promises

When leaders do what they say they will do, they place high value on transparency and trust. They do their part in honoring commitments to their relationships. More importantly, their promises are not hollow and they deliver the goods promised to their team.

In the age of communication, it’s given that many people are going to talk and share a perspective.

The real question is whether that “talk” is the going to be demonstrated by the “walk.”

5) Keeping your composure

Communicating effectively requires composure and grace. Challenges, stress and obstacles are part of every organization. How leaders conduct themselves during the good times and the bad times can be a reflection of their character, competence and eventually their credibility.

Followers expect their leaders to be composed and professional as they are always watching. They are watching for trust even when emotions get high.

6) Letting your guard down

Leaders must remember that if you want to be authentic and sincere, you have to let your guard down to welcome more opportunities for growth. Creating meaningful connections by revealing personal information to your team will always adds value to the context of culture and leadership transparency.

Doing so, requires maturity, self-awareness, and a heighten sense of how people might perceive, dissect and disseminate the information you had to share. Leaders must find those moments of authentic connections to engage with their people as they allow others to know them.

7) Showing others you care

To lead effectively and have a positive influence, your followers must have solid answer to the following question: “Does he care about me?” Leaders must think and work toward ensuring the answer is yes they do care. This is done by the commitment to developing your followers on a daily basis-recognizing them, seeking to know their aspirations and dreams.

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Tal Shnall
Tal Shnall Coach/Trainer Development Renaissance Hotel Dallas Richardson
He specializes in Service and Leadership Development
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Blog

Image Sources: 3.bp.blogspot.com

Hey Leaders: People Are People

Empathy and Compassion

It’s important to see that people are people. Sounds like an easy concept, doesn’t it?

But it’s not!

On Leadership And Empathy

Viewing people as people means that we understand that others have feelings, we care for them, and we understand that they have needs. When you feel great about your relationships, you intuitively know these things, don’t you?

Your wife has feelings, you love her with all your heart, and you do what you can to meet her needs. You take out the trash like you’re supposed to, you buy flowers for her birthday… you pour yourself into her. It’s pretty obvious that you truly do see her as a special person.

So the other day on your way to work, how did you look at the guy who cut you off in traffic? Chances are pretty good that he may have been on the receiving end of your horn, a selective finger or two, and a few choice four-letter words.

Did you see him as a person? I doubt it.

I bet that you saw him:

  • As an obstacle to what you had to do for the day
  • As a jerk
  • As an idiot
  • As as a danger
  • As anything but a person who has feelings, issues, troubles, and needs, didn’t you?

It’s ok to admit it… it happens to me too.

The reality is that we see the people closest to us as the special people that they are.  But the people that we don’t necessarily have a tie to can become just a “thing” in our minds. Other people tend to become a tool that we measure whether they are helping us achieving our goals, preventing us from achieving our goals, or just noise in the background.

However, these “things” are special people with their own set of issues, feelings, and agendas.

What Are Their Intentions?

What if you knew that man who cut you off was rushing to see his wife in the hospital because she was in a serious accident? Would that change your mind about him cutting you off? Maybe you would have even let him go? You see, we all have our own agendas near and dear to our hearts, but we tend to forget that other people do too.

We will often view people based on how they fit our agenda – if they fit, then we care for them; if they don’t, they’re just getting in our way.

We are all guilty of judging people by their actions and not by their intentions. Those actions can hurt us or let us down. However, we tend to judge ourselves based on our intentions. How many times have you said, “I didn’t mean to do that. What I was trying to do was…”?

If we truly want to be judged by our intentions, we have to start judging others by theirs.

 No One is “Below” You

We are also guilty of fitting people into some sort of an importance hierarchy. Depending on where we see ourselves, our hierarchy may look something like this:

Level 7: The President
Level 6: Me
Level 5: Executives
Level 4: Clerks and assistants
Level 3: Those pesky teenagers in the neighborhood
Level 2: Labor workers
Level 1: The homeless

It seems somewhat absurd when it’s written out that way, doesn’t it? But I know that I’m not the only one that has looked at people with this in my heart. This is exactly what happens when we look at people as “things” in our lives or pieces that fit our agendas.

No one is below you! And, for that matter, no one is above you!

Every single person on that list is a person. There is not a single one on that list that deserves to be placed in the box that we’ve put them in.

It’s About What’s in Your Heart

What is in your heart is what determines how you will see the people around you. If you truly love people, you will naturally see them on a level playing field with yourself, no matter where they may fall in someone else’s pecking order.

  • Their job doesn’t matter
  • Their income doesn’t matter
  • Their looks don’t matter

But what does matter is that they are people. They are just as special as you are, with their own talents and treasures to offer the world. Having the compassion to see people as they really are can make the difference between being a leader of people and just being productive with your own to-do list.

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Rich Bishop
Rich Bishop is President of Bishop Coaching & Consulting Group
He takes a hands-on approach to your Development through Coaching & Training
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Blog | Book

Image Source: dudu.com

Four Warning Signs You’re Suffering from “Truth Decay”

Truth Decay

Hey Leader, can you identify the truth when you see or hear it? Can you tell when someone is lying to you? Do you think that telling “little white lies” are okay to do if you do it for good reasons?

And do you believe that the truth can set you free?

Truth Decay

Winston Churchill once pointed out that people occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.

The great American author and humorist, Mark Twain, opined that many people must regard truth as their most valuable possession since they were very economical in its use.

His advice was simply was this: “Always do right.”

Truth decay is the gradual erosion of honesty and integrity in a relationship. And if not diagnosed and treated promptly, can result in a complete loss of trust.

4 Warning Signs of Truth Decay

Here are four warning signs of truth decay and suggestions for prevention and treatment.

1. Withholding Information

WARNING SIGNS: This causes suspicion in the leader, a lack of empowerment in the followers, and wasted time and energy as people try to manage the business without all the right information at their disposal. People without information are incapable of acting responsibly. People with information are compelled to act responsibly.

PREVENTION & TREATMENT: Share information about yourself and the organization openly and in the appropriate formats and forums, and set the expectations of how the information should be used.

Trust your folks to do the right thing.

2. Not “Walking the Talk”

WARNING SIGNS: When leaders say one thing yet do another, followers quickly learn that the leader can’t be trusted. Leaders can not underestimate the power of leading by example.

PREVENTION & TREATMENTGet clear on what values are most important to you as a leader, communicate those to your team, and give them permission to hold you accountable to living those out.

3. Dropping Balls

WARNING SIGNS: Not following through on commitments is a leading contributor to truth decay.

PREVENTION & TREATMENTMake sure you under-promise and over-deliver. Don’t commit to do something unless you know you can follow-through. It can be tempting for leaders to think they have to say “yes” to everything, but if you don’t follow through on your commitments, then people begin to doubt that you are a person of your word.

As the Scripture advises us “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Mathew 5:37 (NIV)

4. Gossiping

WARNING SIGNS: When you engage in gossip or talk disparagingly about a colleague behind their back, you demonstrate a lack of care and respect for others. Your followers observe this behavior and begin to wonder to themselves “If my leader treats others this way, is he/she doing the same to me when I’m not around?”

PREVENTION & TREATMENTRemember, one of your most precious assets as a leader and colleague is your reputation and good name.

Creating a Culture of Candor

Leadership guru Warren Bennis has noted this:

“So much lip service is paid to the issue of business ethics; but how do you in fact build an organization distinguished by tangible integrity, moral vision, and transparency? The key is a commitment on the part of the corporate leader to establish a culture of candor in which followers feel free to speak the truth to power, and leaders are bold enough to hear such truth and act on it.”

As leaders we are responsible for setting the example of ethical behavior for our team, and if we pay attention to the warning signs of truth decay and take actions to prevent its spread, we will build a culture of high trust, engagement, and productivity.

**********

Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Randy Conley
Randy Conley is the Trust Practice Leader for The Ken Blanchard Companies
He helps leaders and organizations build trust in the workplace
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Blog

Image Sources: tommyland

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 42,594 other followers

%d bloggers like this: