12 Opportunities to Improve Your Leadership

Jun 14, 2016 | Leadership

___1. SHARE YOUR VISION – Share your vision of the company: what you want the company to look like in 3 years +/-. Keep it simple with a couple of sentences or bullet points. End your vision statement with the benefits: WIIFE & C (What’s in it for employees & customers). Employees will LOVE hearing your vision and how it will benefit them. Repeat this in every meeting and put it up visually for all to see.

___2. HELP EMPLOYEES SET GOALS – Meet your employees biannually, monthly for key employees, and help them set goals that will grow their careers and help meet the company vision. Help them balance short- and long-term goals. Show them how to set SMART goals, and help them develop how-to plans. Hold them accountable. If you don’t teach this to them, who will?

___3. BE ACCESSIBLE – Give employees time to talk to you, even if they don’t report directly to you. Have work time where they see you, the leader, inspecting their work, and downtime where they can chat with you.

___4. SHARE THE NUMBERS – Hold your employees accountable to meeting the financial benchmarks of their crew and division. Share the goals with them and give them regular feedback on results. Information is empowering; success is intoxicating.

___5. CORRECT IN PRIVATE – When you give corrective feedback or get mad, do it in private or at least not in front of others. They will respect you for this.

___6. SHOW APPRECIATION – Paying your employees and giving them a job is no longer seen as appreciation. You have to say thanks, use their name (very powerful!) and give a specific attaboy. Show group appreciation too, verbally and with group events. BBQ anyone?

___7. ASK THEM WHAT THEY NEED FROM YOU – Ask them what they need from you especially if they are a direct report. If they report to someone under you, be careful not to undermine their direct supervisor, in which case, ask them what they need from the company.

___8. TAKE NOTES. If they give you suggestions, let them see you write it down. Close the loop with them: Let them know if and how you used their suggestion, or if you decided not to and why. Take small groups of employees to breakfast, and ask them how the company can add more value to clients. Take notes. Repeat and rinse.

___9. CUT WOOD, CARRY WATER. If you ask them to cut wood and carry water, let them see you do that too. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but once or twice, especially if it is awful work. If you want them to follow company ‘values’ and safety guidelines, you need to be seen following them as well.

___10. RAISE EXPECTATIONS. Leadership means showing your employees what is humanly possible – even personally, e.g., by giving them books to read and urging them to raise their game. Help them set short- and long-term personal goals, when you meet with them on business goal planning.

___11. GET PERSONAL. Since employees spend most of their waking adult life at work, be available to discuss personal issues if they need help or are feeling stuck personally. I do not mean you should become their friend – you should not. Simply be accessible and compassionate, without being nosy or pushy.

___12. TREAT EVERYONE DIFFERENTLY. This one is not easy, but it is the most important leadership point. Everyone wants to be treated special, i.e., acknowledged for their own strengths, needs, quirks and talents. Don’t rubber stamp how you handle each employee, find out what makes them tick.


How do you score 0-3 on each of these?

0 = Not doing

1 = Needs improving

2 = Is in place or improving

3 = Doing consistently well.

What are the top 2 areas you want to improve in the next 6 weeks?


_______________________ & _______________________