Leadership : how to get the best out of your people

Who doesn't think about Leadership these days? Maybe not even realizing we do. There is good leadership, bad leadership, lost leadership and there are different levels that we fall short or strive to become better in our leadership skills. Regardless, we all at times time about leadership in different ways or on different levels and coming from many different circumstances, sometimes without even realizing we are.
Some people are born leaders - some find there way there along the road.
I might have been born a leader, but I am not sure because I did not embrace the idea at all earlier in my life, but now I am always finding ways that I need to improve on this front. I think it was always in me - but I never believed in myself enough to stand firm on that (and some days I still have trouble with it).
I realized through my journey so far though, that a Leader doesn't need to be full of self confidence all the time, but they need to always stand firm in who they are and always look for ways to be better.
I heard something today that inspired this post.
The basic idea was that you can't become a leader in a day. Being a good leader, that has the trust of the people under them takes time. You have to believe in your people and know them well enough to tell them how and when to use their brilliance, and that kind of belief will take time. It certainly doesn't happen in a day or a week or a month, but many hours, days, months and years to truly have the trust and belief back from those same people. But, you also need to remember that people don't need you to chase them - they need you to give them something to run to (I love this).
If you want someone to run a four minute mile - you don't give them something to run from - you give them something to run towards. Good leadership will always inspire more ... you don't want fear to spur on your employees, you want to believe in what they are capable of and inspire them to find the greatness within them.

Being a small business owner, I am always looking for ways to improve as a leader. so, this rang true within me and started an internal debate in myself as to whether or not I am doing a good enough job of inspiring my people - Of giving them something to run towards instead of from.

For instance - We had an issue with a customer yesterday at our store. Long story short -  we let this person down by not following through on several counts with what I believe should be the number one priority: "Customers First" I want customers to always feel like they are our number one priority - no exceptions. Now, we let this person down a couple times with the same order and when it finally came to my attention -  they had had enough and very rightfully so. In this, I have to be away that ultimately the shortcomings of the store are always mine directly or indirectly. I am now trying to find out at what point I went wrong here, but ultimately I did not do my job as a leader which allowed this to transpire.
In the end - I went out of my way to not only give this particular person some money back for the inconvenience caused, but also my time in helping find another fixture (with no expectations that the fixtures would be bought from me). My hope is that not only this customer, but my employees see that I do hold myself at my word when I say that people are first and that they matter. And,  now the journey starts to find out how to better instil this belief of mine into my employees, by allowing them to embrace a greater vision and then see it as something to run towards - and that I am not chasing from behind or dictating them in a specific direction.
I may stand firm on the fact that the customer is always first and this is a hill I will die on - however my employees need to buy into this as well - and my next step is to help them find that greatness in themselves and show them how to use their brilliance here and in anything else they do at work and in life.

Ultimately people are important - they are what drives and sustains your business, especially when you are talking about locally owned small business', through good and bad times. They are the reason that we can have and sustain a business and that is something we need to remember every day and with everything we do.




Col said…
can feel your cheerful vision.
all the best
Thank you -I truly appreciate the input!

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