Your boss likes to know what's going on and that you are on a path to achieve your goals. Things happen you didn't plan on. You might even get surprised by a negative outcome, or a team member who goes over your head, or a customer who simply can't be pleased. Don't let that happen too often. Stay in touch. Keep connected.
Especially, keep in contact with your boss. Let her know what's going on and what risks are out there. Let her know that whatever happens, you will handle it and that her good name is safe with you on her side.
Because unless it's your boss's birthday, your boss does like surprises.
If you want your team to be excited about your goals, you've got to set the example. Talk about them, promote them, staff them, resource them, and mainly keep your leadership focus on your goals. When they are important to you -- and obviously so -- they are much more likely to be important to others.
Successful supervisors build enthusiasm for their goals.
Have you ever known a leader who loves to make up rules?
One of my favorite quotes comes from that great fictional leader, Lou Grant, who once proclaimed "I don't like to make a lot of rules because then I just have to enforce them!"
High performance leaders develop team members who always do their best, who exercise their best judgment, and who constantly grow. They also make mistakes, but they don't need a lot of rules about those mistakes. Learn, grow, adjust and move on is more like the approach that works rather than "follow these exact rules or we'll write your butt up and ship you out..."
Of course we need rules. Of course their are boundaries and ethical limits. But, be care about unilaterally imposing rules as a test of your will.
Do you keep your promises? I do my best, and yet I know I've broken some serious promises. We can learn from broken promises but it's easier to learn than it is to heal. A broken promise is a lie proven. A broken promise is a heart stomped on and painted over brown. A broken promise hurts.
High performance leaders keep their promises. I've learned that could mean to make fewer promises AND to keep track of them. Ask someone to hold you accountable. Write it down. Believe it.
Making any promise lightly comes back a heavy load. The hurt of broken words exceeds whatever convenience felt worthy at the time.
Here are some promises leaders make:
Of course I've got your backYou'll get all the training you needWe live by our values every day at this companyI promise to review your work and make it worth your whileYour place is secure here...
You get the idea. Promises that leaders make are promises that they should not break.
The thing about promises is that at least one p…
Your people will make mistakes. Your people will disappoint you. It's what humans do. How you react as a leader will determine what they do with those mistakes.
We can fix our problems. We can learn from our mistakes. We grow, we build, we correct, we change.
But condemnation? Once a leader has written off someone by disrespecting them so severely that they won't listen, won't forgive, won't adjust...that becomes a leader who has not only failed to nurture the troubled relationship, they will likely end up with nothing but troubled relationships.
I can fix my mistakes but not your condemnation. How about you?
Can you be a high performance leader without loving your gig?
I've know some great leaders in my life. Some were happy. Some were not. The ones who seemed to live the happiest of lives not only worked harder than anyone else around them (the price of leadership) they also loved what they did. They loved their field of play, their work, their calling, with an unrelenting passion.
When a leader can give all there is to give out of love, it makes the hard work and service of leadership more than worth it -- it makes it a joy.
Leaders do need more than love. They do need ambition, hard work, discipline, education, and sometimes a little luck comes in hand. But they do need love.
Love isn't always enough, but it always belongs in the mix.
Unconditional love's payoffs take time. At first, it can feel like you've given way too much. For a time, it can seem like an imbalance that will never center itself again. The wings are heavy, the time feels hard.
Let the conditions go. Let the symptoms go. Let the time relax.
Unconditional love may sometimes feel like it costs more than it gives -- until it doesn't.
Your first job as a leader is to be in charge of stuff you believe in, because unless you believe in the stuff that you are in charge of it's going to be very difficult to excel as a leader.
Your first job, if that's not true, is to align that -- to make that true. If you can't do that in your organization, to show -- to demonstrate that you are a leader you may have to lead yourself someplace else.
Otherwise, how will you ever have credibility as a leader? How will you ever have the authenticity to truly lead? How else will you ever really walk the talk, model the role of a leader unless you believe in what you're commanding, what you're directing, what you are, more importantly, facilitating?
So that's it -- your first role as a leader is to be in charge of stuff you believe in. If you can't embrace what you're in charge of you could be in the wrong place. If you're not in charge of stuff you believe in, there is your opportunity for growth.