Any organisation needs a leader that people want to follow.
Bringing people along with you on this journey involves great determination and high levels of engagement from your followers.
1. Create A Sense Of Belonging
When people follow an inspirational leader they want to feel part of a quest for something special. This can be achieved by making every person responsible for the success of the organisation. The John Lewis/Waitrose model of employee shared ownership is an excellent example of how employees are directly and indirectly responsible for its success. They are lead to success by the mantra that customer service is so important. Everybody has bought into this ideal and it is also something that most people feel they can provide independently as well as part of a team. Leaders that value everybody from the lowest to the highest paid receive great respect from the people that work for them. Each person has a part to play whether it’s directly helping customers or supporting their colleagues.
2. Create A Sense Of Excitement
Leaders that create a buzz of excitement about the goals and objectives of the organisation help to inspire those who work for them. Let people see, hear and feel how strongly you are about the future. Be open in sharing your ideas and the reasons behind them. People need to understand why your vision is so exciting.
3. Create Innovative Thinkers
In the current climate it is those organisations that think differently that often capture the market. To compete effectively it is vital that an organisation innovates. Creating innovative thinkers involves being prepared to listen to the ideas of people who work for you. Give people the opportunity to explore ideas with your guidance. Teach them how to put a business case together in order to objectively evaluate different ideas.
4. Create A Culture Of Continuous Improvement
As well as developing new ideas for the business to compete it pays to constantly review the way things are done. The Kaizen approach advocates a two pronged attack – large scale improvements coming from the top of an organisation coupled with many smaller improvements coming those who deal with the day to day operations of the business. By involving everybody in the process, it also contributes to the sense of belonging mentioned earlier. If people feel they can make a difference they are more likely to be motivated.
5. Create A Habit Of Success
We are all aware that a feeling of achievement is a great motivator. Leading people to regular success starts to create a habit of being successful. Manchester United Football Club is a classic example of an organisation that has got used to winning. Success has become a habit and when they don’t win there is a collective responsibility for bringing back the winning ways. In tight situations it is often the experience of what is needed to win that not only drives the players, the coaches and the manager to win, it also intimidates the opposition. Leading your organisation to greatness requires many qualities in a leader.
A successful leader recognises that their employees are crucial to achieving the vision. By focusing on them and how they fit into this success will greatly help them along the way.
Mark Williams Head of Training
Originally published: 14 August, 2013
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