Dos (and Don’ts) of Leadership
What are the qualities of an effective leader? The question is an important one, for politicians and business owners alike – including funeral home owners.
While a good leader may be focused, task-oriented, and confident; he or she is also deeply concerned with caring for and empowering employees and co-workers. If you’re looking into how to be a good leader, follow these ‘other-directed’ guidelines:
1. Do: Know your strengths and limitations and actively work to become more than what you are now.
Model ‘self-improvement’ for your employees and give them lots of opportunities to learn and grow. That way, you’ll keep them engaged, and increase the probability they will remain with the organization. (Source)
Don’t: Ignore your employees. Instead, nurture their strengths and reduce their limitations (as well as your own).
2. Do: Spend time with staff members outside of the office, both as individuals and as a team
Schedule regular celebrations; manage by walking around and getting involved. “Get to know family names, hobbies and current struggles,” advises, Lisa Whealon, of the GI Group, Inc. “When employees can relate to you as a leader, they are more apt to trust you. When they can see you as a person, they will be more open to asking questions and giving feedback, which is critical to leadership success.” (Source)
Don’t: Sit in your office with the door closed. Get involved.
3. Do: Develop a clear, compelling vision for your business and learn to communicate it in an inspiring way
James Kouzes and Barry Posner were quoted as saying, in “Leadership Vision“, “There’s nothing more demoralizing than a leader who can’t clearly articulate why we’re doing what we’re doing.”
Don’t: Present a vague or ever-changing picture of the business, or its future. There’s no way people will want to follow you without knowing exactly what you envision for the business.
Don’t: Make the mistake of thinking you don’t need a vision for your business. “By creating a vision for your business, you create a destination. And not only that, but if you have a Vision AND Core Values, you have everything you need for an Employee Handbook in just 1-2 pages. (Source)
4. Do: Care about your employees as much as their performance
When you take the time to get to know your employees, it’s easier to care about their well-being as much as your own. And because you care so much, you’ll address even minor performance issues with proactive coaching, not blame or censure.
Don’t: Neglect the people who work for you. It’s far more likely they will ‘go above and beyond’ if they feel valued and appreciated. When you make deep connections with ‘your people’, many of whom are facing the same kinds of problems you are, you can leverage each other’s experience and fell a sense of camaraderie and companionship at the very same time. (Source)