Leaders learn a lot and know many different things. Some of these things can be learned on the job or through various industry experience. A lot of times, education serves as the background for a leader’s knowledge. But there is one thing, that every leader must know in order to succeed, no matter the business or industry, no matter the level of leadership. If a leader fails to understand this, they will fail. Continue reading to find out what every leader must know.
It’s very simple. Knowing the people on your team directly affects your ability to influence them toward expected goals. If you make no attempt to connect with your team, you may as well save everyone the trouble and quit now.
Knowing people is more than understanding their work habits, hobbies and home life. Really understanding them means that if asked, they are able to tell people, “yes, my boss really cares about me and has my best interest in mind”.
How do you get there?
1. Ask the right questions and really listen to the answers.
2. Show empathy toward their position. Show them how they matter to the overarching goals.
3. Treat them like you want to be treated. Show them respect.
4. Try personality studies and designed application, such as Myers-Briggs or Strength Finder. The results may shock you.
5. Do the right thing every time, as you are always being watched.
6. Explain your answers in a very transparent way.
It allows you to do several things;
1. Earn trust.
2. Place the right people in the right positions.
3. Understand how to approach them in order to gain influence.
4. Align the team around clear goals.
5. Extract excellent performance over and over.
6. Develop leaders that develop other leaders.
This is simple, but not easy. Knowing them is something that can only be developed over time. The more you get to know your team, the more you can influence them toward expected goals.
Some leaders will struggle with this, for various reasons. A lot of times, the answer to the struggle lies within. If a leader doesn’t know who they are themselves, how can they expect to understand their team?