The Service of a Leader

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The challenges and demands today’s business leader faces are many.  More with less, cost containment, globalization, transformation, reinvention…and amid the challenge and change exists a very real opportunity for confident, capable leadership to emerge and re-engineer success.  People are hungry for more meaning in the workplace and want to connect to something and believe in someone who provides a vision for the future.

Vision is a leadership mandate.  Connecting employees to the vision and instilling confidence about the future of the enterprise help make vision a reality.  People need to opt in for more important reasons than money.  Increasingly it is incumbent upon leadership to communicate not only the where, by the why and the how in the organizational or team journey.  That kind of authentic communication and transparent conversation builds trust and fosters connections around a shared purpose. Simply stated, you aren’t leading unless others are following.  And the best leaders understand that a critical component of their function is to ably serve those they employ in an effort to guide others to personal and professional achievement.  That breeds loyalty.  And success.

Here is Top Ten daily checklist that serves as a reminder of the work effort required to serve as a leader.

1.  Did you demonstrate alignment to the organizations guiding principles (mission – vision – values) and support the brand promise?  Not by what you said.  Rather, by what you did?

2.  Did you barrier bust today?  Remove obstacles, minimize bureaucracy and make it easier for your team to compete and win.

3.  Did you reinforce the strategy today?  The strategy you’ve clearly communicated and have everyone aligned and contributing effort toward.

4.  Did you listen and learn today?

5.  Did you coach, counsel and mentor to improve someone today?

6.  Did you recognize someone or celebrate success today?

7.  Did you challenge the status quo today?  Did you consider that what is working today might not be good enough tomorrow?

8.  Did you achieve an outcome today?  A small victory that leads toward the big win?

9.  Did you make work fun today and contribute to creating culture that people really want to be a part of?

10.  And one of my personal favorites, specific to the sales organization and an absolute mandate in the C suite – did you talk to a customer today?

The best leaders are out front.  Doing the heaving lifting.  Setting the pace.  Offering an example.  Serving others.

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