Employees will consistently go above and beyond when they're working for leaders they respect and for whom they love working.
The following illustration will outline an exercise that can help effective leaders gain an understanding of three elements from their team:
- What the team wishes their leader would start doing
- What the team wishes their leader would stop doing
- What the team wants their leader to continue doing
A OneAccord colleague and I performed a revenue review assessment for a CEO/business owner we'll call Larry. From the seven key leaders in the company, I learned that morale was terrible, primarily due to how Larry treated them. We presented our findings and recommendations a few days later, and Larry hired me as a part-time, interim executive with the aim of helping the company grow profitable revenue.
On my first day of work, I prepared the CEO for an exercise to improve morale. When we met with his leadership team, I explained, “Larry and I are going to leave the room. On the whiteboard, I’d like you to write everything you would like Larry to start doing in column one. In column two, write everything you wish Larry would stop doing. And in column three, write everything you would like Larry to continue doing. Take as long as you need. When you are finished, we’ll come back and talk through the issues.”
Larry received a lot of honest and humbling feedback that day. He didn’t argue. He didn’t try to defend or explain himself. He listened; then he pledged to work every day toward overcoming his weaknesses and becoming the leader they needed. We scheduled monthly follow-up meetings for the next several months.
Larry was able to make some changes quickly. Others were gradual, but the team was greatly encouraged as they saw him doing what he had promised. Within two months, the company rose from declining sales to double digit year-over-year increases.
One year later, morale on the leadership team was fantastic. When I asked each of the seven individuals what it was like to be a part of the team, they used phrases like, “It’s an honor,” and, “It’s a privilege.” Some of them had tears in their eyes as they spoke about their team with emotion and gratitude. Additionally, both top line revenue and bottom line profit showed double digit increases over the previous year’s performance.
Courage and Humility
It takes courage and humility to become a leader others want to follow. If you want to become such a leader, having someone facilitate a start-stop-continue exercise is a good place to begin.
For more information, contact me directly at (714) 654-5134.
About the Author
Glenn Hansen is a Partner at OneAccord. For 25 years, he was a highly successful retail management senior executive in the consumer electronics industry. Achieving extraordinary results and leading profitable sales and retail stores, he builds teams with synergy. He has led teams to success in vastly different sales environments for both products and services.
Glenn is an exceptional sales trainer and motivator. He has a talent for building effective strategies amidst complex challenges, and takes strategy to execution to achieve and exceed goals. In all, Glenn is a best-in-class results-getter. Learn more about Glenn here.
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