Discover more from How to Lead Everybody (with their permission)
It's only a small part of leadership
Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 70 years in her leadership role this past weekend.
In most modern organizations, she’d have retired decades ago. But she’s in the family business, and it’s one she (unlike her uncle) will never quit.
People care about her because of her “positional authority.” She inherited her position, with all of the wealth and privilege. People call her “Your Majesty” and do that curtsey thing because of this positional authority.
In our own organizations, we have positional authority, as well. If we are hired as a “Project Manager,” then people working on the project will show up for the project meetings we set up. They will work to meet the deadlines we set. They do the tasks they are given on the project because the Project Manager told them to. Clients take our calls, because we are the Project Manager.
But there is no loyalty there. If you don’t want to just be a faceless, easily-replaceable cog in the machine of industry, you need to connect on other levels.
Be a good person. Show respect for other people. Be polite. Show appreciation for their efforts. Care about the impact your actions have on them.
Be competent. Get things done to a high standard. Know what needs to be done and how to do it, even if you are delegating that work to others. Know what you are doing in the industry, and know what you are doing when building and leading a team, working well with clients, and basically being good at your job. Don’t brag—there’s an old saying in writing: “Show, don’t tell.” BE competent; don’t just tell everyone how competent you are.
Invest in your people. Give them effective feedback to motivate and improve. Coach them to improve their competencies. Build their confidence and give them opportunities to expand their skillset.
These components build mutual respect and loyalty. They take more effort on your part, but you receive a high return on your investment—in morale, retention, and the development of more competent professionals on your team.