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  • If You Lead, Will They Follow? Pt. 4

    But most of all, a leader needs to connect his vision to the employees, and alter their perspective of their roles and their empowerment to meet and exceed goals, both professional and personal.

    As CEO of Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals, I have found that many of the attributes one will need to become a successful leader, have nothing to do with operations, execution or sales, but character, principles and vision. Another trait a leaders needs to display is consistency, not being emotional, but sure-handed, even within crisis. But most of all, a leader needs to connect his vision to the employees, and alter their perspective of their roles and their empowerment to meet and exceed goals, both professional and personal.

    1. Positive Attitude – If you are going to be in business, you will take some hits and during those times and  all you will have to lean on is your belief and attitude that it will all work out. If your employees sense fear, your will lose credibility – you must take those hits in stride, and continually move through reality, coupled with strong optimism.
    2. Problem Solving – Besides having a vision and aligning the best possible workforce, being able to solve problems, will be where your reputation will be had. The first thing to know, is that problems are created to be solved, and many problems are not so much disruptions, but flawed perspectives, processes or tactics. A great leader takes a problem and turns it into a teachable moment – turns into an opportunity, because by not only identifying where the problem came from – not only solving it – a leader finds “new business and customers” within the solution. When problem solving: you must anticipate issues, relentlessly follow and believe the truth, don’t get emotional, identify the solution, widely communicate the solution and measure in real-time and post resolution.
    3. Relationships – Business is not about products or technology: it’s always about people. The types of relationships you build – the equity of them – their diversity – will tell how well you can attract world-class employees, build bonds with vendors and become a respected ambassador for the brand. You must be able to guide, inspire and empower, and do so while holding everyone, yourself most, accountable.
    4. Responsibility – The moment you wake up, until the end of the day – the responsibility is yours. No, you won’t be able to do everything, but it is your responsibility to lay out performance expectations, timelines and desired outcomes. A leader builds credibility and reduces negative exposure, by leading through responsibility, so that becomes the culture, and anything less than that becomes antithetical to the organization. This is where money, manpower and growth are made or lost.

    Leadership is not a science: it’s a belief and a lifestyle, which cannot be turned off. I personally believe in humble, clear, direct and steadfast leadership, yet a leader should be able to laugh at himself, pick others up and never show fear. It’s hard, but that’s the job.

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    calvin.wilson1@verizon.net
    http://twitter.com/Upstart__Nation

     

    If You Lead: Will They Follow Pt. 4

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