A leader needs to navigate the team in the same way a captain navigates a ship. As a leader your role is to navigate your organization or your team through the uncertainties. The good and necessary management skills such as planning, directing and controlling are important but you will fail if you do not display inspirational leadership.

The reason that a group of employees is not achieving desired outcomes is usually traced back to the leadership. That’s right. If all of the students fail the exam, then the fault lies with the teaching. Like students and teacher, you and your staff may not be on the same page.

Management and Leadership are both important but there is a difference between the two. A good manager has proper control of systems and procedures and a good leader will inspire action and model behavior. We can help people follow our leadership by creating an environment where people will join “the team” because they see the purpose. They understand the vision and the “big picture” as well as the values of the organization for which they work.

Today’s fast-moving business environment demands that an effective leader be both a well-organized administrator and highly adept in understanding people’s basic needs and behavior in the workplace. People want to know the purpose of things therefore a leader should be open with communication. Share the vision and values but also share your goals and share the results. A CEO that keeps results secret breeds distrust. The most successful businesses and business leaders practice “open book” management. This will earn trust and commitment.

We must engage our employees because the business environment is always changing and evolving and the way we do business and communicate must also change. We see this in the changing Gallop engagement surveys. There are findings in older Gallop engagement surveys that are still important such as the desire of employees to have the opportunity to do what they do best and be recognized for a job well done. But other points relating to economy and generations have begun to show up.

A study released in October 2012 conducted by MSW Research and Dale Carnegie Training surveyed 1500 employees nationally. Results showed only 29% of employees are fully engaged while 26% are disengaged.   Bottom line is that in all of these surveys many employees listed similar key drivers for engagement, such as their relationship with their immediate supervisor, belief in senior leadership, and pride in working for the company. That needs to be addressed by business leaders. Disengaged employees do not contribute and worse, they could alienate your customers.

Careless unengaged employees can ruin a business by driving away customers. The team should know how to measure loyalty, how to wow customers, and how to deliver on and exceed expectations.   The right people need to be placed in the right positions. Jim Collins talks about this when he says, “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats”. Then focus of the vision, the goals, train, develop, and engage.


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Leaders who navigate the team and create engaged employees will be rewarded with loyal customers and more business success. Make that a goal for your business.

Would you like to know how to find the best people and retain them?

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