According to Theodore Hesburgh, the very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It's got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. As a leader, you win the heart of followers when they know your purpose. It is not enough to be busy. The question is: why am I busy? Having a clear vision in what you are doing enables you to convince the world that it is richer with you than without you—and this is a fundamental key to achieving business success.
Leadership cannot happen without effective communication. As noted by Richard Daft, a Leadership Professor,“leadership means communicating with others in such a way that they are influenced and motivated to perform actions that further common goals and lead toward desired outcomes”. Communication is a process by which information and understanding are transferred between a sender and a receiver, such as between a leader and an employee, husband and wife, doctor and patient, teacher and student, etc.
The leader (sender) initiates a communication by encoding a thought or idea, that is, by selecting symbols (such as words) with which to compose and transmit a message. The channel could be a formal report, a telephone call, an email or text message, or face-to-face conversation. The follower (receiver) decodes the symbols to interpret the meaning of the message.
In your employees’ eyes, the totality of your leadership is dependent upon the things that they see you do. That means thing like your ethics, values, morals, attitude, beliefs, character, skill, knowledge, etc, are closely watched and examined by those you are leading. Your actions as a leader count a lot in achieving credible leadership. You see, credibility is a leader’s currency. With it he or she is solvent; without it he or she is bankrupt. Let’s examine the way John Maxwell puts it: “A Leader with credibility has a pocketful of coins. As long as the pocket is full, the Leader is believable, worthy of respect, and able to be trusted. Each time the Leader breaks a promise or acts inconsistently with professed value, he or she must pay out some of the coins in his or her pocket. When the coins are gone, so is the Leader’s credibility. No amount of persuasion or personal appeal will be able to buy it back. Once lost, respect and trust take years to regain’’.
What is credibility? Let us look at it like this: Credible means capable of being believed. Credibility on the other hand, is the quality of deserving belief or confidence. It is the amount of confidence placed in one on the basis of his or her record, knowledge or proven ability. In other words, it is about reliability, integrity, sincerity, and having right standing known to others to be untainted. Therefore, Credible Leadership is the ability of a Leader to demonstrate an exemplary lifestyle which others willingly follow without questioning.
You know what? Having the title of ‘’CEO’’ or ‘’MD’ ’is not always linked with “RESPECT” and “CREDIBILITY”— the former comes with the position, the later must be earned. If you are in the position of leadership (or wish to be in the future), do not mistakenly be a leader with just power. In fact, that will be fatal flaw because leadership is less dependent on title or position than it does by influence. Without credibility, power is virtually worthless. To gain and maintain credibility while building your effectiveness as a leader, you should note the follow guidelines:
(1) Set Positive Example: Your life is meant to be a mirror through which others can see, make some adjustments, and take corrections. When the mirror of your life is blurred, others cannot see clearly. Let me put it vividly the way it is stated in the Holy Book: “You are the light of the world, therefore, let your light shine so that others can see it.” What does that mean? As a credible leader, set a precedence which others should follow and live by. You see; your lifestyle speaks louder than your words. It is what people see you do that they first buy into, before buying into what you have to say.
(2) Treat Others with Respect: You cannot receive what you are not willing to give. Respect gives birth to respect. People will not respect you if do not respect them. When you make people around you feel important, they feel respected and they are willing to pay you back. Use people’s name when speaking to them. Don’t say things like, “hay boy’’, get that document to my office now. In a place of work, when someone passes a pen or file to you, try to say, “Thank you.’’ It pays.
(3) Stand for the Truth: Be honest and upfront. Let your ‘’yes’’ be ‘’yes’’ and let your ‘’no’’ be ‘’no’’. Let those around you know you for your words. Do not exaggerate; try to always say it as it is. People trust you over time when they see truthfulness in you.
(4) Acknowledge your Mistakes: As a leader admit your wrongs and apologize your mistakes. When decision turns out unexpectedly, the leader owes his or her followers an explanation. Some people may see this as a mark of weakness on the part of a leader, but it will pay at the long run as it establishes trust, loyalty, and confidence by his followers.
(5) Leadership is Responsibility, not Prestige: When your leadership position becomes a platform to influence others to become better employees rather than bossing them around, you become a credible leader anyone can be willing to follow till the end. Just know that you command lots of respect when those you are leading are motivated at all times to achieve more, and this makes them become willing to buy in to your vision as a leader.
See you at the Top!
Dr. Elvis UKPAKA
Author. Trainer. Coach. Consultant
Lead Consultant, Visiondrivers Mgt. Consulting
+234 810 654 5127, +234 817 123 5284
Leadership cannot happen without effective communication. As noted by Richard Daft, a Leadership Professor, “leadership means communicating with others in such a way that they are influenced and motivated to perform actions that further common goals and lead toward desired outcomes”. Communication is a process by which information and understanding are transferred between a sender and a receiver, such as between a leader and an employee, husband and wife, doctor and patient, teacher and student, etc.
The leader (sender) initiates a communication by encoding a thought or idea, that is, by selecting symbols (such as words) with which to compose and transmit a message. The channel could be a formal report, a telephone call, an email or text message, or face-to-face conversation. The follower (receiver) decodes the symbols to interpret the meaning of the message. Encoding and decoding can sometimes cause communication errors because individual differences, knowledge, values, attitudes, and background act as filters and may create “noise” when translating from symbols to meaning.
We began this week on a series on emotional intelligence, also known as EI. Emotional Intelligence has been broadly defined as ones capacity to recognize his or her own feelings and those of others. In his ground breaking exposition on emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman pointed that emotional intelligence encompasses two main domains: The personal competence and social competence. According to him, personal competence is the leaders’ ability to manage himself and his emotions. This actually has two parts—self-awareness (ability to read his own emotions) and self-management (ability to control his own emotions). Social competence on the other hand is the leaders’ ability to manage relationship and other peoples’ emotion. According to Goleman, this also has two parts—social awareness (ability of the leader to sense, understand, and react positively to others emotions) and relationship management (the ability of the leader to inspire, influence, handle interpersonal interactions, and develop others).
In these days of competitive markets, the business that excels at customer service is the one that will not only maintain their position, but grow. According to Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart: “There is only one boss – the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else”. I emphatically agreed with him. Indeed, Customers Are Really Everything (CARE). Therefore, if you don’t “CARE” for them, they will take “CARE” of their money elsewhere. Guess where? To your competitors.
You could answer the question "What is Customer service" by saying that it is about "exceeding" the expectations of the client, not just "satisfying" them. This is not just about the product or service that you are selling; it's about looking after the people buying them from you too.