As leaders, we are often called to be the communicator of our group. We are the one person who should always stand up and say something. The words of a great leader can inspire great change, great action, or even great success.
The same opportunity exists to do great evil, great detriment, or inspire great failure. Being a person of leadership means that your followers respect and admire you. Of course this is why they’re choosing to submit to you and follow your vision. As such, your words can either lift up or destroy those around you.
What you say and do in front of your followers will dictate their reaction. I recently wrote a post about praising those who follow you. It is a great way to motivate and inspire others. On the other hand, great detriment can be done when you fail to say the right things. Here is a list of 5 things you should never say to your followers:
Because I said so – Now before you call your mother and explain to her that she was a bad leader, understand that this statement is basicallly saying “follow my title, not me.” You should follow your mother, but a bad boss who is being followed solely because of his title will soon fail. Any leader worth his salt can inspire greater action by having his followers react because of who he is, not what his title is. As a person in a leadership position, remember, your real leadership power is completely voluntary and you must earn the respect of your followers every day. It is not what you are, but who you are, that inspires action.
It’s not personal, it’s business – This statement shouldn’t leave your mouth because all personal communication is just that, personal. By making this statement you are acknowledging that you care not about the person but about the business. In all ventures, care first about the person, if you do, results will follow.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease – This statement acknowledges that you pay more attention to those who are outspoken and pay no mind to those who let their actions speak for them. Don’t let the quiet people who let their work speak for them slip past you for often they are the most driven. Show that you value results, not talk, by never speaking this age old phrase.
That’s just the way I am – This statement acknowleges that you know you have a problem but refuse to make a change. A leader should be growing and improving all the time. John Maxwell’s #3 Law of Leadership is the Law of Process. The process implies that, to be a good leader, you must first be investing in yourself, then using that knowledge to invest in others. Becoming a great leader requires a daily effort to growth. If you’re not working on your faults, you’re not applying the law of process.
No you can’t check in with your family – Welcome to my generation. We grew up with both parents working long hours. We remember that “family vacation” where all our parents talked about was their work. We’re sick of it. A new paradigm is in the shifting process as leaders are discovering that family is more important than work and that an employee who is happy at home, is more productive in the office.
How you speak and communicate with your team will dictate their level of trust and respect they have for you. These will ultimately dictate your level of success as a leader.
Question: Are your words helping or hurting?