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January 2007 Edition of Leadership Tools Monthly News has arrived!
January 24, 2007

The Leadership Commitment
Commit vs. Comply


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Volume V - January, 2007 Issue

  1. Site News
    • Updates - and What's Coming Soon
  2. Lessons-in-Leadership
    • The Leadership Commitment – Commit vs. Comply
  3. Meeting for Results
    • Coaching for Commitment
  4. Reader Meter
    • Reader Feedback

Site News

UPDATES - and What's Coming Soon!

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Lessons In Leadership

Leadership Commitment
Commit vs. Comply

"Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes: but no plans."
- Pete Drucker

So often in business we make the mistake of assuming a person is a leader because he or she holds a certain position of influence or authority.

Unfortunately, many in positions of power are not at all equipped to properly carry out their leadership responsibilities. Because they have never truly studied leadership, they can only pretend to know it’s true meaning.

It’s quite common for people in management positions to “comply” with the duties of their role, but they never actually “commit” to doing what’s necessary to overcome their learning curve.

The difference between “complying” and “committing” to the responsibilities of leadership are of paramount importance.

To comply, is to only do the bare minimum that is necessary in order to meet the basic expectations of the role. When it comes to creating an inspiring vision; planning ahead to ensure quality results; communicating and exhibiting a message of enthusiasm, hope and security to those working within the team – the leader who simply complies, will always be out performed by the leader who is truly committed.

How sad that anyone should work for someone who possesses only the smallest amount of leadership skills. Each of us deserves the very best effort from those we report to. The worker’s commitment to his supervisor is in direct relation to the level of support and commitment the supervisor has for his or her team members.

Anyone holding a position of influence over others must realize that their daily decisions impact the lives of the people they lead. A good leader never takes this fact for granted. Leaders must clearly understand the power they possess, and how their actions and decisions impact their team members. Leaders who do not take this role seriously do not deserve to hold the title that has been entrusted to them.

A leader who is not committed to developing him or herself in the area of leadership, who only “complies” in order to meet basic expectations, should not be allowed to continue in the leadership role. In short, people deserve better, and they should demand more from their leaders.

On the other hand, the committed leader – the one who is continually seeking out solutions; growing his or her skill-set; working to innovate, create, reorganize and improve things – for the customers, the employees and the organization – is a leader who is truly deserving of the title.

In the coming year, you are encouraged to re-commit yourself to becoming a better and more effective leader. Leaders who are committed to growing, are constantly learning. They seek out information that will help them to add more value to their team and their organization.

Challenge yourself to identify a new book, a training class, an audio program, or some other kind of leadership tool or resource that will keep you on the path of self-development and personal growth.

"There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you are committed to doing something, you accept no excuses, only results."
- Unknown

Meeting For Results

Coaching for Commitment

"Companies that have implemented coaching programs: Are 50% more likely to have low turnover; Have 56% higher customer loyalty; and Achieve 27% greater profitability."
- Gallup Organization

As a leader, you must understand that the level of commitment your employees have toward you and the organization, is most greatly influenced by you. Your personal commitment to the success and growth of each team member is the one thing that will do the most to solidify their personal commitment and full engagement in the workplace.

Of all the interactions managers can have with their employees, it’s that personal time, one-on-one, where you provide helpful, informal feedback, which will have the greatest impact on employee performance.

A leader wears many hats. One highly important hat that is worn by every leader is that of an effective coach.

Every established leader can think back and remember a few highly influential people who contributed to their personal and professional growth. Some of this coaching may have been very formal, while most of the key lessons were acquired over time, through day-to-day observation.

Now it’s your turn to provide the same opportunities for your employees. You need to be the coach that they will one day remember as being one of those few leaders who made a positive impact – someone who made a difference in their ability to succeed and effectively lead others.

Healthy and trusting relationships are truly at the core of effective coaching. Take each of your employees one by one; ask yourself what kind of relationship you have with that employee; does he trust you; does he respect you, does he work hard for you?

Be completely honest with yourself - have you created a relationship that is adversarial; does the employee fear you; does he feel that you are unapproachable; does he typically do only what is asked of him, nothing more?

Your ability to coach effectively is greatly impacted based on the quality of the relationships you form with your employees. By no means does this require you to be everyone’s best friend. However, there does need to be a basic level of trust and respect in place in order for coaching to be effective.

Below is a Coaching Self-Assessment tool that you can use to rate yourself opn your effectiveness as a coach.

This short list of questions can be used to help you determine areas where you may need to invest additional time; help you initiate a positive conversation with each employee; and to determine what each employee needs from you as his or her coach.

(In each category, rate yourself as either:
Strongly Agree, Agree, or Needs Attention.)

  1. Teamwork: My employees and I work together side by side. I model the behavior I expect from them. We treat each other with respect. They know my door is open and that I welcome their feedback. We exchange ideas freely for the purpose of creating solutions.
  2. Trust: My employees approach me with issues; they seek me out for advice and they know that I will protect their confidentiality. They know I will be candid with them. They also know I will be supportive, yet at the same time, firm if necessary, in order for our group to achieve our objective. There is a healthy respect for each other present on a daily basis.
  3. Commitment: My employees and I feel a mutual obligation to support each other and to do whatever we can to ensure each others' success. They know I will support them in their setbacks and that I will be the first to applaud their successes.
  4. Accountability: My employees respect the fact that I hold myself accountable, as well as each of my team members, for the results that we collectively achieve. They know that when our results of lacking, I will hold them, and myself, fully accountable to do what is necessary in order to achieve our objectives.
  5. Motivation: My employees are exceptional in their outward display of energy and enthusiasm for the tasks at hand. Our team members are highly motivated to perform well and they know that their efforts will be recognized and rewarded once our goals are achieved.

The above list of questions provide some tremendous insights into how coaching might play a key role toward increasing the overall commitment of your team. Use the information you’ve gained to become a more effective coach and leader.

"Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek."
- Mario Andretti

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