By Alan Graner
How to Become a Trusted Leader
What happens when a manager is trusted…and trusts in return? He instills in others a greater confidence they can do the work and show initiative. It’s a matter of accountability.
When you undermine that trust, however, fear rises and performance falls.
Here are some specific steps towards earning a reputation as a trusted, accountable leader:
- Define and clarify roles, goals and expectations.
- Don’t accept denial, blaming, excuses and scapegoating. When things don’t go right, beware the “victim mindset.”
- Don’t let department heads and team or project leaders off the hook.
- Take initiative to figure out where the barriers to success lie.
- Set milestones and metrics.
- Find balance between process and results.
Traits of a Great Manager
What’s the number one reason people give for quitting their jobs?
They’re dissatisfied with the relationship they have with their direct supervisor or manager.
When you consider each manager may control between five to 30 direct reports, you quickly understand the havoc bad managers can wreak on an organization’s talent, leading to lower morale and lower productivity…often followed by the walk out the door..
What, then, are the characteristics of an exceptional manager? There are many, but the following are at the core of success:
- Fairness. Exceptional managers act in good faith to help build trust and credibility with their direct reports.
- Listening. Exceptional managers are excellent, empathetic listeners who acknowledge and validate their subordinates’ thoughts, feelings and actions.
- Clarity. Exceptional managers ask their employees to repeat back what’s been said to ensure they understand the key messages.
- Feedback. Exceptional managers consistently provide timely, constructive feedback to improve performance, impart knowledge, train and guide their direct reports.
Why Jerks Are Poor Decision-Makers
Not all jerks make bad decisions, and not all non-jerks make good decisions. But overall there seems to be a direct correlation between jerkiness and bad judgment. Recent examples include:
- Bear Stearns
- Lehman Brothers
Jerks tend to think their perspective is the only one worth considering. They think they’re never wrong. They’re consumed with petty resentments. And they alienate other people.
The solution? Don’t hire jerks. And if you do, fire them.
What are the traits you think a great leader should have?
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA based marketing communications firm. For a public relations campaign that establishes your leadership, email Jeffrey Swartz at firstname.lastname@example.org.