March 20, 2014 by Rick Brammer
“What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.” This Ralph Waldo Emerson quote may not have been about leadership, but it certainly could apply to one of its golden rules. Human beings have the amazing ability to see through the superficial. Sometimes it takes a while, but eventually those who simply talk the talk are exposed and their shallowness is revealed.
In a leadership role every move is heavily scrutinized, whether it is what is said, not said; what is done or not done. Some would look at this and think this is a no-win situation. Good leaders look at it and think all of the scrutiny will give them endless opportunities. How you take advantage of these opportunities is what separates the good from the great. Let’s look at a few ways you can make the most of them.
Have values, embrace and own them every day. If you fail, own that as well.
There are two sets of values to embrace and own. One is your own personal set that could include traits such as; honesty, integrity, effort, quality, empathy and respect. The second is your company’s set of values—which hopefully is in place and well publicized internally. Together, these values are the cornerstone of setting and maintaining your company’s culture and as a leader it is your responsibility to carry the torch. If you fail in embracing any of these values, and you probably will at some point, own that failure. As the saying goes,”To err is human” but it is important to admit the failure in order to turn it around and make it a success. And whatever you do don’t make excuses, just own it.
Treat everyone in your organization as equals, they deserve your respect.
You can demand respect, but at best what you will be getting is compliance. Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you’ve got to give it. Understand that every role and every task is needed to reach the goal. Being in a leadership role does not make you any better than anyone else nor does it make your contribution more important.
Give credit where credit is due.
This is an area where it is truly better to give than to receive. Andrew Carnegie said “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.
Take responsibility for failure, yours and your team’s.
Taking the responsibility for your own failures should directly relate to the first item of this list. Take this one step further to not only include values, but any failure. When your team has a failure, step up and take responsibility. Let’s face it, your team, ultimately your failure.
As leaders we are presented with a litany of opportunities every day. They take many shapes and forms, but none are more important than those that give you the opportunity to be a great leader. It can be as simple as stopping to ask a co-worker about their sick child, or a quick note or hand-shake at the desk of a team member to thank them for their contribution. In meetings, give your undivided attention to those who are speaking and recognize individuals for their good ideas. Oh so many opportunities, so little time.
Rick Brammer is president and co-owner of United Credit Service, Inc.
Founded in 1950, United Credit Service, Inc is a full service revenue cycle management and debt collection agency in Wisconsin providing highly effective customized one on one management and recovery solutions for our business partners. We offer pre-service collection solutions as well as traditional back-end collections. Visit our website at http://www.unitedcreditservice.com or call 877-723-2902