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Executive coach and guest velocity guru Beth Armknecht Miller offers her sage advice on leadership practices that can serve as gifts to employees.
True leaders demonstrate servant leadership which requires time and lots of it. Here's a list of acts of leadership that are true gifts to employees receiving them.
When you take the time, to help someone make a just-in-time adjustment in their performance, you are giving them the help they will need for continued success. Ignoring a behavior is a disservice to the person and holds them back from growing as a professional. With timely feedback, you are giving the person the information necessary to change.
Recognize the contributions of those around you and don’t take them for granted. Make sure that when you do recognize the person’s efforts that it is personalized and specific. Research shows that organizations who practice recognizing employees will experience better business results at a rate of 12 times.
When you stop and listen, you show respect and interest for the person. The person speaking feels that you care and that his message is important. Introverts have an easier time than extroverts when it comes to active listening. The skill of listening is probably the number one skill that isn’t practice enough by leaders. This gift is one in which you will get gifts in return. Overtime you will receive more knowledge and information that can improve your decision-making and relationships.
Remember the person who mentored you at some point in your life? Most successful people whether in business, sports, or the arts will tell you that there was at least one person who supported them, recognized their potential, and cared about them. And this mentor was significant to their future success. Share your knowledge and wisdom with a rising star in your company or take time to mentor someone in your community. While you may never know the impact it will have on the person you are mentoring. Sharing your experiences and encouraging a future leader can be very rewarding to both you and your mentee.
Being vulnerable requires you to take emotional risks and managing your ego. When you practice vulnerability your employees are more connected to you emotionally, and the more emotionally connected they are to you the more they will support you in good times as well as bad. Ultimately, this means that you need to let go of the belief that you as a leader have to always show strength, confidence and perfection.
This gift just like vulnerability requires you to take risks. It is all about doing the right thing when it may in fact impact you in a negative way. Being a courageous leader means making unpopular decisions for the long term good of the organization. It means facing your fears and conflicts head on. Courage is something that you aren’t born with but is developed over time. And when you model courage to others you demonstrate the importance of being courageous. In turn other will build their courage. The more you face your fears the stronger you and your company will be.
What Leadership Gift are you not giving enough of? For me being courageous is probably the most difficult especially when the courage I need to take impacts close relationships. I know this about myself and recognize that I need to push myself in this direction from time to time. I challenge each of you to identify a gift that if practiced more would make you a better leader.
Beth Armknecht Miller is a Senior Associate at Dynamic Results LLC, a boutique firm offering strategy implementation, accountability and leadership development solutions. Beth is a trusted executive advisor, Vistage Chair, and committed volunteer. She is passionate about building sustainable leadership within small to midsize organizations, which will engage employees, increase performance, and build enterprise value. Her latest book is "Are You Talent Obsessed?: Unlocking the secrets to a workplace team of raving high-performers."