Old school leadership is about control and pushing people to achieve results; setting and communicating objectives; delegating tasks; measuring results.
Nothing wrong with old school, it’s just that different priorities and actions are required if leaders are to meet the challenges of todays competitive economy and changing employee expectations.
New school leaders make it their priority to help people; to “take care” of them. They make it easier for people to do their jobs. They run interference; bash barriers and eliminate the grunge preventing progress.
New School Leaders Putter At These 7 Basics
1. They are mindlessly focused on detail.
Detail about individuals and what’s going on for them. It’s about the little things and the “small picture” where things get done. Where people take individual actions to move the organization forward. At the coal face where customer and employees engage. If a leader doesn’t know what’s going on where customer meets company, how can they help make it a better experience for all? Exactly!
2. They have an uncanny memory.
The putterer has the innate ability to remember what they’ve seen, heard and felt in the workplace so they can follow up and take whatever action is necessary. They correlate their experience with the strategy and objectives of the organization so they can remedy any dysfunction they see or reward any champion performance they observe.
3. They make the work environment comfortable for people.
Clean. Tidy. Organized. A place where people look forward to hanging out everyday. They are crazy about hygiene factors; the basic needs that people require if they are to perform well consistently. If they are working in a pit, don’t expect them to deliver sterling results. If they aren’t WOW’D by the comforts of their workplace, they won’t be in a mood to delight a customer.
4. They take action themselves when their personal intervention is critical to moving forward.
Putterers don’t delegate on matters requiring inspiration and direction. Small picture issues can’t be delegated as no one other than the leader can FEEL what needs to be done; their passion can’t be delegated. Furthermore, delegation of small picture issues sends the “I really don’t give a damn” message to all, and their currency with the troops takes a plunge.
5. They are constantly active.
Always on the move. Always looking for things to improve for people. Don’t forget the small picture has high resolution and is always in flux, requiring constant movement on the leader’s part. They keep their feet moving!
6. They anticipate.
They have acute sensor abilities, being able to apply what they’ve learned in other circumstances to a situation that is developing in front of them. And, as a result, either avoiding an unpleasant ending OR achieving something extraordinary.
7. They smile.
Putterers love what they do. They are happy. When confronted by disappointment they look for the pony. Their positive attitude is contagious. And it costs nothing. People around them catch the “smile virus”. It spreads. Imagine a workplace where everyone is smiling! Think it’s productive? Ya.
Stand-out leaders are awesome at the basics. How do you rate?