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Knowing Me, Knowing You?

In this day and age when you, as leader yell, “Charge!” and run into battle, the chances are you are going to end up looking like Wile. E. Coyote after the Road Runner has finished with him: singe marks on your ears, gunpowder all over your face and stars and little birdies flying around your head!

Just because you yell ”Charge!” doesn't mean others are going to follow your lead and that call to arms.

Although leadership is a lot about the position you hold, it also very much about the person you are.

The person you are will show the people you lead how you will treat and deal with them. And how you deal with them will have a huge influence on how effective your leadership will be.

Really knowing and understanding the people you lead is a significant aspect of effective leadership.

• Knowing their wants and needs

• Knowing their goals and aspirations

• Knowing their circles of influence

• Knowing their motivators

• Knowing their de-motivators

• Knowing their likes and dislikes

• Knowing their energy cycles

All of this and so much more can come about without asking them one single question. It can all be gained from your observations and levels of awareness.

A lot of this is at the micro-level, but what about at the macro level? What differences exist within the people you lead that can and will influence who they are, what they do, and how they do it?

This macro level of understanding is another level that you as a leader need to know, and know well.

What are the differences between:

o Male and Female

o Young and Old

o Experienced and Inexperienced

o Front Office and Back Office

o Baby Boomers v Generation X v Generation Y

o Morning people v Evening people

o Leaders v Followers

o Doers v Thinkers

o Talkers v Listeners

o Individuals v Team Players

o Strategic v Unstructured?

Once again, I have no doubt that to a certain degree you are asking yourself, ”How far do I go with my levels of understanding and insight?”

And once again my answer is in the form of a two-part question:-

"How good do you want to become as a leader and how good do you want those you lead to become?"

The more you know about those you lead the more effective you will become as a leader.

I know we have gone through this subject of awareness and understanding previously.

However, I strongly believe this to be one of the keys to effective relationships and therefore, vital to the development of you as a leader and to the development of the people you lead.

It becomes a two-pronged attack. In one way totally opposed, but on the other side there is synergy.

On one side you are The Teacher, you are The Leader, you are The Coach: You help people see opportunity; you teach people skill; you provide them with experience; you increase their ability and their confidence.

But on the other side, you are The Student: the student of the people you lead.

They teach you about how they think, what they believe, why they do the things they do, and where their levels of confidence and belief are at.

They will show you what they are going to do in the future, by what they have done in the past.

You will take them forward and do a great job simply by what you know. However, you will take them a lot further and a lot higher when you know them.

The Journey Continues!

Submitted by:

Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson is an elite international sporting coach who has turned his knowledge of developing peak team and individual performance into a world-class corporate consultancy, Total Performance Concepts Pty Ltd. http://www.totalperformance.com.au




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