The Three F’s of Leadership
In every relationship, organization, business, and related activity, there comes a time when leaders must lead. Different teams have made their design. The committees have reviewed it. Management approved it. Now is the time for leaders to take control and make it happen. This is true whether we’re talking about building a rocket ship or selling a house; once plans are made, they must be executed.
Leaders are the people who make it happen. They execute the plans and ensure the achievement of the goals. Whether they are the leader of a large group of co-workers or an individual performance leader such as a sales manager, they set the pace and standards of the work to be done.
Leaders achieve this through other people. The Team Leader will lead and direct their team, ensuring that all members maintain their focus on achieving the desired results. The Sales Leader will work with all parties on the transaction to ensure they remain focused on completing the transaction. The primary function of leadership in any situation involves working with and through other people to achieve goal outcomes.
Working with and through other people can be challenging, but that’s why you’re the leader. As a leader, it is important to learn and apply the three F’s of leadership in all of your work relationships and interactions with other people. A leader should treat everyone with respect by being:
Your reputation is one of the most important assets you have. How people perceive you will determine how willing they are to work with you. As a team leader, a positive reputation will motivate your associates to put in the extra effort needed to achieve any goal. As a sales leader, your reputation will bring your business and your customers.
Being fair simply means treating all people equally. If people know they can trust you, they will want to work with you. Be honest with all parties and work towards a win-win solution to any issues that arise.
Make time for all your associates and business partners. This will go a long way in establishing a reputation as an honest person. Showing favoritism in any business relationship can have strong negative consequences.
Even in businesses where professional and corporate guidelines/rules seem to limit your dealings with one party or the other in a business transaction, you can still be fair in your actions. Be honest. If you can’t do something, tell the party you can’t. By following the guidelines to the letter, you maintain your integrity in business dealings. Simply applying the rules equally to all parties with fairness and honesty helps you achieve your goals.
In the old days, when you said a leader was tough, you meant he ruled with an iron fist. There are still times when a leader needs to be tough, but being tough means more than that. It means being a decisive leader who can make a decision and carry it out.
When you are firm, you must stick to your principles and company policies/rules in all your business relationships. Do not be indecisive when it comes to doing what is right or wrong. Let your principles and policies guide you in your decisions and the way you take action.
When you make a decision, stick to it, don’t worry about it. You’re not a yes person, but you are the leader, and sometimes it’s your job to make the tough choices that are necessary to achieve the goal.
Being firm also means that when your decision or plans need to be changed, you change them. But you base the need to change the facts necessary to achieve your goal. A good leader knows when and how to be flexible and adaptable.
Be open to suggestions, ideas, guidance and advice. A good leader does not make decisions in a vacuum, but ultimately a good leader makes the decision.
A good leader is an honest leader. Its very principles require truthfulness and honesty. He shares all the facts he can with his team and/or clients to help them achieve their goal.
When working in a team environment, a good leader handles all situations with truth, whether with the team or the individual. If praise is warranted, he gives it honestly and freely. If he needs correction, he does so with the same frankness in handling the facts.
An individual leader like the sales leader is honest with his associates and customers. It gives them all the facts, good and bad, so they can make the best decision for their goals.
By following the three “F’s” of leadership, a good leader will find interacting with colleagues and customers easier and more rewarding. Developing a reputation for being fair, firm and forthright in your business dealings will help you transform from a good leader to a great leader.