Some leaders excel and some don’t. We notice, don’t we?
And the determinant’s not usually their stunning technical skills, extreme drive or tireless advocacy for their cause, is it?
So what does the research tell us about the difference between leaders who excel and those who don’t? And what do your personal observations tell us? I somehow think that the two perspectives will be aligned…
Research backs up my personal observations of highly successful versus less successful leaders—which tell me that
It Frequently Comes Down To The “Care Factor”!
Some studies label it as “interpersonal skills”—others call it “the capacity to listen”. At the end of the day, it frequently comes down to the care factor.
That is, how much do the followers of the leader think that their leader cares about them?
People Join An Organisation And Leave Their Boss
Would people leave their boss if they knew their boss truly cared about their success, their wants and needs, their fears and concerns, and their future?
If they had that sort of boss, the probability that a team member would take flight would unquestionably diminish.
Let’s Audit How You Might Be Perceived On The Care Factor Scale
Let’s make sure you’re not one of the bosses that team members leave because the care factor wasn’t intense enough…
How do you think you fare when you’re measured on these care factor practices and behaviours?
- Listening—listening as if your team member is the only person in the room.There’s consensus across the board that one of the vital interpersonal skills that separate the less-than-great from the great is listening. And we’re talking here about…
…Listening to what’s being said without formulating your response.
…Listening that demonstrates that you genuinely care about what they’re saying.
…Listening like your team member is the only person in the room.
- Consistently interested—rather than an on-one-day and off-the-next sort of interest.You probably know leaders who get very tied up in their own stuff, whether that be preparing a Board report, knuckling down during the budgeting process, or reacting emotionally to marketplace conditions.
Sure, these are critical things that must be attended to—and there’s a way of attending to them whilst attending to the people around you…
You don’t have to frown and rush by. You can stop for 3-seconds, smile warmly, and explain that you’re distracted by xyz. That way your team members won’t make up stories about why you’re behaving the way you’re behaving—and they’ll maintain their view that you’re interested in them.
- Championing each team member’s growth and development—supporting their opportunities to progress their careers.
The lack of substantive feedback and genuine development opportunities appears to be at almost plague-like proportions……Do you consistently give every team member feedback on how well they’re doing?
…Are you mentoring and passing on your expertise to each of your direct reports?
…What about team members’ coaching, either from yourself or from an external coach?
…Do you arrange stretch projects for your direct reports who’re up for it?
Your Leadership Call to Action
The way your team members score you on the care factor scale determines how effective a leader you’re perceived to be—by them, yes, and also by your boss, your peers, and others in your organisation.
And it also determines how much discretionary effort your team members willingly exert—and therefore what productivity levels look like.
And it also determines how ikely they are to remain as your team members!
Over to you to do what you need to do so you’re the very best leader that you can be.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.