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Leadership: Reading the Signs

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Throughout history, in business and elsewhere, great leaders have arisen out of unfavorable circumstances. In major league baseball, Bud Selig pioneered efforts to put an end to the use of performance enhancing drugs that had infected the sport for so many years. As a leader, your first and foremost objective should be to do the right thing. Don’t allow people to gain an unfair advantage over the competition when they cheated to get there. A leader who carries a strong moral compass will earn the trust and respect of his or her followers within an organization.
Genuine Leadership
Leaders can gain the trust and respect of those around them by being honest and genuine. You can’t achieve sustainable success by trying to be somebody you’re not. You can try to learn from somebody else but keep it in perspective of who you are. Everybody comes from a unique background. Whatever your background, take what you’ve learned from your past experiences and use that in a way that enables you to be successful today.

Featured Article:
BizCoachingonDemand’s featured article this week is from the New York Times titled If the Boss Rides a Harley, He Must Be Human. In it, Adam Bryant presents an interview he conducted with    Harry Harrington, chief executive of NIC Inc., an online services company.

Read the Signs Around You
Harry’s background as a police officer helped him prepare to be a business leader because of the skills he learned. Just like coming onto a crime scene where you have to quickly get your head around what’s going on, in business you also have to read the signs around you. The abilities of knowing how to assess people, how to manage every aspect of a situation and how to prioritize were developed by Harry as a police officer the same way business leaders develop those skills through experience or obtaining an MBA.

Earn the Respect of Other People
When Harry was struggling with the decision of how to establish a company culture at over 30 different locations, the first thing he did was talk to his customers and employees. Riding his Harley around, he would show up as a CEO on a motorcycle and immediately make an impact on the people working for him. People were interested in who he was because he approached them as being very authentic. As a leader, be proud of who you are and comfortable in your own skin. It’s important that other people can relate to you. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability. Care about your people and engage them not as their boss but as their partner. Show them respect, seek their input, and value who they are and what they bring to the table.

Share Your Story and Build Trust
Trust is an integral part of being a good leader. You want to be able to trust the people who work for you, and you want them to be able to trust you. When Harry’s people met with him, they wanted to understand who he was as a person from hearing stories about his background and getting to know him at his core. If you show people that you’re a genuine person, they’ll be interested in learning more about you, which will create a sense of trust for who you are as a person. When employees see that you’re a genuine person and that you’ve got their backs, they’ll want to work for you.

Leadership Can Be Developed
Leadership isn’t something that you learn out of a textbook. It’s developed by those who understand how to be themselves, to be humble, to be transparent, and to care about their people. Leadership skills can be observed and developed in all walks of life, not just in business. Look for people around you who demonstrate the ability to lead and learn from them. But mostly of all, be genuine, be honest, and do the right thing. Care about the people around you, and you will not only have a much greater chance of success but you will enjoy the ride.

Published: July 16, 2013
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Business Coaching On Demand was formed out of the need to provide small business with expedited results in today's competitive marketplace. We recognize that sometimes small business is overlooked and when services are available, they are generally priced too high to be implemented immediately. We also realize that many small business people have no idea where to go for the help and support they need.

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