Managers, can you hear me now? What a clever title for the new book written by Denny Strigl, prior CEO of Verizon Wireless, and owner of the creative “Can You Hear Me Now?” campaign. The book is destined to hit the spot for many leaders seeking a simple, yet actionable way to lead their teams and organizations. There are many golden nuggets for the new and experienced leader to embrace. Below are just a few that resonated with me – put in my words, not his – as they are spot-on and echo much of what my father has taught me throughout my life. We all would be well-served to heed these observations and suggestions.
1. Shoot straight. Don’t gloss over the truth or honest feedback. Give it to your team; they need it and expect it. Not doing so lessons your credibility – not to mention your ability to build and sustain trusting relationships.
2. Dig deep and fix the cause – not just the problem. Fixing the problem is the easy approach – and most often we fix the wrong thing. We have to get under the covers to really understand where to focus and direct our attention.
3. Embrace the KISS. This is the basic “Keep it simple, stupid” concept. This approach applies to everything – from a public relations strategy to a go-to-market strategy to overall product marketing. Give clients and prospective constituents what they want, when they want it, how they want it, and make it easy for them to get it. Sounds simple – it is! – if we just get out of our own way.
4. Ditch self-focus. As leaders, we have a duty – if not desire – to put others ahead of ourselves. Our employees need and want our coaching on a regular basis. It is our responsibility to continue to build and grow our teams – individually and collectively. It is simply not about us. As the old adage says, “There is no ‘I’ in TEAM.” One can easily spot the leaders destined to flame out – as they are simply way too focused on themselves and not on the greater good. They may win the sprint; yet, they will not win the marathon.
5. Stretch and grow. Strong leaders take the hard responsibilities. They push their teams to drive results and support the challenge. They do not worry about being liked, as much as they do building respect within and among the team. This builds followership which can only benefit a leader as he/she takes on more and more responsibility.
If you or members of your team need support, insight or help developing leadership perspectives such as these, reach out to Alignment, Inc. We would delight working with you, individually or collectively.