Throughout a single career, you experience a wide variety of leaders. Recently, Thomas Kowal, President of Seraph, shared his thoughts on the traits of a leader and how it affects culture. There is no easy path to success, however, there are some key steps a leader can take to create the best experience for your clients, co-workers, family and friends. Take a look at the key steps the team at Seraph have followed to create a unique, trusting, growth-inspired culture where clients and teammates thrive.
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
— Jack Welch
So, what are the qualities of a good Leader?
Listen to the needs of the team while providing support during their career development. This will develop trust between you and the team or individual while showing that your interests are to grow the team, not yourself. A second element would be to develop a shared vision with realistic, attainable, structured goals in place. Developing the goals together will help gain trust from your teammates while continuing to demonstrate that you are focused on the team’s growth, not your own.
Remove the poison. Promote the solution. Take action when an employee continues to have poor performance, demonstrate a negative attitude and not meet their structured KPI’s week after week. An example would be if an employee shows up to a meeting late on a regular basis without their KPI’s filled out, showing poor performance day after day with a lack of interest in the business. That employee is creating a poison that will spread throughout the other teammates quickly. As a leader, recurring negative employees will need to be removed from the team to avoid the negative energy. Compare this to an individual who shows up to a meeting with positive energy, having met their KPI goals, and having a plan for how to meet their next set of goals. The high performing, positive employee may be up for a promotion based on their performance. A variable in this scenario would be if a poor performing employee was clearly trying their hardest to be successful. As a team environment focused on positive growth, you would not simply remove an employee for performing poorly once. It is the routine lack of interest and negative attitude that you need to remove from your team.
Encourage team members to share their ideas. When a problem comes up, your team should think it through, come up with a plan and express it to you in an open environment. As a leader, you need to extract information from the team to grow the company and help the team feel valued. If you don’t generate ideas from the team, they will eventually feel undervalued.
Collect data on issues and address them. It’s all about trust. During employee meetings, issues that are brought up must be heard and resolved. It is your job to make sure the team is taken care of. If you fix real issues, you will develop trust with the employees and they will enjoy working with you – and their teammates more. At the end of the day, the business succeeds because of the individuals that you work with.
Nonverbal Communication. Lots of nonverbal communication occurs in the workplace. As a leader, you need to keep your communication positive even when stress is high. If you had a bad morning, you need to be careful not to project that feeling towards your teammates. Positivity and support will thrive over negativity, and in tough times can quickly provide solutions to last minute problems.
What do people want from their leader?
In essence, people want very simple things from their leaders. People want to be recognized/valued for their work and input (may differ based on experience and age). They also want to be seen, respected, and listened to. The last thing that people want from their leaders is support with tools necessary to achieve objectives. These elements, combined, create the most important element when developing a team. Trust.
“A team is not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other.”—Simon Sinek
We at Seraph are excited to be working with such a fantastic group of experienced professionals. From our clients to our team members and friends, thank you for letting us be a part of your journey, and we look forward to the future.