I love this sign. I saw it yesterday while walking down Central Avenue in Albany, New York. I couldn’t help but take a picture. Instead of saying ‘empty space or store for rent’ it says the space is an opportunity. It really makes you think. My mother used to tell me the better I learned to communicate, the more people would listen. This statement has stuck with me my whole life. I’m not sure I understood what she meant until I went into business and had many employees. Most of us know that communication consists of two things—what we’re talking about (content) and how we say it (delivery). Is it an equal blend of the two? Not when it comes to leadership. Leadership is all about the delivery. Great leaders can deliver the most unnerving information and still get people to follow. Delivery is what separates the great from the mediocre. Great leaders can get their constituents to follow them anywhere. You can be smart and have the best ideas in the world but if you can’t connect with people and relate in a way they understand; they’ll never follow. Without followers, you’ll never be able to achieve your desired results. I like it better when it’s my idea, don’t you? Great leaders have a way of making us feel it is our idea. Gordon Bethune took over a defeated Continental Airlines. Continental had a defeated workforce and shareholders who had driven the company into bankruptcy. What was his good idea? To put the employees first and get them to believe they had the answers to success. It worked and resulted in his book from Worst to First. Here are some thoughts on great leaders and leadership skills. Leaders define the destination and issue an invitation to join in the journey. The road maybe tough but leaders know their job is to provide the skills necessary to negotiate the bumps and the bad weather.
Leaders are mindful that success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process of continuous improvement and never stops. Because our communication is changing rapidly, a company and its leaders must be invested in skill building and change. It’s been said the only thing constant is change. It has never been truer. Neither success nor failure are permanent.
Leaders know that people will follow if they feel acknowledge and appreciated. Their communication is direct and respectful. It has been said that nothing is as powerful and respectful as good eye contact. We have all heard that the eyes are the windows of the soul. The time of leadership and domination is a thing of the past.
Leadership isn’t about domination and power. Few people get ‘scared straight’ anymore. People are fueled by being part of a bigger plan and an exciting journey.
Great leaders are aware, are passionate about their vision for success and never forget that success can never be obtained by one person. This is called being human. There’s nothing more powerful than the ability to connect with humanity.
Lisbeth Calandrino is a passionate communicator who is dedicated to helping businesses achieve and maintain the most powerful standards of customer service. The result of her interactions is the building of loyalty and profitable customer relationships.
Her book Red Hot Customer Service pays tribute to her father Tony. Despite his limited schooling and resources, he was able to develop a very successful construction business. He said the secret to his success was his ability to enjoy life. Lisbeth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.