As usual, let’s talk about the how not to lead first…
Leadership without integrity is an impossibility. So if your goal is to NOT be mistaken for a leader then don’t worry about saying one thing and doing another. Things change. You also have the right to change your mind any time you want to. For any reason you want to. It’s nobody’s business but your own.
As someone in a leadership position you owe no one an explanation for saying one thing and doing another. If someone doesn’t like it that’s their problem, not yours. People who you are supposed to be leading should learn your word is worthless. They should just fall in line and go with the flow.
Everybody knows that sometimes keeping your commitments is impossible and people need to be adaptable. Honoring commitments is so old fashioned that it’s hysterical anyone still expects it. People who expect you to actually lead need to get a clue!
Trying to explain your decisions or thought process to the people you are supposed to be leading makes you look weak. It makes you look foolish. Worse yet, it makes you look like someone who might care about what your people think of you.
Never forget, the people you boss around are the “little people” and there is no point in trying to explain your big thoughts to the likes of them.
Of course, there is also the possibility that you actually DO want to lead. In that case you may want to do things a little differently.
Things do indeed change and when they do you should be the first one to acknowledge it. You MUST alert people the instant you become aware of the change. Delaying only casts doubt on your credibility. You need to explain why the change is taking place and how it will affect your people.
If you can’t honor your commitments, you need to apologize. That apology is not a sign of weakness. It is exactly the opposite. It is a sign of strength. It is a sign of your authenticity as a leader. You should also explain why you can’t honor that particular commitment and reaffirm the importance of your overall commitment to the people you lead.
Failure to do any of that will result in a lack of respect and loyalty. It will also destroy your trust producing credibility. It erases your integrity.
Authentic Leaders know that absent credibility, trust, and integrity, there can be no true followership. And without followers you are not a leader, no matter what your position and title says.
On a another note… Everyone can use a “nudge” towards success. I’m trying something new on Twitter. It’s called “Super Followers.” For $5 a month, that’s 17 cents a day, people can follow a part of my Twitter stream that is for subscribers only. It features short videos of me discussing leadership topics, sales tips and ideas for better overall relationships. I’m assuming there will be far fewer Super Followers than the million or so people who regularly follow me on Twitter. That will give me the opportunity to answer questions more throughly than I can on regular Twitter. Most of the answers will come in the evening cause we all have day jobs, right? Think of it as ”mentoring on demand!”
My goal with SuperFollowers is to build a better connection, one where I can help more and have a greater impact. I’m hoping it gives me a chance to mentor to a wider audience. It’s still new, we’ll see how it works. It’s a $5 dollar investment that may be the extra “push” you need to get to where you want to be. I’d be honored to be able to help get you there.
You can find more information by clicking the Super Follow button on my Twitter profile page IN THE TWITTER APP. http://twitter.com/leadtoday Give it a try if you’re so inclined, and if you are, be sure to let me know how I’m doing and how I can be of even more help.