Ramsay: There’s no need for a battle. Get of your horse, and kneel. I’m a man of mercy.
Jon: You’re right. There’s no need for a battle. Thousands of men don’t need to die. Only one of us. Let’s end this the old way. You against me.
The famous scene between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton. Every inch the leader, Jon attempts to risk his own life, rather than the lives of his army, something which Ramsay (a less than effective leader), is not prepared to do. Jon’s men want to fight for him, whereas Ramsay builds allegiance through fear.
A strong leader who demonstrates caring for their team is more likely to have employees who care about their own personal goals and successes. A team that care about their leader, can mean the difference between moderate and maximum productivity and performance. Needless to say that Jon wins the battle against all odds.
Not everyone is born with the skillset to lead. However, like many skills, it can be taught. The more you practice a skill, the better at it you become. You need to study it, dedicate time to improve, and hone your craft. The steps below form the building blocks to developing this skillset:
1. Provide protection
A good leader is one that heads first into the storm. They’ll take the brunt of the force in order to alleviate the challenges of the team. They’re always striving to protect their people. Employees want to know that their leader has their back. This will increase their faith in you, and establish a relationship of trust and cooperation.
2. Willing to change course
Many leaders may find it hard to change their direction in light of new information or circumstances, or when plans fail. Perhaps, they’ve had so much time, money, or effort invested, however this can hurt the team and the company. Most people don’t admit when they are wrong, mistakenly assuming that this may highlight weaknesses, when in actual fact it can reveal their strength. Employees trust the judgement of a leader and support their decisions because they appreciate honesty and transparency.
The best leaders make an effort to get to know, and understand their employees on a personal level. Creating and sharing positive social experiences with employees, helps to establish a connection and build a trusting relationship. Spending quality time with your team, rather than hiding away in the office, is known to build trust as it leads to the release of oxytocin, a hormone which helps us empathize and relate to others.
4. Leave no man behind
The Daily Mail reported in 2015 that the higher up in the company you go, the lower your emotional intelligence may become, including the ability to empathise. However, it is important to relate to, and engage with your employees, being able to put yourself in their shoes – the shoes that you may previously have worn. It would well help to see things from their perspective. Ask yourself why they might do something, or how they might be feeling. Imagine the fears, challenges, and problems that they may be experiencing which will allow you to successfully resolve these.
5. Set obstacles
Think about the way a sports coach trains an athlete to perform. The athlete delivers the result and while the coach feels pride and happiness for them, they don’t stop there. They show them what can go wrong or how they can do better. They set their sights on the next goal and strive to achieve more. Employees appreciate leaders who challenge them and push them to reach and exceed their goals. They will be grateful to achieve results that they never knew they could.
6. Do their duty
While it is good to genuinely care, and engage in authentic, trusting relationships with your employees, too much emotion can lead to an unproductive and unsuccessful organisation. Leaders are trusted to do what is right, not what is easy. The right thing to do can cause the most pain. It can be upsetting and tempting to find an easier way out. However, this won’t work in the long-term. Letting employees go, or having tough conversations needs to happen. Without these, the company is not as successful as it could be.
7. Share their strategy
You can probably tell when something is bothering a friend. That same skill set is drawn upon when things aren’t quite right within the organisation. Humans are intuitive and they pick up on the cues around them. We hear that that humans would rather deal with risk, as opposed to ambiguity. So, it is important to clearly communicate and listen as a leader. Provide clarity for your employees and give them as much information as you can. Without this, your employees can lose trust you as their leader, making them feel more anxious, worried, and vulnerable.
8. They honour the brave
Feeling valued is one of the most important emotional, human needs to be met. Failing to provide recognition of employees or to advance their progression is the leading cause of employee dissatisfaction.
When you are at work, you want to know that you’re an integral part of the company. You want to know when you have done a good job. It is the same for the rest of your team. Employees feel happier and are driven to improve in order to receive recognition and incentives. This will also inspire others to follow suit, meaning only good things for the success of the company.
Do you want to lead your company to victory?
If the answer is ‘yes’, then there are some simple easy-to-implement tools for your organisation. Leading isn’t a skill that people are necessarily born with, and even those that are good at, will face difficulties at some point in time. That is why we offer Customized Senior Executive Programmes which cater to your needs and the needs of your team. Our range of programmes will add value to your bottom line, increase personal performance and the productivity of your teams. Be the Jon Snow of the office, rather than the Ramsey Bolton. Lead the right way.