Quick note: I’ll most likely be away from the computer today dealing with personal issues. In my absense, Dan Black will be responding to comments until I return.
Every interaction a leader has with their followers leaves an impression. This may be good or bad. Great leaders leave more positive impressions than negative impressions.
We should be striving to lead greatly.
So, in what ways can leaders leave an impression on their followers?
There’s many ways great leaders can leave an impression on their followers. Different followers will respond differently and you may not see the results right away, if at all. It’s wise to evaluate your followers and see how they respond to certain stimuli.
As you’re implementing these strategies to impact your followers keep in mind they may not respond how you want them to. That’s okay. Take the feedback given and change the way you’re influencing them.
1. Leave an impression through pain: I’m reminded of the time I got my first tattoo. The tattoo artist had to put me through a painful process. When the tattoo artist touched the tattoo machine to my skin, it hurt. Badly! There were times I wanted the pain to stop. Yet I knew if I had the artist stop, the process would be incomplete and the artwork would not be what I wanted it to be.
Sometimes leaders must use a similar process. We have to cause pain to our followers to encourage them to take action. This may be a reprimand because they failed to complete a task. Use this time of pain to share with them why you’re taking the action and you’ll leave a more positive impression.
2. Spend time with your followers: There’s an old saying that I feel is wrong. It’s “Quality time over quantity of time.” Do you remember when you were a kid and couldn’t wait to see your daddy? It didn’t matter if he was happy or sad, you just wanted to spend time with it. Quality didn’t matter. Quantity did.
This same principle applies in leadership. While we need quantity time with our followers, we also need to make sure there’s plenty of time spent with them. Take them to lunch, offer a webinar, give them access through a private email address.
Give them time and plenty of it.
3. Give the gift of consistency: Along with time, I believe consistency leaves an impression on your followers. When you show up day after day, your followers begin to take notice. They see you’re committed to them and the process of getting the work completed.
Show up and keep your word. This will speak louder than any other action you take.
4. Be honest: People only like liars for a brief period of time. Before long they begin to distrust the liar and their influence begins to fade.
Be a person who tells the truth.
You’ll begin to see followers attracted to you for the fact that they know they can trust you. When you have their trust, you can leave a great impression.
5. Tell great stories: Don’t let this confuse you. I’m not encouraging you to lie. In fact, the previous tip encourages you to tell the truth.
What I am telling you is to use your story to weave and share a great story. Everyone has a creative streak to them. Use it to share the message of your organization and encourage your followers to live a great story.
6. Do the hard work: Great leaders expect their teams to work hard. Great teams expect their leaders to do hard work as well.
Some leaders think once they’ve reached the position of leader the hard work stops. I think this is a great misconception of leadership. When we take on the mantle of leadership, that’s when the true hard work begins.
The steps to create a lasting, positive impressions aren’t always easy. They take dedication. They take sacrifice. They take knowing your team.
But if you’re looking to lead well and leave a great team behind, you must be willing to take the time and effort to leave a positive impression.
Question: What will you do to leave a positive impression on your team?