Practical Advice for Positional Leadership
Lead Change Group has always been about instigating a personal, individual leadership revolution. Anyone can lead and we believe the world is a better place when people lead from who they are rather than from performance or positional authority.
But even more, when you reach a position of authority and responsibility, your actions and behavior have a greater impact on both your success and that of everyone involved. Before you are given the formal authority and responsibility, everything you do is a contribution. You volunteer your leadership. Your success or failure impacts people differently than it does once you cross over, if you will, into positional authority. To lean on an old analogy, you’re no longer the chicken, making a contribution to a bacon-and-eggs breakfast. Now you’re the pig. You are totally committed.
Wally Bock (Twitter, LinkedIn, website) knows this distinction. He has years of real-life experience as a boss, and references to back it up. He's also a writer, coach and consultant on management and leadership. His newest book, Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time is a compilation of 300 of his tips in an easy to read and search ebook.
It’s clear early in the book Wally has lived middle and front-line management. But he’s done more than simply pass through. He studied, influenced, impacted his teams and his organizations. He made a difference by actively being in the arena, to use a term from a famous quote, sometimes coming up short and other times experiencing success.
Make it safe to try things
Ignore all the calls from the pundits for you to "encourage risk-taking" by your team members. Instead, make it safe for them to try things and magic will happen.
His tips are filled with wisdom. There are tips about how to handle your emotions and the impact your energy has on that of your team. There are other tips about relationships and keeping things in perspective. Each page contains an actionable takeaway. There are tips about “doing better” and taking your time. Every tip has the potential to make a difference in the quality of life on your team. Each tip is written from the perspective that the boss has a responsibility to give more than direction and correction.
Pay attention when a team member wants to talk to you. Look at them, not a screen. Shut down any distracting sounds. Then have a conversation. The screens will wait.
Take 5 minutes a day with this book for 30 days and you’ll be a new boss. In 5 minutes you’ll find one or two things you can do every day. Each tip packs wisdom into a few brief sentences making it easy to implement and see the results. The brevity of each tip challenges you to act. You will catch yourself asking how you can implement this tip right now. I connected ideas from the book to real, right-now problems in my job. I’m sure you will too.
I enjoy the book and continue to spend time with it. I can't over-recommend it. So if you’re in a position of authority or long to be, get a copy of this ebook ASAP and spend a few minutes thinking about these tips every morning for a month. Your attitude, performance and results will change for the better.