2015-02-10

10 steps to become a magnetic leader

Dianne Durkin

Magnetic leaders inspire others to be the best they can be and to perform at optimal levels. They are a contagious force that clearly knows how to set the direction for the organization and its people. They create a workplace where everyone is totally engaged and contributing at full capacity; a place where people are happy because they have control over their work, and where everyone is viewed as a leader.


Magnetic leaders realize that leadership is an engine. It is an engine that allows individuals to bring their creative and innovative ideas to work, and allows them to use their ideas to solve major business issues.


Ten Steps to Help Leaders Achieve an Empowered Organization
1. Develop & Communicate the Powerful Trio of Vision, Purpose & Values
Purpose is why the organization was created beyond making a profit. Values are the standards the organization is committed to operate by, and the vision is an expression of what the organization can become.


2. Identify Your Leadership Style
Knowing who you are and what type of leader you are helps you and others identify where, when and how to best act and focus the energies of the group to achieve the goals and objectives. It is the cornerstone of good leadership.

3. Track Your Leadership Progress
Twenty-one consecutive days of doing the same thing changes behaviour. I therefore encourage leaders to keep a leadership log for 21 days responding to the following questions:

  • What leadership traits did I exhibit today?
  • Did I adjust my style to work more effectively with others?
  • How did I build my trust bank with others?
  • Did I stop and listen versus react?

 

4. Recruit and Retain the Right People
Every company culture is different. Identifying what makes individuals successful in your culture is the first step in recruiting the best people for your organization. Recruit for those skills. The culture will keep them loyal and happy, and help them exceed all expectations. Next, refine your listening and questioning strategies. Ask open-ended questions that reveal who the candidate is and what motivates him or her. A good opening question is: Can you tell me what you would hope this resume says about you?


5. Engage, Empower, & Enrich Your Employees
Invite employees to use their brains and to be a face of change and to develop new solutions to business challenges. When faced with a major business situation, ask individuals to think about the following:

  • What is the present situation?
  • What is the ideal situation?
  • How can we get from the present to the ideal?
  • What investments, if any, will we have to make?


This questioning strategy focuses individuals to think outside the box.


6. Create a Work Environment that Fosters Creativity & Innovation
You can detect the vibrancy and energy of an organization when you walk the halls. Magnetic leaders focus on how people feel about working in the organization. Are they happy, intellectually challenged, and appreciated for their efforts? Magnetic leaders model a high degree of energy and passion.

7. Appreciate & Reward Your Employees
The two most underutilized words in the English language are, “Thank you!” Using these words regularly is a simple way to appreciate the value people add. These words, supplemented with small tokens that are sensitive to people’s needs, will go a long way. Money is not the highest motivator. Sometimes a simple candy bar or a five dollar gift certificate to Starbucks is exactly what is needed.

8. Focus on Things that Inspire Your Team
Some people are inspired by learning new things, others by the newest technology, and others by having a balanced life. Learn what it is and focus on those things.

9. Improve the Most Important Things First
Identify your short comings head-on. Admit it and then get help to improve your skills and performance, or hire individuals that can complement your skills. We are not all good at everything and recognizing our shortcomings and utilizing other talents on the team makes for a great combination.

10. Visualize the Future
In as much detail as possible, describe the ideal organization and its people. Get advice on how to build this structure and document it. What is written is achieved!


Practice these steps and energize you and your organization’s inner powers despite the outer pressures!


Reprinted with permission of Dianne Durkin, founder and president of Portsmouth-based Loyalty Factor LLC, a training and consulting company. She is the author of The Loyalty Factor: Building Employee, Customer and Brand Loyalty and The Power of Magnetic Leadership: It’s Time to Get R.E.A.L. Contact her at dmdurkin@loyaltyfactor.com..  

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