Elevating your leadership | If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

Solutions first, rewards later

Focus on solutions for others, not benefits for yourself. This statement is based on a simple fact that if you provide solutions to others, benefits and rewards will come on their own in due time. Be proactive, step up and fill that void and focus on the opportunity of providing value to your coworkers, clients, partners and your success is sure to come. You work and decisive action will also be notice buy the executive leadership who will provide additional opportunities for growth and advancement.

Be a leader, not a decision maker

Leadership is earned, not given and as such you need to justify your privilege to lead others. Your title alone is not enough to make you a leader. Your position as a CEO, CIO, CFO, CMO, President, Vice President…gives you an opportunity to make decisions, not necessarily lead people forward. To lead others you must win their hearts and minds, you must inspire them to buy into your vision and to contribute selflessly towards that goal.

Be a leader, not a decision maker.

Resources follow vision

Complaining about the lack of resources is utterly useless and here’s why. I am yet to meet an organization that has too many amazing people, too much money or too many great ideas, knowledge, technology…and so on. That doesn’t exist, accept it, internalize it and move forward. Instead of complaining, act on delivering value to the entire organization and making your vision a reality. Don’t complain about lack of resources, but rather invest your time and energy into positive, productive contributions to the lives of others.

With enough time, your contributions will become evident to organizational leadership and resources will slowly begin showing up. You may not get everything you want, but you should do all you can to seize opportunities and build on resources made available to you in order to be valuable to the mission and vision of your organization.

Remember, resources follow vision.

A taste of your own medicine

A taste of your own medicine is just what one may need at times. I say this with respect to the experience your clients go through with your services or products. Use your services, call your IT Service Desk (aka. Help Desk) and use your products in your daily life as that will clearly show you what your customers are experiencing.

Go to the process yourself or get someone else to do it for you and report back, but either way you need to do it to get a better understanding of what is taking place as you can’t only rely on one side of the story or on annual surveys.

Document what you do and communicate often

Documentation is crucial in knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer, management and the operations as a whole. Additionally, any and all procedural or project changes must be documented and shared with everyone who is or may be impacted by this change.

Document, verify and communicate frequently what you do, why you are doing it and how it impacts the mission and vision of the overall business. Do this consistently and one day, you will thank me. 😉

Overwhelmed? Breathe and move one step at a time

24 hours in a day don’t seem like enough for most folks nowadays. We have families, friends, businesses, schools, hobbies, sports…to attend to and they are all competing for our time and attention. At times, this can be stress inducing and result in feeling overwhelmed, feeling like you can’t get anything done.

Well, when you feel this way (ideally BEFORE you begin to feel this way) one should pause, reflect, put things into perspective and focus on making incremental progress. One step at a time, in time, will get you to your ultimate goal. Breather, believe in yourself and your abilities and good luck!

Customer service: How to answer a phone

How should one answer the phone? Besides saying “hello” and being polite, it is essential to embody to quality you want your customers to experience in everything you do, even when answering calls. Once you have answered the phone, focus all of your attention on that client, don’t do other things and don’t put them on hold (unless you really need to do so while you are looking for an answer to their question).

Remember, clients you interact with, in person and over the phone should be treated as the most important people to you at that time. Have them feel the attention, focus and professionalism. Have them experience the quality, standards and values you believe in and stand for.

Leaders protect people and make them feel safe

One of many responsibilities of leaders is to protect their staff and make them feel safe, comfortable and welcome at work. Besides being the right thing to do, you want your employees to be productive and to come back tomorrow and as such it is on you to provide a welcoming and supportive environment.

Build a great team, they are your reflection

The quality of your team, their performance and contributions are directly related to you as a leader. In a sense, they are a reflection of you. You set standards, expectations and instill values across your team and as such you need to use caution in the initial selection process. Furthermore, you need to provide them resources they need to be successful.

Finally, you need to take the brunt of any attack coming their way as that is what leaders do. Your team gets the credit and you take on the blame when necessary.

Push your employees over the edge then be there to catch them

Push your employees “off the edge” and be there to help them land safely. Get them out of their comfort zone and enable their growth, advancement and provide them with opportunities. At times, you will come across folks who lack confidence and belief in their abilities and it is on you as a leader to find a way to reinvigorate their determination, focus and provide motivation to take on new opportunities and succeed. Given them a nudge and watch them soar.