“The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might of force and habit. He must be quick to break those habits that can break him – and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that help him achieve the success he desires.”
— J. Paul Getty
For the past couple of weeks we’ve shared thoughts about leadership habits; both those that add value, and those that may not always serve us well. One of our customers provided us with a great article written by Jack Welch with Suzy Welch. You may want to consider making those tips a habit!
Below are Jack Welch’s 8 tips, with excerpts from his verbiage.
#1 LEADERS RELENTLESSLY UPGRADE THEIR TEAM, USING EVERY ENCOUNTER AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO EVALUATE, COACH AND BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE
You need to invest the vast majority of your time and energy as a leader in three activities: You have to evaluate, you have to coach, and you have to build self-confidence.
#2 LEADERS MAKE SURE PEOPLE NOT ONLY SEE THE VISION, THEY LIVE AND BREATHE IT.
Leaders have to set the team’s vision and make it come alive. You have to talk about vision constantly, to everyone.
#3 LEADERS GET INTO EVERYONE’S SKIN, EXUDING POSITIVE ENERGY AND OPTIMISM
An upbeat manager with a positive outlook somehow ends up running a team or organization filled with… well, upbeat people with positive outlooks.
#4 LEADERS ESTABLISH TRUST WITH CANDOR, TRANSPARENCY AND CREDIT
Your people should always know where they stand. They have to know how the business is doing. And sometimes the news is not good–such as imminent layoffs–and any normal person would rather avoid delivering it. But you have to fight the impulse to pad hard messages or you’ll pay with your team’s confidence and energy.
#5 LEADERS HAVE THE COURAGE TO MAKE UNPOPULAR DECISIONS AND GUT CALLS
There are times you have to make hard decisions–let people go, cut funding to a project, or close a plant. Your job is to listen and explain yourself clearly but move forward. You are not a leader to win a popularity contest–you are a leader to lead.
#6 LEADERS PROBE AND PUSH WITH A CURIOSITY THAT BORDERS ON SKEPTICISM, MAKING SURE THEIR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED WITH ACTION
Every conversation you have about a decision, a proposal, or a piece of market information has to be filled with you saying, “What if?” and “Why not?” and “How come?” You have to make sure your questions unleash debate and raise issues that get action.
#7 LEADERS INSPIRE RISK TAKING AND LEARNING BY SETTING THE EXAMPLE
Too many managers urge their people to try new things and then whack them in the head when they fail. If you want your people to experiment, set the example yourself.
#8 LEADERS CELEBRATE
Celebrating creates an atmosphere of recognition and positive energy. Work is too much a part of life not to recognize moments of achievement. Make a big deal out of them.
Ben Franklin sums up habits in the following way:
“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”
What changes would you like to make to increase your net worth?