Home > Management > The Secret Sauce to Leadership is Be Genuine

The Secret Sauce to Leadership is Be Genuine

IMG_1230

One day I was told that the key to leadership is for a leader to be genuine.  I totally agree and thus the reason for this blog post.  A great boss or manager needs to be genuine to be a great leader.  They care about their employees and the organization they work for.  They focus on their employees and listen to them.  People gravitate toward genuine leaders because they can trust them.  Genuine leaders walk their talk every day.

People tend to stay at an organization if they work for a genuine manager. It has been proven that employees don’t leave companies due to money but rather due to people, specifically a bad manager, a bad leader. It is beneficial to the organization that they hire managers who are genuine.  And the organization should focus on educating managers to be genuine and getting rid of bad managers quickly before losing good employees.

So what does genuine mean?  The dictionary definition of genuine is: 1) actual, real, or true :  not false or fake <genuine gold> and 2) sincere and honest <She showed genuine interest.>.

Jack Welch, former General Electric, CEO, stated, “Only two word matters for leaders today; truth and trust.” I agree with this quote but my quote would be “Only words that matters for leaders today are be genuine.”

Some key points about Genuine Leaders (GLs):

  • They are Human.  GLs understand that it is OK to be uncomfortable dealing with tough decisions and people.  They need to show vulnerability to their direct reports.  GLs believe in the golden rule.  Treat others as you want to be treated.  GLs treat others with respect because they believe that they are no better than anyone else.  GLs focus on people and not on themselves. GLs are good at reading people and adjusting to make others feel comfortable.  They know that praise goes a long, long way.
  • They are Communicators.  GLs are good listeners. They focus on what is being said to them instead of preparing their response.  By listening and asking questions shows that they care about the individual and respect them. Employees want to be heard and listened to.  GLs respond back to their employees, quickly and efficiently.   They explain why tasks are necessary and communicate the organization’s priorities.
  • They are Honest. GLs don’t lie to their direct reports.  They might not be able to tell them everything, especially if the organization is a public company but definitely do not lie to them.  Being open with your employees makes them feel valued.  GLs follow thru and live up to their commitments.  GLs keep their promises.  They don’t make excuses.  If in budget for an employee to attend a conference and then the budget is cut where they can’t go, a GL explains the situation and offer alternatives.  They review status reports, expense reports and time off requests quickly and provide concise feedback when necessary.  Employee reviews are important and delivered on time.  GLs share information and knowledge generously.  GLs don’t cover up their mistakes or the mistakes of the organization.  They need to be as transparent as possible.
  • They care about the Development of their direct reports.  GLs are easy to turn to for advice and help.  They create opportunities for their direct reports.  They discuss and make sure that employee growth occurs (personal and professional).  GLs care about training for their direct reports.  They want their direct reports to be successful.  GLs discuss with their direct reports what training is necessary and makes sure it happens.  GLs take the time to instill company values and good work habits in their direct reports.  GLs give feed back in a calm manner, and makes sure that it is actionable.

A few relevant quotes:

“Great leaders know how to work the room and make every single person feel as if he or she is being spoken to directly.” – Travis Bradberry

“Great leaders don’t blame the tools they are given.  They work to sharpen them.” – Simon Sinek

A few other thoughts about GLs:

  1. Are confident in themselves and their ability
  2. Do not covet recognition and often give credit away
  3. Do not brag about their accomplishments
  4. Want what is right and not what is best for them
  5. Support their team by giving them the tools and knowledge they need
  6. Are not corporate yes men and do not copy the latest fads

How do you feel when the following happens:

  • You send a thoughtful email on an important subject to your boss and you get no reply, even though you see emails from your boss to others on less important topics
  • You submit a status report on time and it takes 2 weeks for your boss to review it
  • You submit a vacation request and it takes over 2 weeks for your boss to approve it
  • Your boss runs away from making tough decisions or avoids conflicts with employees
  • A project you are involved in changes and there is no discussion by your boss on why it changed
  • Your boss checks their phone constantly during meetings when they should be focusing on the discussion of those in the meeting
  • You are given a task with an unrealistic deadline, you work long hours to get it done and then the task is never discussed again by your boss
  • Your boss lies to you about the status of a project, an employment hire or a budget item
  • Your boss cancels a 1on1 meeting with you at the last moment due to lesser priorities or their poor planning
  • Your boss takes all the credit for something that was done by someone else or the team
  • Your boss says that training is a top priority but an educational training that you were going to attend is cut from the budget with no discussion
  • Your boss delegates a task to you without asking what else is on your plate
  • Your boss gives a task to you without giving you all the information you need to begin the task
  • Your boss assigns you a task without telling you the reason for the task and its priority

Do any of the above make you feel like a valued employee, that your boss is doing their job or that they are being genuine.  When the above happened to me (which they all did) I knew that my boss was not a genuine leader and it was time for me to leave the organization or move to another department.

I dedicate this post to my friend, Adam Shiell, who told me one day at work, “the secret sauce to leadership is be genuine.”  So true.  If you are a manager, I hope you strive to be a great genuine leader.  I will try to be the best leader I can be by following my words in this post.

I want to learn from you. What do you think is the secret sauce to leadership?  Share your leadership thoughts in the comments section.  Also send me your examples of when your manager has not been genuine with you.

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: