Leadership is a Two-Way Street! I’m a firm believer that those in leadership positions must lead down; being of impact, influence, expectation, and protection. However, it works a lot better and more smoothly when employees are also leading up; being positive, passionate, and productive regarding their work. One way leaders and employees can do this is A Leader’s Speed; getting work, requests, and favors done fast… and right! Think about it, have you ever asked an employee, Direct Report, coworker, or boss for something and they got back to you quickly with an answer, email, and the job done better than you could have expected? If the answer is yes, how did it make you feel? Impressed and grateful are two words that immediately come to my mind!
I’ve been honored to have two people in my life I’ve learned this lesson from and now get to hopefully impact your Leadership & Work/Life Harmony with. I outsource my website operations to a wonderful company… and I am beyond impressed and grateful that my Contact Person, Annie, is an absolute Rockstar! Her speed at not only responding to my emails, but also her quick implementation of my request and brainstorming ways to fine-tune my ideas has been second to none. I’d follow Annie anywhere she decided to go! Quick Tip: Be so great at your job that your customers/clients marry you not the company you work for… making your name synonymous with what you do!
The second person was years ago when I was promoted to my first leadership position. I was leading a team and the truth is… the employee I’m sharing about didn’t like me very much and I can’t say I felt much different. Sometimes, that’s how it is and that has to be OK! You’re not going to be best friends with everyone you lead and everyone you lead will not always want to be best friends with you… but is their respect for the Superpower each of you brings to the table, are you both in the right seat professionally, and willing to be the 3P’s: Positive, Passionate about the work, and Productive in getting the job done?
Every time I had a question or asked a favor… she either had an answer, went to find the answer and got back to me within minutes, or completed the favor immediately… leaving me stunned with professional respect! My respect for her speed made me question my own; why didn’t I have those answers? How is she doing this and how can I add this to my Leader’s Toolbox? So, how can you increase your professional speed; positively impacting your team, employees, boss, organization… and your personal life as well?
Hearing is a sense; listening is a choice! One of the best ways to complete work and favors fast and right is to listen effectively. Your speed will be worthless when it’s not done correctly. We listen more effectively when we:
- Eye-Contact – Make and maintain eye contact. Not the creepy serial murderer type of eye-contact, but firm eye-contact; letting the other person know you’re present, invested, and respectful (this may differ due to cultural differences… so be aware).
- Nod your head – This is short and simple… Nodding your head provides a simple affirmation you hear them and are remaining engaged!
- Write it Down – If you were sharing information or requesting a favor from someone and they were making eye contact, nodding their head, and writing down what you were saying… how would you feel? EXACTLY! Give that gift to others!
- Ask Questions – Asking questions is an act that promotes your interest and can also help them to brainstorm and fine-tune on the fly.
Quick Response Time!
I know, I know… You’re BUSY with your own stuff to do, your own job, and time is already limited and scarce. This fact is why your SPEED is so attractive and impactful! In the examples I shared, this fact is why I was so impressed. This fact is also why so many leaders worldwide thank me for my quick email responses. They’re aware I’m “busy”… just like people assume you’re busy; so when you complete a task or favor and get back to them quickly, you’re building stock in your professional brand… Be Mindful!
If you’re reading this and you’re a Type A person, this concept will be easier for you to do. If not… put a timeframe on your response time and honor it! The timeframe you allot allows you to get your “busy” done and address the needs of others in a more realistic span of time. For example, when I speak at conferences, I share my email address and request attendees email me if they’d like a copy of my Leader’s 7 Blueprint. I share I will respond to their emails within 48 hours. This allows me to travel, fly, return home, and enjoy my family before going into my office and responding to hundreds of emails. It also makes me look great when I respond in 24 hours rather than 48! At the end of the day, Quick Response Time, is a choice. A choice that will either set you apart or lump you in… Be Mindful!
After you’ve effectively listened and completed the task or favor… Follow-Up! This is a perfect opportunity to email, stop by their office or desk, or however your team communicates ask if what you provided was ok, useful, and how the experience of using what you provided went for them! This does two crucial things… it enhances your leadership, and it keeps those you helped aware of you. Yes, the last statement, “keeps others aware of you” may sound self-serving… I’d rather say “self-protecting”… and protection is a key work and a huge piece of leadership. It’s an unfortunate truth that your bosses, coworkers, etc. are busy and moving at mock speed. Therefore, it’s easy for them to move on to the next task or project and either forget who helped them or take advantage of who helped them! Following up, especially in email, keeps those you’re helping thankful and protects you as you have your “Speed”, your assistance, and your dedication to the team and company in Black & White… if ever needed… Be Mindful!
Yes, it’s great to be cheered and appreciated for your speed; however if you’re helping others and YOUR work isn’t great and complete, then there’s an issue! You can’t say your job isn’t done because you were helping Dan from down the hall… although true, it will sound like an excuse, a rationalization, and justification… and that’s not leadership! Be sure your work is done and dependable. However, in my book The Leader’s Toolbox and in my trainings, I share the value of A Leader’s 1-on-1 Meetings and a Leader’s List to best address “The List” of your people to impact, protect, and prioritize duties and favors. When you’re curious about the list of your people you may find out just how many favors they’re doing in day, who for, and to what degree… but that’s for another day and concept. A Leader’s Speed can be simple, it can be a tightrope, no matter which… it’s a choice and you now know how to lead with speed; getting things done fast and right! Enjoy your evolution… professionally and personally!
“One of the best ways to complete work and favors fast and right is to listen effectively. Your speed will be worthless when it’s not done correctly… Be Mindful!” – Andre Young
Written by: Andre Young
As a Leader, how would like to enjoy your work more and worry less about your people and professional issues? For more confident & competent Leaders, improved connection with employees, and an enhanced work-culture click https://youevolvingnow.com/contact-us/ to officially connect, chat, and customize with Andre Young to enhance Leadership & Work/Life Harmony for your leaders, employees, teams, your organization… and YOU with onsite, virtual, and online Leadership Trainings & Speaking Engagements!