3 Quick Ways To Become A Great Leader

Six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and MVP five times.  If there was ever a person with natural talent, Michael Jordan was it.  From the time he was a young boy, he never stopped pushing himself. His father said, “The person Michael tries to outdo most is himself.”

You may not be slam-dunk material, but as a manager you should never stop developing yourself.  Just like some athletes, many great leaders are born with a certain amount of natural talent.  And just like those athletes, they have to expand on that talent with continuous training and, in the field of management, education.  The responsibility falls on them to move forward with drive and desire.  If you want to become a great leader, be like Mike and take the bull by the horns.  In this game called life, it’s all up to your personal motivation.  Here are three quick ways to become a great leader.

Commitment to Growth

As a manager, set goals for yourself and your company.  Once the goals are set, you can begin establishing a plan to achieve them.  Without a plan, you’re like a player who dribbles and never shoots: up, down, up, down, with no momentum moving down the court.  Your company’s success depends on the growth of you and your team, so set clear and realistic goals and objectives for both.  Set milestones and offer incentives.  The end goal should always be your objective, but the day-to-day goals are what will show your growth and progress.

Stand by Your Word

To be a great leader, you should understand that your word is everything.  The relationship you build with your team is based on trust.  If you want to earn and keep the respect of your team, them not being able to trust you is not an option.  The quickest way to lose that trust is to go back on your word.  If you promise a reward for a project successfully completed, make sure your team gets the reward.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Ask for Feedback

As a leader, your first role is to lead…  However, that does not mean that you should never stop and ask for feedback.  Whether it is guidance from a mentor, or suggestions from your team, you should welcome feedback.  You will never grow yourself without guidance at every level.  The only place for ego in business is at the door, so check it there. You are human, and your team will respect the fact that you are including them in your growth.

As a manager it is easy to be a boss, but it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and drive to be a leader.  A leader needs to set the standards, from the way they dress to the effort they put forth.  Set your goals, keep your word, and ask for feedback.  Let your team know that you are there for them, as well as with them.

What Makes A Good Interview?

The Importance of the Interview

“What makes a good interview?”  We first must know what an interview is.  It is the most critical step in the hiring process and you should take it seriously.  It is your opportunity, as the manager, to not only review a candidate’s qualifications, but it is your chance to see if this person is the right fit for you and your team.  Remember, the ability to do the job is only part of what makes a great employee.  Passion, a willingness to go the extra mile, and dedication to the greater good of the team are qualities you should not overlook.  You can teach many “tasks”, but a great attitude and desire to succeed are naturally found in someone.  A great team member never says, “That’s not my job.”  So, determine if their skills are there then follow-up to see if their attitude matches up.

Scan and Select

Review all resumes beforehand and make sure they meet the qualifications for the position.  Do they have the education, the experience, and the skills this position requires?  If this information is unclear, you may need to conduct a phone interview before bringing them into your office.  If they do not possess the necessary qualifications, do not waste your time or theirs.  Chances are they will submit resumes to multiple companies so if you are not the right fit, let them find who is.  Once you’ve determined who your best candidate is – or maybe there are several – set up a phone interview.

On the Phone

When conducting a phone interview, you should ask basic questions designed to narrow the list of candidates.  Prepare ahead so you do not waste time.  Confirm their background, experience, and any other pertinent information.  Ask at least one question relevant to the position to get a feel for their level of expertise.  See how well they handle the call, from the way they answer the phone to the way they communicate.  Are they professional and do they meet the requirements?  If so, schedule a time for them to come in for a face-to-face meeting.

Face-to-Face

The meeting is your chance to talk to the candidate and gain valuable information.  Ask open-ended questions, the type that require them to think and elaborate, and let them talk freely.  You will learn everything you want to know, and more, just by listening.  As they talk, note their body language and gauge how comfortable they are.  Also, ask yourself the following questions: Did they prepare for the interview?  Did they arrive on time?  Is their attire professional and did they offer a firm handshake?

A hiring manager I know was interviewing candidates for a receptionist position at a medical practice.  She had interviews lined up all morning and had told the current receptionist to turn anyone away who was late.  It turns out she should have told her to refuse anyone who wasn’t dressed professionally.  All candidates were at least ten minutes early, but two of them were in what appeared to be pajama pants.  Their qualifications were excellent, but their lack of professionalism in such an important moment said it all.  What’s the old saying: “You don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression.”  As a manager, a person’s credentials should impress you, but so should the way they present themselves.

Go the Extra Mile

During the interview, take time to tell them about the position and make sure they have a true understanding of what the job entails.  If possible, bring them to the area where they would work and introduce them to the team.  It is important they understand exactly what the position requires so they can decide if this is truly for them.  This will save you valuable time in the future and minimize your attrition rate.

Lastly, be professional at all times and stay on topic.  Be ready to answer any questions they may have, including salary and benefits, especially if this is a position which requires a highly sought-after set of skills.  Understand they will expect some room for negotiation.  Everyone likes to feel valued, so give yourself room to accommodate.  At the same time, if you feel this person may not be the right one, there is no need to discuss compensation details.  Simply thank them for their time and move on.

If you make a connection and wish to move forward, let them know you will put together an offer letter and send it out within one week.  Use discretion when discussing salary and benefits in an interview.  Present these details in writing so there is no misunderstanding of terms.  When negotiating salary, remember to mention any other perks they may find valuable, e.g. a car allowance or a gas card.  You may also present these in the compensation package.

You’ve Got This!

Interviewing can be a tedious task, and it’s the least favorite of many managers.  Your ability to select candidates who will be assets to your team will strengthen your business and elevate its success.  Stay confident, keep a smile on your face, and take the time to pick the right candidate.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

3 Quick Ways To Advance Your Career

Lead, So Others Will Follow

Managers never stop trying to better themselves and advance their careers.  To be an effective leader, you have to give your team a reason to follow you.  People want someone to look up to.  They want someone who leads by example and who cares about their success.  Leaders never stop learning – whether it’s reading books, articles, or blogs – they always look for ways to increase their knowledge and skills.  Leaders know that success is a journey and they constantly pursue it.

Here are 3 quick ways you can advance your career:

Forecast

The past is history, the future is a mystery, and the present is a gift.  History is a moment ago, or a lifetime ago, and can’t be changed.  You can, however, learn from it.  Analyze what happened, find the lesson, and move on. The future is unknown but being prepared is a strength all good leaders possess.  Learn to forecast, to look ahead, and you can prevent issues from ever happening.  You will also be able to make better, more educated decisions.  The moment you are in is indeed a gift. The opportunities you will be given as a manager will range from a small decision with little impact, such as what time to close the office for lunch, to business-altering decisions that will mean success or failure.  Relish in these moments, but remember you are leading a team and they will be watching your every move.

Formulate

Once you have learned to forecast, you will have the information you need to formulate a strong plan of action.  Take an inventory of your assets, your team’s strengths, and delegate accordingly.  It is your responsibility to make sure you communicate your vision to your team.  Don’t leave room for interpretation; everyone should have a clear understanding of what you expect and of what the goals are.

Trust

Once you forecast, create a plan of action and delegate to your team based on their strengths.  Determine the keys for success and assign the right person for each job.  Trust they will successfully complete their assignments.  This is very important, as you will be expected to start planning the next project.  You will still need to manage the completion of the project, but you should be able to rely on your team to do the heavy lifting.

As you start your next project, keep these things in mind:  Look to the future instead of the past, create a plan of action, educate your team, delegate, and trust your team to successfully complete their assignments.  And remember: success is a journey, not a destination.