“Where’s the action? Where’s the game?” is a line in the song “Oldest Established” from the immortal Broadway show (and my personal favorite) “Guys and Dolls.”
For the uninformed, the show is about a craps game and a leader named Nathan Detroit. The movie version stars Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando and won all kinds of awards.
The plot is about gambling, winning, attracting, and making it happen no matter what. It’s just a great show and movie with great music and a happy ending.
The theme is one of looking to the leader to make things happen. And it’s the same in your business – just without the craps game and the songs. BUT not without gambling. All business is a gamble and all businesses look to their leaders to “make it happen.”
Here are the actions I have observed about leadership that are mandatory for leadership success. They’re internal actions that build trust, earn respect, and create a team of inspired people – inspired to be productive and do their best.
• Great leaders are value providers, not order givers. At the TOP of every employee’s list of job wants (besides more money) is to be appreciated and valued. When appreciation for a job well done is conveyed, a positive environment thrives.
• Great leaders tell the truth. Truth creates trust and confidence and a reliance on the consistency of message. All other leadership characteristics and outcomes fade if there is a lack of truth. (Same in life.)
• Great leaders are in control and earn respect. Quick to decide and not afraid to make or admit mistakes, great leaders are respected because they take action and respected because they are vulnerable.
• Great leaders focus on OUTCOME to ensure completed tasks. Don’t focus on task or project completion. Rather, think what will happen AFTER the project is completed. Outcome, not task. Outcome, not results.
• Great leaders are responsible by example and expect the same from their people. Everyone “looks” to and at leaders. Watches their every move. If the leader is slack, lacks work ethic, or is slow to decide, they have given tacit permission to their team to be and do the same. The best leaders are first in, last out, and work their ass off in the middle.
• Great leaders value and display tolerance and temperance. First in themselves – then from others. I’m not a fan of leaders who rant. Lots of successful ones do rant, but there are rules to follow if you’re one of them.
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