More Effective Leadership Part 2 of 3 (free)

In Part 1 we covered leadership beliefs for more effective daily actions.

We asked the question, “How do we discover what someone else needs, what their dreams are, what their goals might be so we can step in and offer “all about them” assistance?”


#1 Leadership Behavior

Humility... to hear what’s not being said. To listen.

Do you have kids or pets? How frustrating does it feel when they completely ignore a statement, question, or command?

Their listening fumbles slowly lower our patience and politeness. Eventually, because they’re our kids or pets, we elevate our tone, take to threats, and turn into the person we later regret becoming in that instant.We often react vs. respond. 

These tactics are tolerated at home where love rules. But, will they work long term at the office, at the plant, in the field, or at the sales meeting where bottom lines rule? 

Of course not. 

Yet, professional adults at all business levels commit listening fraud almost every day at work and at home. 

The person talking is giving us 100% (they are in love with their story, input, or point). But, because it’s not OUR perspective and OUR time is important, we often only pay back 25%, 50%, or 75%. 

We take notes, nod, and acknowledge their view.

But, these are all head fakes. Aren’t they?

Element: Outcomes

More Effective Leadership Part 2 of 3 (free)

Here’s an example, based from a real-world sales scenario (because we’re all in sales at some level).

A few years ago I was lucky and got to participate in an eight figure asset purchase project. Three product finalists were chosen and each was to present their pitch to our procurement team.

One sales representative, let’s call him G, started his speech with highlights of their flagship product, which we were not remotely interested in. We brought G in to talk about his mid-level product, which fit into our mission specifications (G had these specs. in hand prior to this meeting).

He began bragging about his flagship product, and we tolerated it for a time. Then, after ten minutes, we asked, “G, can you talk to us about your mid-level product?” G replied, “Yes, we’ll get there.” and kept focus on his flagship pitch.

We asked a second and third time. Now twenty minutes into the meeting, everyone, except G, was experiencing total frustration. Finally, someone spoke up. “G, this product isn’t what we want. Please show us statistics on the mid-level product. That is why you’re here.”But, by then, it was too late. 

Although, when asked to focus on what we needed, G took a note, nodded, and acknowledged our request, G didn’t actually hear what we were saying (we don’t care about the flagship product, we need details on the mid-level product). 

He didn’t listen. G lost the eight figure sale, rather easily.

Listening, hearing what’s not being said and seeing what’s not being said matters. It will negatively or positively influence outcomes where the stakes are  low, medium, high, or very high.

G clearly didn’t understand the #1 leadership belief: it’s not about you, it’s about them. So, his lack of listening kept him first, us second, and cost his company eight, easily measurable, figures (lost sale). This simple skill of listening matters the most.

So, how do you naturally leverage listening while laying the value building-blocks for long-term leadership in a career or company?

Get the answer in Part 3 here.

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