Good leaders lead the team and generate outstanding outcomes for their team and the organiSation, while great leaders leave a legacy and operate in ways that build trust among their colleagues and transform lives. The latter group is more inclined to be concerned with the greater good.
One of the primary reasons leaders leave legacies is because they understand the impact on everyone around them. Their primary aim is to establish relationships and achieve something memorable that will help the organization move forward long after they have moved on.
Additionally, only great leaders are the ones who set examples for others, especially their subordinates, and motivate them to perform better. The absence of motivation at the workplace results in declining performance and employee retention.
Gallup survey recently stated that 80 per cent of the global workforce is disengaged, every day, 2.8 billion individuals go to their workplace without passion and excitement about their day ahead, a shocking statistic that shows how people truly feel today at work.
A recently published book, Leadership with Soul by Andre Lacroix, CEO of Intertek talks about various leadership principles at different stages of a leader. The book reveals a success model for business, built over three decades with world-leading organisations such as Ernst & Young, PepsiCo, Burger King, Euro Disney, Inchcape, Reckitt Benckiser, and Intertek.
To maintain a strong relationship with your employees, there are a few lessons that leaders can adopt in order to capitalize on a more employee-centric approach and get maximum output.
Shape a high-performance culture that embraces values
It is generally believed that a company’s culture & values – Respect, Courage, Passion, Integrity, and Responsibility – is its DNA or the glue that binds the entire organisation together. We believe that it is more than that. It is the people and their energy that you as a leader can draw on to fuel sustainable growth. The absence of any of the values can affect the overall performance.
For instance, the book talks about “having respect is about being open about your limitations and recognising the scale of the challenges you face. It means you should always be looking for the help of others. Don’t try to go it alone”.
A humanist outlook – Create a connection with people
Work is important but the people you work with are more important. That is why it is essential to reserve space for connecting with your team on a human level. Discussing their issues, aspirations, and plans for the future can help improve your connection with them.
As a leader, you should be comfortable in demonstrating this approach, but try not to make it awkward or forced. Hold space for open conversation. You may like to begin with a personal experience or a story of something that happened recently. Pitch the floor to other employees and watch them participate actively in the conversation. The act of sharing not only loses tension but also boosts creativity.
Acknowledgments and thanks
Gratitude is an attitude that is exercised and managed by humble reflection. How many of you who lead others are reflecting regularly and perhaps on a regular basis on what others have done for the company? If you do this exercise often, you might feel that with a simple ‘Thank you’, you have succeeded in building a stronger and more motivated team.
The book “Leadership with Soul” is an invitation to leaders to reinvent and strengthen their leadership skills based on a cutting-edge and systemic leadership approach that has created a lot of sustainable value for all stakeholders across multiple industries.
During his recent visit to India, Andre met with CEOs and senior business leaders from global brands, along with chief human resources officers and HR opinion leaders as part of roundtable events where he discussed how leaders can make a big difference by delivering sustainable performance for all. Additionally, he also met hundreds of students and aspiring leaders at two prestigious business schools.