Hire10 is growing rapidly. What an exciting time in our company's history. I'm writing this article today as a guidepost for my team. I want them to very clearly understand what they can expect from me as a leader and hopefully, over time, what I can expect for them as they grow into leadership roles. As we know all too well a good leader can make a company and a bad one can break it. Problems are solved by leadership. Stormy seas are navigated by leaders. We depend on leadership in every critical situation. Many business leaders believe they are just there to check numbers on reports and manage the comings and goings of their team. Nothing could be further from the truth! Again, I’m writing this blog post with the sincere hopes that as we develop leadership skills across Hire10, that my team, manager or not, embodies the principles set forth in this article.
DISCLAIMER: Please don't think I'm some arrogant 'know-it-all' business person, I am simply someone who has been doing this for about 20 years and learned most of this through hard work and quite honestly, failure. Only when I failed (and I often failed hard) did I really learn a valuable lesson.
I like lists, so here it is...Ken Brown’s 20 Laws of Leadership. I hope you enjoy and pick up something that helps you in your day to day!
(1) Leaders create an environment where what is valued and expected is clearly known. I had a very early mentor that used to simply say "expect and inspect". Another good saying is "trust but verify".
(2) Leaders are consistent in what they expect from their team and how they manage results. Don't be all over the place. People need consistency from their leaders. Consistency in mood, behaviors, attitudes, language, and expectations matter. If you are a wildly inconsistent person maybe you should focus on developing yourself first prior to taking responsibility for the well being of others.
(3) Leaders show up and they give 100% effort on a consistent basis. Do not confuse this with zealous overwork. Good leaders also “sharpen the saw” time to time. A good leader will make sure that if they cross that threshold to the office that they perform. Again, an early mentor taught me an important lesson on compartmentalizing. He said when I walked into work I was on "on stage" and I should act as such. He said it did not matter if something was going wrong personally. While I was at work I was to be 100% focused, to the point where I would not let anything happening outside of work affect me. This rule has really served me well over the years.
(4) Leaders set the pace. Leaders lead from the front. They do not hesitate to lend a hand for any role in their company at any time. Nothing is “beneath them”. If you want to be a leader get ready to work hard. As a leader you do a lot more than your "job". You are often doing work well outside of your job description for the betterment of your team. Approach these tasks with joy and try to view them as an honor. It truly is an honor to get to lead a great team.
(5) Leaders listen. Leaders let their actions speak. Leaders have two ears and one mouth. Put the cellphone down, pick your head up and listen to others. Don't craft a response while they are speaking. Focus on what they are saying and really listen. This will non-verbally communicate how much you care for and respect your team.
(6) Leaders have a clear vision and their team does not hesitate to respond when they are asked why they do what they do and where they are going as a team. Without a vision you can't lead. You must have a vision, it must be big and bold, and if people don't occasionally laugh, snicker, or roll their eyes when you verbalize your vision it most likely is not big enough. Bold visions give people bold purpose.
(7) Leaders do not make ‘knee jerk’ reactions. They are careful when charting the course. At the same time be decisive whenever possible. Regarding large matters, or matters that affect people's lives, or on matters that affect large dollar amounts, seek counsel. Once you have a plan - prepare how and when you will roll out the solution. Being a solid decision maker will make your people trust you.
(8) Leaders seek mentorship as they know they do not know everything. Be humble. Always be learning.
(9) Leaders maintain a strong group of peer advisors. Again, be humble enough to know you don't know everything.
(10) Leaders focus on strengthening their weaknesses. Be self aware and intentional about self improvement.
(11) Leaders admit when they are wrong. Just do it.
(12) Leaders are decisive and confident. Always.
(13) Leaders have uncompromising integrity. Do the right thing even when no one is watching. Your integrity is directly tied to your legacy.
(14) Leaders know they have a position of power and thus they maintain a sense of humility.
(15) Leaders take responsibility when their team fails and gives their team credit when they win.
(16) Leaders do not seek personal accolades aside from those that may advance their businesses (team’s) interests as a whole.
(17) Leaders make it happen, no matter what.
(18) Leaders trust their team. Great teams trust their leader!
(19) Leaders are present. Both physically and mentally. (Put down the phone!)
(20) Leaders are there to SERVE their team, not the other way around! Last but certainly not least. A great leader exists to ensure that everyone on their team is a success. Great leaders work feverishously to help their people. They are not above them. They are out front. The tip of the spear. Paving the way, charting the course, and delivering large quantities of confidence to their team.
Located in Altamonte Springs, FL, we have plans to hire 40 people over the next 18 months. If you would be interested in joining our team, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org