Leadership

My five favorite success strategies

Difficult times call for new approaches to succeed. If you're open to new ideas or trying approaches which you've never used before here are 5 strategies that John M McKee has seen used successfully by many of his clients over the years.

 It's important to look - and act - like a leader. (You know that.) But when faced with new, more difficult challenges, it's often harder to show others that you're up to the task. (You know this too. But you might not want admit it.)

Over the years, I've watched many leaders manage through challenging environments while leading their organizations to new successes. I've also seen that, like all good technology, many of their approaches can be used just as successfully by leaders in other situations.

If you find yourself in a place where your skills are being tested, try adding one - or more - of these time-tested and proven successful strategies to your management style repertoire:

1. Great leaders exhibit great calm - Truly powerful people have an air of calm about them. This helps those around them act more rationally and be more successful pushing the organization through difficult times. Exhibit calmness at all times. It will become your nature. 2. Recognize that there is always more time than it seems - Too many mistakes are made by those bosses who think that decisions need to be made quickly every time. It can be tough for a younger leader to buy, but it's usually true that "this too will pass." Don't get stampeded into a bad decision. 3. Focus on the real world - Although I encourage leaders to use their own intuition or instincts, it's true that many leaders are far too convinced that they know what’s right every time. They ignore reports and analyses, dismissing them as missing the mark in this particular situation. Accept this: nothing offsets the value of solid data and hard research. 4. Highly Charged = Highly Questionable - Bosses who shout, cry, whine, or are too focused on feelings are a turn-off to those above who can help them succeed. And no one below wants to spend time with a supervisor who can’t be level-headed in difficult times.

Show the each of these groups that you can take the bad news as well as the good. Everyone appreciates working with someone who is even-keeled.

5. Even a weak leader can look good with a great team - Surround yourself with people who know more than you. Give them full credit for their ideas, pay them well, and build loyalty. Everyone I've every worked with knows this is true, but for a lot of reasons (pressure from above, misplaced loyalty, their own ego problems) they don't surround themselves with the best available talent. And then they fail.

Using these strategies you will become a better leader. If using them doesn't feel "authentic" don't let that trouble you. That feeling is probably because they're not a natural part of your skills repertoire. This is normal. To deal with it, I recommend that you take a tip from Tiger Woods who uses coaches constantly: Listen to the coach. Test his tips. And practice them. Often and repeatedly.

At some point the new skill or approach will become a natural part of your style, in turn making you a more successful leader.

john

Leadership Coach

About

John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...

8 comments
oldbaritone
oldbaritone

I'm a techie, and "schmoozing" is not my thing. But at the bottom line, once I learned to build my personal network of contacts, and expand my horizons outside of a few other techies, success became a lot easier. Often, techies are not the best team players. Many of us (including myself) did not play team sports in school, nor associate with the "jocks" and "beautiful people." Subject to frequent scorn and taunting, the "weenies" hid in the corner and kept to themselves. At night, hiding in a room with a computer all night with pizza and Coke was the essence of nirvana. Online conversations and anonymous "handles" prevented others from knowing that you had a band-aid on the nose bridge of your black-plastic glasses. News Flash: It takes OTHER PEOPLE to be successful. Even the most recluse, expert programmer cannot succeed until someone else BUYS THEIR WORK. The toughest thing I did in my life was to learn how to come out of the shell. But since I did, success has been MUCH easier. And if you're reading this and it hits home, but you don't know what to do, here's a hint: SMILE! That's only the first step, but it really helps.

jasonwebb
jasonwebb

Thanks for the article. I am a young finance professional myself who recently launched a fund in Utah and I love to read about others who did the same and made it to the top. Hope to be there someday. Thanks and Regards/- Jason Webb

svasani
svasani

Consult your seniors, your peers and anyone worthy of consulting. Don't let your ego hold you back from consulting others older or younger than you.

a.mahdi
a.mahdi

Good points. I totally agree with point 1. But point 4 is related. Emmotional leaders cannot be calm. There is always time? I don't know about that. Something has to give, I guess. Not always easy to have the dream team. And I agree, that hard data is difficult to argue with, unless you have my COO. It's a good set but I would like to know how to get there.

reisen55
reisen55

View through the customer's eyes. I have just restored a customers office computer that literally IS HIS BUSINESS AND HIS LIVELIHOOD. Hard drive crash, catastrophic but got everything back in order (paranoid about backups for clients) within 8 hours of failure. Beautiful. His internet modem crashed earlier this morning, I have a diagnostics call running on it and just checked his email for open book orders, and for about 20 minutes became his business as I worked with him over the phone to transact orders. Ya know, that felt really good. They guy is poor next to broke, but he'll remember this extra service. ***** Give Presents Just provided one of my major accounts with remote access to server for their patient management program as needed on sick days or evening work. I am replicating their office on my server for a testing period, so they can get used to the idea without real damage. They are most happy and will remember this. I love doing a demo of this over the internet, through either a wireless laptop (tapped right into the home server) and in a doctor's office. Jaws hit the ground. Good old dyndns.org is the place to go. Both strategies work for me.

jorgegaona
jorgegaona

These are five excelent ideas to take seriously. Many times when we're in trouble, as young leaders we do not know what to do, or when is the best moment for taking a desicion... At least for me, these points will work in my leadership learning road

CareerCoach
CareerCoach

One's style can change according to their situation, but only if they are ready to challenge their own limiting behaviors.

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