Most leaders want to be respected and followed by their teams. However, popularity gained through leniency or favoritism undermine discipline and morale. Genuine popularity, on the other hand, is worth the extra effort and is based on a leader’s ability, fairness, justice, and strength of character.
To earn genuine popularity:
- Be fair and candid with all team members and ensure that privileges and hardships are equitably divided.
- Hold everyone to clear performance standards and reward merit while acknowledging deficiency.
- Avoid deceit or duplicity in your conduct.
- Never ignore team members or consider someone “of no consequence” to the group.
- Show sincere personal interest in the welfare of individuals on your team.
- Use planning and forethought to save your team unnecessary work or trouble while increasing efficiency.
Appearance is important in leadership, so setting the right example is crucial. A leader’s appearance carries a certain amount of dignity, which comes naturally from earnestness and sincerity of purpose, not from superficial garments worn for work, haughtiness, or stiffness.
- Be indifferent to the little things that affect your comfort. If your team sees you taking advantage of your position to enjoy amenities denied to them, you’ll destroy any goodwill between you.
- When issues arise, impress upon your team that you know what needs to be done, make quick decisions, and carry through on what you have undertaken without changing your mind.
- Plan ahead and carefully consider all the details of a particular undertaking, so you can carry it through with an apparent readiness for decision and resourcefulness that will establish your reputation as an able leader.
No person can reasonably claim to know everything or be more skillful in every detail than certain specialists, however, effective leaders have a superior knowledge of the work they are leading. You should be able to do each team member’s part as well as the person in the role, recognize excellent performance, and point the way to improvement.
- Lousy leaders fear that they’ll lose face in accepting or even listening to suggestions from team members. You must encourage and give fair consideration to suggestions from the team, and if rejected, tell them why it was not found suitable.
- Make it a rule to ask your team for their opinions whenever they raise an issue to encourage their interest.
- In any undertaking, a group’s immediate manager is the organization’s direct representative. Your team gauges the organization’s justice and fairness from your behavior. Be a jealous guardian of the personal rights of your team. Do not allow an injustice to any of them individually or the group as a whole. You are their champion in every contact with the larger organization; they look up to you for it.
When a group of individuals works together for a common purpose, they inevitably establish a group spirit, which can be powerful in achieving their goals. The collective energy and enthusiasm that develops when working together towards a common objective, the sense of camaraderie, and shared purpose binds a team together.
To foster this spirit:
- Encourage open and honest communication among team members.
- Celebrate big and small wins to create a shared accomplishment with the team.
- Lead by example by being positive, enthusiastic, and supportive and modeling the kind of behavior you want to see from your team members.
- Set clear goals and expectations for your team to create a sense of purpose and direction.
By following these tips, leaders can win genuine popularity and foster group spirit. It is another way busy professionals can manage better and lead well.
Reflections on Leadership
Listen to the companion podcast to this newsletter, “Reflections on Leadership” wherever you find your favorite podcasts. https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/karlbimshas/episodes/367--Leadership-Beyond-Popularity-e245qhs
Welcome to Leadership
“Welcome to Leadership: Practical Elements and Requirements of Leadership,” by Karl Bimshas, offers a concise and helpful guide for new or aspiring leaders and managers. The book draws inspiration from a 1920 publication by Lincoln C. Andrews called “Manpower,” first designed to train inexperienced men for leadership roles after World War I. Bimshas updates and expands on Andrews’ principles and provides practical advice on how to lead well in various situations.
Level Up Your Leadership: DISC Report + Lyderis. Order a DISC Leadership Assessment and Report and get one-month free membership to Lyderis, the leadership portal from Karl Bimshas Consulting.