The great statesman Benjamin Franklin once said, “When you are finished changing, you’re finished.” And even though it’s been 200-plus years since he uttered those famous words, they still hold true—especially in today’s business world.
Long-standing ideas about how to lead a team are no longer viable. Nowadays, workers won’t stick around for a bad boss, no matter how much they’re paid. They want to be motivated and inspired. So how can you ensure you’re an awesome leader—one others will follow? Start by avoiding these common, long-held leadership beliefs.
- The Myth: They’re inspired by their paycheck. As the owner of your company, you have the power in your hands to change a life. After all, you’re the person signing the paychecks. So everyone should be happy—no, grateful—to do their job with no questions asked, right?
The Truth: Great leaders know power comes from persuasion, not position. Scaring someone to death about losing their job will not make them more productive or creative. Leaders who take the time to tell their team why they do what they do earn loyalty and team members who want to shine.
- The Myth: No news is good news. Your team doesn’t need to know when something bad happens. If sales are down, they’re going to get all dramatic about it and leave. As a matter of fact, you’re not sure they can be trusted with any sensitive news, good or bad.
The Truth: Winning organizations have a culture of communication. Your team wants to know what’s happening and why. If not, distrust, anger and frustration set in. Sure, there is some information you can’t share. But when you have the right team on board, you can trust them with nearly everything. Make a habit of over-communicating, whether good news or bad. Your team will respect you more for it.
- The Myth: You can’t find good workers anymore. Today’s generation doesn’t listen, show up on time, or have any initiative. They want the world handed to them. Where have all the rock stars gone?
The Truth: You’re probably not good at finding them. Think there are no young people who are willing to do an awesome job? Look at Chick-fil-A. The company has thousands of them. Part of being a good leader is knowing how to hire. You have to be willing to wait for the perfect person—one who shares your values and work ethic. And that can take time. At Dave’s company, team members are interviewed an average of six times before getting the job, and the process usually takes three to four months.
Becoming a great leader is not easy. It’s a skill that needs to be developed. It takes time and patience. But if you are willing to put in the hard work, you’ll find yourself with a team full of passionate people who are wiling to slay dragons right alongside you and do whatever it takes to win. It’s definitely worth the wait.