Business and Marketing--How to do it... Improve leadership

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The most effective way to develop your staff is by nurturing the leaders from within, as well as by seeking some from external sources. Having good leadership skills and recognizing the leaders in your community is critical to the success of your operation. Keep in mind that having leadership skills is not the same as being a good supervisor or manager. Also realize that leaders are everywhere — in your housekeeping department, on your resident council, etc. It is important that you know who the other leaders are — all of them. So how can you be a good leader? Try these "7 C's of Leadership":

Charisma – is the ability of one person to make another feel that he or she is important to the organization and important to them. Everyone works harder when they feel that they are important, respected and contributing. A good leader must remember that you cannot be a leader without followers. Charisma is a very important characteristic of good leadership. This mutual respect and appreciation is critical if you expect anyone to follow your lead.

Clarity of Communication – is the ability to distill rules, regulations, missions and policies to an appropriate level of understanding for each member of your staff. Getting a clear, consistent message or direction out to the staff helps them avoid confusion and builds a cohesive team with a sense of purpose. If every staff member at every level knows the goal or mission of your team, then everyone can move in the same direction effectively.

Challenging – A leader challenges everyone to do their best and to strive to reach further than they ever have before. A good leader must have passion for the job at hand. Give your followers a message that compels them to adopt your passion for a project. If it is understood that your expectation levels are well above the minimum, your team will want to strive to achieve your standards. This will increase their confidence and they will soon internalize a real sense of quality service.

Courage – is the willingness to take a chance, to ask the tough questions, and to give the needed criticisms. It also means taking an unpopular position on occasion. A leader learns that all compromises are not good.  When others might be shaken in their faith, your courage and confidence (whoops, confidence is another "C" word) will reassure them to continue to focus on the finish line and not the hurdles. Your courage is contagious; it helps your staff face their fears.

Consistency – is how you react to different situations. Your team is looking to you to be the rock that they can count on no matter what else is happening. And we all know that in the senior services business each day has new surprises. Your staff wants to know that you will not be shaken in your efforts to get the job done. Consistency is not rigid and unchanging. But, it means you won't go completely out of character and cause real confusion at a stressful time. Your consistency allows the team to focus on solving problems, not just "what went wrong."

Character – says if you are going to do it, it gets done. Character is a political hot button of a word, but in the leadership world, it is the ultimate promise. Your integrity is your character. If you don't follow through, eventually people will lose faith in you. That faith can be difficult or impossible to regain. If you make a mistake you admit it and work to correct it.

Cultivating – means you will keep your staff's strengths, weaknesses and their best interest in mind as you direct their efforts. To be accepted as a cultivator your staff must trust you to encourage their best work, creativity or leadership abilities. They want to know you will help them to reach their greatest potential. This trust in you will help them feel confidence in your directions.

There are other attributes of leadership but these seven C's will give you the basic guidelines and point you in the right direction.
A good leader is someone you can depend on. They are a stabilizing force and at the same time a motivating force. They are honest, confident, giving, demanding, and a good judge of people. They always seem to know how to say the right thing at the right time.
The definition of a leader is: someone with the ability to guide, direct and influence people toward a common goal. Max de Pree, a business executive and author, says: "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say Thank You."
Remember that the only way to measure a leader's skill is by the results of the team's efforts. Explain the goal, motivate the team, acknowledge their efforts and quant