by Terry Starbucker
“Wow, they would walk through a brick wall for that guy!”
I’ve heard this sentence a few times in my career, spoken about great leaders I have known and respected. I’ve even uttered it myself on a couple of occasions. It’s one of the highest complements a leader can get, because of its underlying connotation – that person is an uppercase LEADER. There’s no question of the cohesiveness and esprit de corps of the team. Their loyalty is on their sleeves.
They trust that their leader will do right by them, always – that translates to results, and ultimately, greatness. And perhaps even some gaping holes in a few brick walls.
How can you get to that place with YOUR team?
I’ve observed 5 critical roles that a leader must play to get their teams “walking through brick walls” for them.
The Counselor – Not every day is going to be a good one, and not everything is going to go the right way. The team needs a way to relieve the pressure brought on by these ups and downs – but it can’t happen in public. That’s where the leader comes in behind the scenes, making themselves available to their team when the chips are down, letting the steam come off honestly through active listening, and then offering quiet and steady encouragement.
The Defender – When the leader is in public, and the arrows fly about the team’s performance, the leader takes the hit – or, if the critique is unjustified, the leader passionately defends the team’s honor. The blame is never on the team – it’s on the leader. Conversely, when things go well, the praise is always on them (Think Jim Collins and his concept of the Level 5 leader in his book “Good to Great”).
Read about the other 3 roles here: http://www.terrystarbucker.com/2012/11/25/5-leadership-roles-to-get-your-team-walking-through-brick-walls/