10 Laws for Leaders BY S. ANTHONY IANNARINO

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1. Give your team credit for the victories. Your team did the work. They did the heavy lifting. Take none of the credit, even when it was your idea and even when you worked harder than anyone. The victory belongs to your team.

2. Take the blame for the mistakes, the missteps, and failures. Your team may have had their share of missteps, failures, and setbacks, but the responsibility is yours. Because you are their leader, you own the mistakes and failures. You take responsibility, and then you lead the team to better results.

3. Invest as much time and energy as you possibly can in building relationships. If you want to get things done, invest your time in building relationships up and down your organization. Invest in building relationships with your clients and suppliers. You’ll need these relationships in the future, and you want strong relationships before you need strong relationships.

4. Spend more time in informal meetings than required meetings. You will learn five times as much in informal meetings with the people who work for you than you will in formal meetings with the people for whom you work. If you want to understand where to find the roadblocks, obstacles, and bottlenecks that need your attention, directly meet with the people who don’t report to you directly.

5. Your real shareholders are your employees and your clients. It is critical that you get things in the right order. The only real way to create shareholder value is to first take care of your employees and your customers. Get this right and the shareholders will have their returns. Get this wrong and they won’t.

6. Create and protect a culture worth defending. Your people are going to be who you are. You create a culture worth defending by breathing purpose and values into everything you do and everything you say. You will have succeeded when the culture you create rejects anything and anyone that would destroy the purpose or values (not the people who will challenge how you realize that purpose).

Read the rest here: http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2013/12/29/10-laws-for-leaders/

The High Price Of Aloof Leadership by Jack Zenger

There’s a common belief about leaders’ necessity to maintain a distance between themselves and the rest of the organization. The idea traces back to the military, where an officer might be called upon to send subordinates into grave danger; and the assumption was that being too psychologically close could make that responsibility extremely difficult.

From data we’ve collected from more than 50,000 leaders and roughly a quarter million of their subordinates, we’ve seen a very clear pattern. Leaders with warm, close relationships with their subordinates are consistently seen in a much more positive light by all of their colleagues. Where we’ve been able to match that behavior with business outcomes, they are also the consistent winners. They produce high customer satisfaction, superior employee commitment and engagement, higher sales revenue and ultimately higher profits for their organization.

But even beyond that, a recent experience reminded me of the high price executives pay for creating a chasm between themselves and their people. I was working with a group that was in the process of preparing a presentation they would make to the senior team. As the project unfolded, I was witness to an unfathomable amount of time spent in revision after revision of the presentation. Staff members spent countless hours trying to “psyche out” how the various members of the executive group might receive the message. They conducted multiple dress rehearsals. The ultimate cost of what seemed to some of us to be a fairly routine presentation had spiraled out of control. An interesting data point: the final presentation was numbered “V19.”

Read the rest here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jackzenger/2013/12/27/the-high-price-of-aloof-leadership/

The 7 Characteristics That Set Great Leaders Apart by Michelle M. Smith

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No one is perfect, and that goes for our leaders too — even though we may wish differently for them.

We want them to be near perfect in their ability to inspire us to do great work, accomplish important things for the organization, and lead us with humanity and unquestionable character.

Great leaders spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve their organizations and the people within them. Deb Cheslow, author of Remarkable Courage, has spent a lot of time thinking about what makes a great leader, and the characteristics below are adapted from her writings.

1. Do the right things, even when no one is watching. Have integrity and character to complement your ability to get things done. It’s easy to do the right thing when you have an audience, but it takes courage and strength of character to do the right thing when you’re alone. Stay true to your values even when everyone around you is floundering, or when popular opinion goes against what you know in your heart to be right.

2. Take personal responsibility. Follow rules, report facts accurately, treat people fairly, and don’t lie, cheat, or steal to advance your agenda. Hold yourself accountable for your actions and decisions and for the actions of the people under your authority. Don’t make excuses; take the blame when things go wrong and make sure those who do the work get the credit when things go right. Attack root causes of problems and never blame others.

3. Do whatever it takes, but minimize collateral damage. Achieve outcomes without leaving your followers exhausted, damaged, or demoralized. Achieve your goals within moral and ethical boundaries. Don’t be a leader who falls prey to poor decision making or compromises their character and integrity for what might feel good in the moment.

4. Develop followers. Build the skills and talents of others and make employees partners in the process of accomplishing goals. Empower your staff to continually improve, share your knowledge and experience generously, and press your team to achieve more, realizing that everyone will be better off the more frequently employees do great work and achieve great success.

Read the rest here: http://www.tlnt.com/2013/09/11/the-7-characteristics-that-truly-sets-great-leaders-apart/