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  • Karen Gregory


We all need reminders at times. Make the remainder of this year a time for you to strengthen your leadership skills by challenging yourself to adhere to these Five Reminders for Leadership. 1. Remember Relationships. Leadership is about relationships. Focus on the members of your team. Take time to reacquaint yourself with them individually (not just at performance evaluation time). Take an interest in their goals, in their strengths, in their weaknesses and find ways to support them. It can be so easy to get lost in day to day operations that we lose sight of our most valuable assets. Make your team your priority. 2. Spend Time With Your Stars. We talk about this a lot in our classes. As leaders we tend to spend the most time with the people we feel need our attention – our “troubled child” or our underperforming employees. This could not be more wrong! The majority of your time should be spent with your star performers, those employees who you lean on to make your organization shine. Show your stars they are important to you and to the team. Spend time with them giving them opportunities for growth and opportunities to lead your organization into further success by offering up new ideas or innovative processes. Allow them freedom to work on new and exciting projects, and at the same time keep a good balance of workload so you don’t burn out these exceptional employees of yours! 3. Know How to Motivate Your Employees. Not all employees respond to the same type of motivation. By learning the strengths and weaknesses of your people you are one step closer to understanding what motivates each of your employees. Being a leader that inspires brings you even closer to that goal of motivation. Know your employees well enough to know what works for each one individually. Motivation is not a one size fits all. It’s hard, but it’s worth it! 4. Strive to Lead by Influence, NOT Power. Again, we can’t say this enough in our classes. Your goal is to be a leader by influence. If that is not your goal, then please pick up a book or go to a class. You might find the answer to your employee turnover problems! Power will not get you the results you are looking for. You will get just what you ask for with power. Your employees will not go above and beyond for you when you lead by power, unless they have an ulterior motive. Learn to be a leader that inspires, that is looked up to, and that people get excited to work for. You will then you will see your team, your department, and your organization soar. 5. Don’t Try to Be Everyone’s Friend. Leadership is not about friendship, and many leaders will attest to the fact that it can be a lonely place - especially if you are in the position of being promoted from a group of your colleagues/friends. The sad reality is those relationships will change, and in fact, they must. You are not in leadership to make friends, and sadly relationships change once you are in a leadership position. You should prepare yourself for that if you are aspiring to a leadership position. You have a responsibility to your employees to hold everyone to the same standard, and a responsibility to hold employees who don’t meet those standards accountable.


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