Repairing the Leadership Gap Part 1: The Leader’s Role & Vision
"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way."
It sounds so simple: getting from point A to point B as described above by business coach and leadership expert, John. C. Maxwell, but as he (and you) know, the task of being an effective leader is much more complicated. And in spite of the $160 billion U.S. companies spend on employee training each year, 77% of organizations still report a leadership gap, according to a 2016 survey.
It’s easy for busy entrepreneurs to get bogged down by the minute details of running a business: managing jobs, hiring staff, and focusing on profitability—but it’s the culture of a business that keeps the doors open by engaging employees and satisfying customers. BDR’s Lead the Way training aims to empower students with industry experience to help you maximize your leadership efforts. In a 3-part series of blog posts, we’ll look at things you can do to become a better leader.
Understanding Your Role and Vision
Becoming a successful leader begins with understanding the essential parts of your role. According to Jeff Plant, certified trainer and head coach of BDR’s Lead the Way workshop the subtleties can be difficult to grasp at first. “Management is different than leadership,” he says. “This type of training will pull you out of working in your business and help you work on your business.”
Working “in” your business is common, especially if you have years of experience in the field. The Lead the Way course expands your mindset beyond managing the day-to-day to by reframing some role definitions to establish loyal relationships with employees. Plant believes this process begins with one crucial understanding.
Establishing the Right Mindset
“An important mindset transition is becoming a servant to the people—employees and customers,” he says. “It can be difficult to understand, but leadership is servitude. People confuse the leadership role with ‘boss.’ A boss points and tells people to go, and a leader says ‘Follow me.’ A boss says, ‘Do what I say because of my position,’ and a leader does it by example.”
Want to close the leadership gap at your company? Consider attending BDR’s 2-day leadership workshop Lead the Way: Dynamic Leadership Skills.
Watch for our next post in this series: “Re-Learning” to Communicate.