Like And Respect, The Foundation of LeadershipOct 16, 2014
The leadership landscape has changed from the day when a sales manager had to keep a close eye on image, morale, authority and production.
In an office of 6 or 8 or 10 agents, problem personality types could hurt your image and tarnish a good company’s reputation. Agents who went on appointments dressed inappropriately, said inappropriate things to prospects, and behaved like yahoos in public could ruin it for everyone else.
Not so much today with 10 times as many agents in a single office. It is impossible for one manager to keep track of what they do out there. The best you can do is lead by example. Show up dressed appropriately. Be respectful of others and careful in your speech. Praise good behavior in public. Criticize in private. Behind closed doors.
When you criticize in front of others, they like you a little less and respect you a little less. When they don’t like you and respect you, they start to look around for greener pastures.
Morale used to be something a manager could keep a pulse on at weekly sales meetings, or by simply walking around the office observing the mood, and tuning in to the chatter at the water cooler.
Today. Hardly anybody has sales meetings ever, let alone weekly. Hardly anybody in the office. No water cooler. The best you can do is to be positive on twitter. Praise the positive and enthusiastic in public. Correct the negative privately. By the way, I know you know this, but digital messages last forever and can be copied and shared with everybody in the whole world.
When you criticize, put down or ridicule someone publicly (especially on social media) most of the whole world likes you a little less and respects you a little less.
Authority used to be important for a manager to maintain so they could direct and correct new people, motivate low producers and upgrade (fire) non-producers.
Today the best you can do is not repel new candidates, provide resources that make listing and selling easier for them, and hope that non-producers can pay their dues and monthly fees.
No one can retain everyone forever. The best you can do is delay the process. Retain your good people by not repelling them. Find ways to praise. If you have something good to say about someone, find the largest possible audience.
Conversely, if you have something tough to say to someone, say it in front of the smallest possible audience. It isn’t always easy, but it’s always necessary. They may not like what you have to say, but they will respect you for saying it privately.
Production is really all that matters today. Your authority, public image and company morale are less of a factor. If you have the production.
Get enough of the right people on board and keep them long enough to contribute and production will usually be the result. If your people like you and respect you, they will stay longer, and that will attract enough of the good ones to come on board.
Praise in public and criticize in private. Those are my two golden rules of leadership that create a foundation of like and respect.
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