Leadership LIFT: Get Your People On Board
Earlier last week I posted on my Twitter account the following quote:
“He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk” – Proverb
I am not sure who the original writer of that truth was, but I’m positive they were able to lift their leadership influence to great heights. Great leaders can only lead and take flight when people are willing to follow.
We pause today to look at the next step in bringing your influence upwards – getting people on board.
Do you know what you call a pilot who only flies himself anywhere? A tourist. In order for a pilot to not just enjoy the sights, but to lead people to a destination, he or she must be able to get people on board their plane. Whether it’s a crew (which we’ll discuss in the next post) or passengers, you will need to have people who trust in your ability to get them to where they want to go.
For people to board a particular flight, there must be a congruency between both their needs and yours:
There must be a desire to go to the destination you’re taking them to. It would be foolishness to assume that passengers going to a tropical vacation would take Iceland Air. In the same vein, one cannot expect people to be led by someone going in another direction, or going in no direction. Effective leaders are able to promote a vision that people will want to be a part of, saying to themselves “I want to be there too!!”
There must a trust in your ability to lead them. Leadership without vision will perish and evaporate. Leadership without respect will just spin it’s wheels and go nowhere. Passengers must inherently give trust to the pilot in order to have faith to get on the plane. Measure your trust factor among your people. Do they have confidence in your ability to pilot them to your destination? Do they trust your knowledge of how to navigate the skies and land safely?
There needs to be a comfort level with the vehicle and systems that you will use. There always tends to be a downturn in flights when a particular airline or type of plane crashes. It takes time before the general population will fly that line or model comfortably again. Is the vehicle (business model, strategy, core values) you’re driving sound enough to make it through the turbulence? Do your systems check out, are sound, and have been run through? And even if there is a glitch, can you correct it in a timely and proper manner that will not adversely affect everyone? Once on board, your folks want to be assured of smooth sailing ahead.
They need to be willing to have you and your team take the controls. Your people must be willing to allow you to grab the controls and engage the engines. While a great leader will give authority and responsibility away, they also build a large amount of trust that allows other to give some of that back to lead and steer the right course.
Are your people on board, fully engaged? Are your customers or clients on board, loyal to your mission and brand? Build that trust and loyalty through your vehicle, and most importantly, yourself. Your impact is only as good as how well you get folks on board.
(image courtesy of http://www.rantlifestyle.com)