Leadership sweet spot

The Leadership Sweet Spot

Posted on June 19th, 2012

In this hard to predict economy, two themes are clear – first, competition is strong and getting stronger. Your competition is just a click away. And second, as products and services become more and more alike, the difference is people. The only thing your competitors cannot copy is the relationships you have with your team and your customers. That’s why inspirational leadership training is vital to business success.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of successful online shoe seller Zappos says – ‘You cannot have happy customers unless you have happy employees’.

OK that’s your objective – happy employees and a great work environment, but hang on you also have less resources, less budget and a stretch goal –which means you need to be demanding of your team to achieve it.

That sounds like conflict.

If you have a stretch target you can drive people and apply pressure to achieve targets. And yes, that will work in the short term but then people tend to burn out and attrition rises. It’s not such a great a place to work anymore. It’s not energising for you either.

‘You can have great financial success, but if the people who are working for you are leaving, that’s a desperate failure in our company’ says Shelly Lazarus, CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

On the other hand if you have a terrific culture with happy employees you can run into the trap of creating an environment that avoids conflict and difficult conversations so as not to ‘rock the boat’. Results can suffer and complaints go unresolved.

Push and pull.

The solution is to find the sweet spot between high performance AND a great place to work. Push and pull. That’s the role of inspirational leadership. The litmus test of leadership asks – ‘How do I feel about me when I’m with you?’ When you make people feel more capable, confident and strong you are well on your way to inspiring your team.

People achieve more when they are led in an inspirational way. Leadership training focused on creating synergy between drive for results and a vibrant, great place to work is essential for success in this market.

Learn more about LDL leadership and management training. Open, online and in-house.

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