Leaders can be memorable in more ways than one and they get to decide what that looks like. So much of leadership is about how he or she influences others. Early in my career, I was fortunate to have a great manager. I didn’t know it at the time because I was just starting my professional career in healthcare. I hadn’t had much experience at that point and was unaware of the importance of good leadership on individuals and organizations.
It was my first medical sales position and I was living in the Midwest. Somehow, I was included in the Western Region and didn’t mind at all having to go to Northern California for regional meetings. Greg was our Regional Manager and he did a great job leading our team. He also had a knack for picking great restaurants for our regional dinners. We had such a compatible team that I decided to move myself to Northern California from the Midwest to take on an expansion territory. I was encouraged and welcomed by those who had lost accounts as a result, behavior almost unheard of with salespeople. That was part of Greg’s memorable influence.
Early on Greg told us something that always stuck with me. He said, “I have your back, just don’t leave my backside flapping in the wind.” OK, he might have used a more colorful word than “backside” but we all got the point. Greg was for us, and with us, and wanted us to succeed, not in spite of him but with his help. He committed to run interference as needed with the organization so we could stay focused on our performance. That was the beginning of Greg becoming one of the best and more memorable leaders I had in my career.
Becoming a memorable leader
What else did Greg do that made him such a memorable leader?
He was consistent in his approach and he did what he said he was going to do. None of us had to wonder if he was going to follow through or if he was just giving us lip service. Greg built trust.
He was solution-focused, not problem oriented. When one of us had a challenge with a client or a challenging opportunity, he didn’t take over for us. Greg either empowered us or rolled his sleeves up and worked alongside us to create a good solution. He was a good coach.
Greg fostered a great team. We knew that while our individual performances were important, our results as a team helped the organization be more successful. Success was celebrated and failures were learning opportunities. He also helped us balance our hard work with fun as a team.
He maintained an appropriate professional distance as the leader. Greg didn’t bog us down with negative news about the organization and he kept us focused on the things we could control, namely, our performance. His focus was on creating rapport with each of us and he didn’t confuse that by trying to be our peer. We knew he was the leader because he owned his leadership role.
These were just a few of the things Greg did that made him a memorable leader that got results. As he promised, Greg truly did have our backs and none of us were willing to put him in a vulnerable position with the organization or our clients. His leadership created one of the most collaborative and cohesive teams I experienced in my career. Despite all the years that have passed since then, he remains a memorable leader in my book.
What can you do to become a memorable leader who gets results?
Try adopting some of Greg’s approach. These are simple things that make a huge difference. It must be authentic for it to work so be genuine in your approach. Contact us if you would like our help. It is an honor to work with leaders and organizations who want to create cohesive and collaborative teams. I can attest to how much difference it makes for individual and organizational success.
Sue Kenfield specializes in transforming complex human dynamics while helping leaders excel within organizations, teams, and individuals. We empower people and organizations to maximize their success by improving leadership, communication, and emotional/behavioral intelligence skills. We elevate performance, minimize turnover and improve the bottom line through our behavioral intelligence consulting, leadership and team development, conflict management, and executive coaching programs. Sue Kenfield is also available as a speaker on the topics listed above. Contact us to learn more.