leadership and management

Influencer? Leader? Pretender? I bet you think you are …

Influencer? Leader? Pretender? As part of my leadership training I ask, which of these are you? I have found that most people are pretenders yet they consider themselves Leaders.

What’s the difference?

An influencer is someone who has ideas, can move things around on occasion, help leaders lead by becoming part of the leaders’ movement. An influencer follows the lead of the leader and in so doing becomes a noticed part of the leadership team and therefore carries influence in the decision making by the group and considered by the leader to be an important part of the leadership team.

An influence may lead on occasion but is typically valued by the leader for the way they accomplish tasks, how they help the group accomplish tasks and how they are visible and supportive of the leader.

But influencers come and go simply because so many leaders do not understand the dynamics of their own group. Many times the strongest influencers will be the core of a leaders success. If that leader does not recognize the true influencer of a group and selects their own influencer, the leader may find themselves at odds with their team or they may find their team fluctuating in how quickly they accomplish a task because a selected influencer typically does not have the following of the true influencer. In this instance the team will struggle, talk and debate, areas that the leader wants to accomplish simply because the influencer is not a strong enough personality to convey the leaders’ message.

The true influencer foes not have to apply any pressure or convey any power but typically simply leads under the guise of accomplishment. Leading by example.

On the other hand is the pretender. The pretender is that person who wants to be a leader. Probably just wants to be the influencer and takes on the pseudo-guise of the influencer. Thinks that by being on the leader’s elbow or their go-to person for requests that they will be seen as a leader themselves.

The pretender is the one standing and talking with people while the influencer and the team do all of the work around them. The pretender doesn’t even recognize the team or the accomplishment because they value their own input, their own placement in any environment and place themselves to be seen.

The pretender seldom is involved in the actual accomplishment but almost always tries to take credit for the job well done and never notices the snide remarks or rolling eyes as they often get rewarded by poor leaders who only see the pretender as the pretender wants to be seen.

The problem with a leader recognizing the pretender as the influencer of their group or organization is that it undermines both the influencer and the team in a negative way. It creates demotivation within the group and eventually a result is lack of motivation by the team because the influencer will finally step back from their support role of the leader and in doing so, open the pretender to need to take over the role which is completely unsupported by their team.

When the true influencer steps back a leader will notice the change, not only in the group dynamics but also in the accomplishment style, speed or quality of the group work. The pretender does not have the support or vision of the influencer.

It is crucial, as a leader, that you become aware of these differences.

Examples of the influencer versus the pretender are that when a job needs to be done, the influencer leads the team in its accomplishment while the pretender will talk to other weaker and less accomplishing members of the team while the actual work is taking place all around them. Then, in the final stage of the work or development, the pretender will try to take responsibility for the accomplishment by going to the leader to announce how the project is or has been completed before the influencer is even done doing the job.

Here then, is the difference between a leader and a great leader. The great leader recognizes the real accomplishment and who accomplished it, while a weaker leader may not only reward the pretender but accommodate them through some manner of recognition and promoting the wrong members of their team.

Now the problem with this article is that the pretender does not even have enough leadership in them to recognize that this article has been about them, while the leader and the influencer are both nodding and smiling at the thought that the pretender missed it altogether.

I am Steve Sapato, Leadership and self-improvement expert.

Hoping you have an extraordinary day.

 

Advertisements

Why are your people leaving? I quit!

Why are your people leaving? How can I stop attrition now?

So tell me, as the lead of your company, department, organization, team, are you having a problem with high turnover? Do you know why?

If you read the statistics there are dozens of reasons but if you listen to the workers there are usually only a couple and the most predominant one is, bad manager.

Does that mean there are a lot of bad managers out there? Of course! Tell me this, how did you learn to become a manager? Did you take a course that lasted several weeks? Months? Or did you receive any training at all?

Did your manager receive any real training? I am not talking about a three-hour seminar on being a good manager. I have taught those, I know how they work, I have gone into companies and tried to make my sales pitch to make their training months long with weekly feedback, hands-on experience with direct feedback. I have tried to set up reporting where the employees tell me the strengths and weaknesses of their boss. And the companies refuse.

But make that about sales and the companies go wild offering weeks of training teaching their sales staff how to close the sale. But what they miss is that just like reduced sales, turnover is a huge cost to companies. Probably of the greatest expenses a company can endure.

So then why don’t companies do something about their managers, train them, listen to their employees, find out what really is causing turnover.

I worked in a separate training unit in one organization and the employee training manager told me he was losing one-third of the staff every single year for the five years he had been at that organization. That’s crazy. And what was being done about it? Nothing. He knew it was because of poor management. He heard the stories. He went to his bosses and their bosses to ask that management training become mandatory to help reduce this terrible situation but to his chagrin the leadership always left it as voluntary training for their managers. When I left that organization he was still experiencing that same turnover two years later.

So tell me, why are your people leaving? Do you really know? If you are doing exit interviews and it’s their managers conducting it, you will never know the truth. And if it’s your HR staff that has not been properly trained to find answers by asking the right questions, listening and asking some more then you will still not find out the truth.

My course on Questioning and Listening helps everyone who attends, from sales people to management people to front desk people to receptionists and CEO’s to find real answers, keep the people who used to want to leave, and sell more products.

There is no secret to all of this but there is an intuition when you Question and Listen to your people.

I am Steve Sapato and I teach people how to be better so other people can feel and be better too.

steve@mentalprosperityblog.com

Is my manager worth a crap? How can I tell if my manager is any good?

Isn’t it strange that most people don’t know when their manager is a bad manager? When you look at all of the most recent information you have to be appalled that 82% of all managers are no good. That means that most workers, most employees, probably have never worked for a good much less a great manager.

This excerpt from Harvard Business Review shares what makes a great manager. If your manager has these talents then you know they are great managers.

Gallup finds that great managers have the following talents:

  • They motivate every single employee to take action and engage them with a compelling mission and vision.
  • They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.
  • They create a culture of clear accountability.
  • They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency.
  • They make decisions that are based on productivity, not politics.

Gallup’s research reveals that about one in ten people possess all these necessary traits. While many people are endowed with some of them, few have the unique combination of talent needed to help a team achieve excellence in a way that significantly improves a company’s performance. These 10%, when put in manager roles, naturally engage team members and customers, retain top performers, and sustain a culture of high productivity. Combined, they contribute about 48% higher profit to their companies than average managers.

It’s important to note that another two in 10 exhibit some characteristics of basic managerial talent and can function at a high level if their company invests in coaching and developmental plans for them.

What is most interesting in reading and learning what the studies reveal is that there is another 10% of the people who are the right kind of people. These people would make great managers and are already working in these departments. But they are not the managers. They are people who are working hard, struggling within their area and are trying to be recognized and discovered but are passed by.

Now you know that out of every ten people, most likely, one will be the stuff that great managers are made of. And that means you have a one in ten chance that your manager is any good.

And just like the Harvard Business Review found out, another one in ten has many of the basic managerial talents needed to function as a higher level. Is this you? How will you hone your managerial skills? What will make you a good manager if not a great manager? Are you developing your skills by what you are reading or listening to?

When was the last time you read a book on how to be a great manager? Read a blog about being a great manager? A CD? A podcast?

Is your boss doing any of this? Is your boss involved, connected, growing?

Now you know whether you have a good manager or not.

What should you give them for Christmas? How about a book on How to Be A Great Manager!

I am Steve Sapato, management trainer and professional trainer. http://www.mentalprosperityblog.com

Are you happy at your job? 2/3 of your co-workers say no. Maybe here is how you can help.

A new study by ComPsych, a company that provides employee assistance programs, reported that workers are feeling more burned out than ever by their jobs.

The survey asked more than 2,000 employees about the stress levels of their jobs. The findings showed that 2 out of 3 workers report high levels of stress with extreme fatigue and a feeling of being out of control. And more than half of those surveyed said they miss one or two days of work per year because of stress.

I have been at this for many years now. Training and teaching people about happiness, how to rediscover their joy and how to be in control of their lived. Some call this self-empowerment. The question always come back to, what is making you unhappy?

One of my jobs in Great Managers is to teach managers how to move from good to great. Some I teach how to move from just being in a managerial position into how to be a manager and what that really entails. Not just a title but a responsibility.

And that often is what makes people unhappy with their job. Having a poor manager.

The latest information about what makes people HAPPY at their jobs is having a job that is meaningful. And then doing something that makes them feel fulfilled. Notice it is not what we have been teaching for the last several years which was ‘being recognized at their job’. Recognition now is down the list. Being significant and feeling significant is what people really want.

That means, as a great manager, you have to know what your people want and need in order to feel signficant. It means as a person working every day at your job that you have to know what makes you feel meaningful. And that means you also have to realize the importance of your job. Is what I am doing making a significant difference at my company.

If i am working at a fast food place and my job is to clean the restrooms think about how you feel when you walk into a filthy restroom and how it really does impact you. Think about how you can change that by cleaning it so that people might actually say, as many of us have in the past, wow, the bathroom surprised me because it was so clean!

Now think about how your job impacts the rest of the department or the rest of the group or…

You see, many times it is not what we do so much as how we look at what we do that will help us feel significant and meaningful. If you are just getting by with your job think how you might feel if you were your boss and someone who really did the job well was working for you? How would that impact you as your boss?

Can someone working for you put you in a better mood just because they do a great job? Can someone impact your job and cause you to do a better job just because they are doing a great job?

You see, sometimes it’s not what we do for others that makes us feel special. Often times it is what we do for ourselves that makes us proud not matter what anyone else sees or thinks.

I am Steve Sapato from mentalprosperityblog.com and I hope you are in the 1/3 of all workers who like, appreciate and excel at your job just because you want to.

My blog is moving to Greatmanagersaremade.wordpress.com and if you would like to visit there and subscribe I think you will find more frequent original content as I get things into the right place and my new website design happens. Especially for the FREE video training on Professional Networking. Please feel good about passing this blog site on and helping others to learn how to become better at their jobs and happier at them too!