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Ian Ferguson: 'Glass Half Full' Mentality Key For Corporate Leaders

By IAN FERGUSON

TODAY'S article focuses on simple, practical steps leaders can take to have a greater impact in their workplace and effect change in the lives of those they lead.

  1. Demonstrate care each day. Team members need assurance daily that you are genuinely concerned about their well-being. A sincere 'how are you', periodic check-up on their children's welfare, and opening conversations regarding their passions and dreams all send the message that you are a caring leader. Care also involves telling your team members the truth about their behaviour and work performance.

  2. Do not be afraid to be vulnerable. It is fine to not know all the answers. Leaders who are straight and honest with what they do not know are valued and respected more than 'know it all' managers. This means, then, that a culture must be established where the leader can admit to making mistakes and apologise to team members for inappropriate actions and decisions.

  3. Be truly great at something, and use that gift to advance someone else and the organisations you serve. Successful leaders, and those who are respected, stand out because they are technically astute beyond what is 'average' in an area or discipline relating to their jobs. They are sought out as the leader in that specific area, and speak with authority on the matter. This also requires the leader to remain current in their expertise, constantly applying their learning.

  4. Demonstrate humility. Leaders with impact operate with a strong sense of modesty and meekness. They reject arrogance and a high-minded approach to leadership. Instead, they make every effort to blend in with the normal routine and demonstrate to the team each day that they are, like everyone else, part of the collective.

  5. Involve and engage others in your triumphs and major decisions. Democracy works in the workplace when major decisions are being made. People need to feel valued and part of the game. Openness and transparency wins many points for a leader not afraid to share information, ideas and concerns.

  6. Give praise and rewards generously. Small tokens of appreciation, and positive reinforcement in the form of compliments and praise, all go a long way in keeping employees engaged and motivated.

  7. Remain positive and optimistic about everything. No one appreciates complainers, especially when they are in leadership positions. The leader must be able to inspire and encourage others to see beauty and opportunity, even in dark situations. The 'glass half full' mindset is crucial in leaders.

  8. Learn to balance the things that matter most, and say 'no' to those that cannot be accommodated on your top priority list. Do not try to become everyone's hero. There are simply some events, people and projects you cannot make a contribution to. Be fair and honest about those things, and keep it moving.

• NB: Ian R. Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@coralwave.com.

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