Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.
As Generation X managers and executives are now tasked with running companies, there is a fundamental and critical component of business that they cannot push off or delegate and expect that someone else will have it covered—LEADERSHIP. And at its core, leadership is about one thing and one thing only—connecting with people.
In corporate America, executives often forget that their objective is not only to manage the company processes, or to supervise the production of widgets or services. Equally important (if not more so), they must lead, hire and retain the people all organizations need to become or remain a successful enterprise.
Another challenge for emerging Generation X leaders is to do more with less, which often means developing a more productive workforce. Complicating this is that as leaders they must direct and inspire people that have different generational values. A successful 21st century leader must be able to guide not only their Generation X peers but also the newly emerging Generation Y employees through difficult business challenges. All while mitigating the loss of the technical knowledge and skills of the retiring Baby Boomer workforce. To do this, they must have the leadership ability to align their generational peers, inspire Generation Y and set a clear direction, to maintain productivity, and motivate and influence a workforce that has fewer skills but more expectations.
Years ago, there was a study done in the world of education that looked at teacher perceptions and student performance. At a high level, the report showed a strong correlation between perception and performance. When teachers believed their students would perform and the students themselves believed in that perception—even the lower performing students tended to meet the higher expectations.
So, what does this have to do with leadership?
It’s about perceptions and performance.
Imagine if we believed in our employees to do exceptional work. Imagine if we stopped hearing about the talent shortage and stopped saying how unprepared the next generation is to work in this environment. Imagine if we actually believed that they could live up to the hype. If we tamped down the anxiety about not being prepared for the next phase of business we may actually see a world where people step up and outperform our expectations. That is what good leaders accomplish—they unlock the potential of the people they lead.
This book gives you twenty specific keys to help you become the type of leader that your company or organization needs today and in the future. Keys that will help perception and performance merge for you into the reality of successful leadership.