These leadership tips can create impact and profit

When talking about leadership, there are an assortment of tips that, when set in motion, create impact and profitability.

It’s not all about the money, although that’s what the corporation is designed for. The road to profitability is full of potholes if you don’t have happy and productive employees. This is where good leaders earn their pay.

Fundamentally, there are differences between leaders and bosses. They aren’t necessarily the same persons.

A boss enforces the rules. A leader guides and inspires the group. Motivating a team begins with communication — explaining mission and goals, showing how everyone is a vital cog in the group and getting buy-in from the start.

Experience counts

Effective communication skills are the result of training and experience — emphasis on experience.

Most people are not born silver-tongued orators who can lead people into the fire. In fact, experience will put the brakes on impulsive decisions, particularly in times of uncertainly.

Leaders unsure of their next move know enough to pause and assess if they are ready to move forward. Haste can ruin good work.

On the more mundane side, leaders need to keep their eyes on the budget, which includes making deadlines without wasting resources. They also need to keep their team apprised of those factors.

Leadership also requires sacrifice, but not the kind you might expect. Great leaders trust in their people, which means those in charge sacrifice white-knuckle grip on power. They master delegating and willingly give up the notion to be all things to all people.

Family factor

Those people include their families. At work, most leaders aren’t thought of as Mommy or Daddy, but that’s the role they assume on the home front.

“For me, leadership at work and home is pretty similar, because I’m a pretty consistent person,” said financial advisor Winnie Sun. “At home, some of my team members — my kids — take more recess.”

Versatility is also a leadership trademark. Everyone should be able to lead and follow. You can lead from behind as well as follow your particular leader because everyone has one. Heads of large corporations have to answer to stockholders and stakeholders.

Avoid headaches

One drawback can be those who choose to lead with one style for older workers and another for millennials in the same workplace. You’ll hurt your head — and cause dissension — trying to lead based on generational differences.

Better to lead via good communication, trust and integrity — qualities that bridge all generations.

One of the best examples of leaders who spanned boundaries was Robert Kennedy who appealed to young and old, black and white. He summed up his leadership and vision this way: “There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

At the start of a new year, leaders also should ask, “Why not now?”

About The Author

Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.