Shawn Abrams (@abrams360media) works with low income individuals to overcome poverty and secure self-sufficiency.
He has coached and supervised dozens of Workforce Development professionals to lead themselves and others. He understands that metrics, regardless of the industry, is powered and led by people.
Shawn Abrams is an #EverydayLeader.
What are you passionate about? And what are you doing to deliver on this passion?
I am passionate about teaching people leadership. I am of the belief that people should lead thier lives not just live thier lives. My 7 year old son expects to have a good day every day. If you ask him why he will tell you because he wants to have a good day. If you get up in the morning hoping to have a good day — you’re following your day! Now, this is concerning if you are a leader. Start your day with a plan and work your day like you have a purpose.
How do you go about leading? And how do you use your passion to align people to your vision?
I am a servant leader. I want to create and support leaders. I try to train my staff to replace me. Whatever I learn I freely give away — even if what I learn is derived from my mistakes. I engage my staff in ways that a manager may avoid.
Is there anything in your background not directly related to being a leader that has had an outsized impact on the way you lead?
Yes, my failures and shortcomings. I’m the guy that didn’t get accepted into the Shaolin school, but learned from watching students from the rooftops. It’s an analogy I borrow from pop culture
What’s your philosophy on building a team? What do you search for? How do you go about selection? And how to do you approach managing performance?
I look for people that are trainable. I like them if they had technical jobs and they go on and on about how they had to learn all about it — that’s trainable. Managing performance is not that easy as you only have direct control over internal variables. I teach my staff how to affect variables that are not assigned to them. Ex. new clients must be influenced to ‘act now.’ Leadership by definition is influence. This is an added benefit of learning leadership
What data do you use to ensure you are leading effectively?
Leading effectively will be seen in my metrics, customer satisfaction and the morale of my team. I outline what the continuity of leadership looks like to my staff.
This means: I set the tone and they maintain it.
We all believe the same thing — that we can do this! I don’t like to call customers “customers” I prefer to call them relationships.
What are some of the biggest mistakes today’s leaders are making? And how would you go about fixing it?
They lead like managers.
Leaders see vision and influence their staffs to see that vision while managers see work, and make their staff work.
Work will make you run from it.
But vision will make you run towards it!
What do you see as the 2 or 3 greatest opportunities for leaders over the next several years?
There is more public interest in mentoring, self-help and professional development.
Do you have any final words of wisdom for Everyday Leaders?
- Lead yourself first!
- Don’t expect your team to rally around a goal or a number.
- They need to rally around **You**.
- Be available, be engaging, be dynamic, share mistakes that you’ve made
- And, acknowledge them when they hit the mark.