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10 Ways to Lead Your Workforce by Example

  • By Andrea Schlapia
  • |
  • March 17, 2015

10 Ways to Lead Your Workforce by Example

An executive who works alongside team members is rewarded with better performance but chumming up to employees is a fine balancing act. Too much comfort may breed complacency, an unwillingness to take on challenges, suppress independent thought and opposing ideas. You want your team to support and respect your decisions but you don’t want anyone to become the head of your fan club. Here are ten ways to lead your team by example:

1)  Walk alongside your team, not out in front 

We often hear the term “lead from out front.” The most successful leaders walk alongside team members providing encouragement, support, and a good role model to follow.

2)  Motivate your team around a common set of values 

Leaders are human and mess up from time to time. Ensure the team’s goals are value driven so that during any blunder, the group will be propelled forward by shared values.

3)  Sweat it out with the team 

When a big project involves extra hours, work alongside your team and be the first to offer gratitude. Surprise your team by passing out water bottles and healthy snacks.

4)  Be humble

Avoid gloating if you have just closed the sale of the year. Instead, share your process for closing the sale.  Brainstorm with your team on how you could have been more effective at overcoming an obstacle you faced during negotiations.

5)  Do not be afraid to ask for advice or take direction 

The next time you make a presentation at a conference, collaborate with your team to identify “best practices” to share and what they consider the most important talking points. Show them your vulnerability and be the student by valuing their contributions; this builds trust and credibility.

6)  Empathy, empathy, and more empathy

Your top advisor is falling behind for the second month in a row.  Can the motivation speech.  Empathize and engage in a meaningful discussion about how the economy is creating challenges for other advisors and work together to find helpful solutions.

7)  Empower others to be part of the solution

Encourage advisors to develop creative solutions to help other team members who are facing day-to-day challenges.

8)  Make thinking transparent

Post your sales goals mind map in a central location. If everyone understands the thinking behind the process, it is easier to reach goals.

9)  Get your hands dirty

Go out into the community and try a new sales strategy.  Be the first to report failures and ask for suggestions on how to improve the new sales approach.

Taken together, these steps can engender loyalty and respect in a leader. Walking alongside and collaborating with your team members about what is needed provokes a ‘we’ attitude.  Show you trust them, share areas for improvement, applaud successes, and display your confidence in them. These components foster a sense of commitment, making it harder for individuals to abandon their managers and sales goals.

Request more information from the Ironstone team or join the Ironstone – Financial Industry Professionals Practice Management Group on LinkedIn and start a discussion.

The foundation of our Performance Coaching and Consulting Programs are based on Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™, which is essential to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Our ultimate goal is to help you avoid trial and error; shifting your mindset to launch your process of intentional change. [LEARN MORE]

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Author Bio

Andrea Schlapia, RCC™, HCS, sHRBP, is the Founder and CEO of Ironstone, which represents the culmination of her 20+ year career within the financial services industry. Her experience began as a financial advisor evolving into a consultant coach for advisors entering the field. This ignited her passion to support others through learning and development of best practices in order to achieve substantial results. To this end, she followed her desire into positions of senior-level practice management specialists for Dreyfus, Prudential, and DWS Investments prior to the realization of Ironstone.  Andrea’s focus is on practice management strategies to enhance and improve both business and personal life. Andrea identifies 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Through coaching sessions and speaking engagements, she captivates her audience with interactive, high-energy presentations which are built with “how-to” strategies resulting in real-world implementation for significant impact. Andrea has been featured in multiple publications and audio broadcasts as a specialist and distinguished spokeswoman in the financial industry.