Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

Two Words to Better Leadership

Two Words2Consider this post a gentle reminder of some very simple things you might start doing, or do more often, to strengthen your impact as a leader. I’m willing to bet that something on this list will resonate with you as something you could enhance. See if you agree.

“Good morning.”

When you come to work, do you take a few minutes to check-in with your team? If not then, do you do it later? Do you show a bit of interest in their personal life? Would they describe you as someone who cared about them?

“I’m listening.”

Surveys I’ve seen indicate that what is most important on lists of the qualities and descriptions of great leaders is they convey a feeling of “being heard.” Do you take the time to really connect with and hear what your employees are saying?

“Your thoughts?”

Are you including your staff as much as possible in key decisions – or reserving them for yourself? We know that people are more likely to resist decisions they feel are imposed on them. Do you get the input of key stakeholders?

“Let’s go!”

Do you have a bias for action? Are you encouraging others to take risks rather than holding them back, waiting for one more piece of information (and one more, and one more)?

“Good work!”

Research suggests that the average person is given 16 pieces of negative feedback (“That was an hour late,” “You had three typos,” “You could have been more patient with that customer,” etc.) for every positive. Sixteen to one. Imagine what could happen if you improved that ratio! As Ken Blanchard is famous for saying, make a habit of “catching ‘em doing something right.”

“I’m sorry.”

Takes a big person to admit they made a mistake. Leaders often hide their mistakes or refuse to admit them, thinking it will cause others to think they’re weak. Actually, the reverse is true. Leaders who can admit when they’ve screwed up are FAR more likely to be held in high esteem by the people around them.

“It happens.”

Just as important as it is to admit your own mistakes, it’s critical to forgive the mistakes of others. Good leaders have developed a tolerance for error and see those errors as teachable moments.

“I’m here.”

Here’s a great rule of thumb: The ideal leader is hands-on as much as needed, and hands-off as much as possible. Too much of the former, and you’re a micro-manager. Too much of the latter, and you’re aloof. Are you in the sweet spot?

“You’re right.”

The best leaders take the blame easily when things go wrong, and they also give away the credit as often as possible.

“All together!”

The best leaders are those who can pull together disparate people into a team, all rowing in the same direction.  This requires the ability to create a compelling vision, clarify roles and goals, and create good conditions for teamwork.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.