Have you ever wondered what makes a GREAT leader?
I am currently going through a bathroom renovation, which is a continuation of other renovations we have undergone the past year. I have consistently used the same electrician, while the general contractor and other trades I have changed. I’ll tell you why…the electrician is a fantastic leader and business owner and his team is incredible. As a customer, he provides me with high quality service and is very responsive. As a leader to his team, he is inspiring. Where and how did he learn how to be an awesome leader? Not in electrical trade school. He hasn’t taken a bunch of leadership courses or even business ownership courses. In fact, I have figured out that he is just a great human being, who cares about his employees and his customers. (Notice how I specifically put employees first.)
On this most recent project, here is what I saw him do from a leadership perspective:
Trust and Camaraderie - He showed up at the beginning of the project and greeted his on-site team, with handshakes, smiles, a pat on the back and a quick social interaction. This was personal as he knew what each of them had been doing on the weekend. I could see the trust they had with each other.
Clarity on Expectations - He, with his team, together worked with me to gain clarity on the goals and objectives of the project.
Delegation, not Dumping - He clearly delegated the project to his on-site team, one of whom was a newly certified electrician and would be the lead and the other was an apprentice.
Support - He asked them in a very supportive way, what questions they had about the project…which they felt comfortable to ask and he answered clearly. Then followed up with another clarifying question on if he answered their question in a way they felt comfortable and understood.
Validation & Appreciation - He validated with high energy that he was confident in their abilities to manage this project with out him and checked in on their comfort level with doing the project on their own.
More Support and more trust - He still offered support to say he would be at another project only 20 min away, and would be there if needed.
Follow up - He checked in with them at the end of the day and the next day they had to come and finish up the project.
So, what did I observe from this exchange – role and job clarity, camaraderie, trust, inclusivity, delegation, career development, two-way communication, support, follow-up. Pretty damn awesome if you ask me. The only piece I didn’t witness was feedback, which I wouldn’t observe as a customer because he is the type of leader to give praise publicly and feedback privately.
I would also acknowledge his humility. I’m not sure that he even realizes what a great leader he is because my belief is that he is just walking authentically in his own shoes.
In this case, I expect he is a natural born leader. But, it does makes me wonder, how do you become a great leader if it is not natural?
Starting with the behavioiurs outlined above is a great start! What other ideas do you have?