Leadership Secret Sauce

Do you have the “leadership secret sauce” that it takes to become a great leader?

Not sure? Endless resources and people will provide you with their version of THE Secret Sauce.

Don’t get wrapped up in the hype. All of this noise can boil down to one common denominator. You must build trust with the people you lead and manage by demonstrating that you care about them.

That’s it, your magic bullet. Easy for me to say, right? But how do you do it? I believe that each quarter you can do three things to show your team you really care about them.

1. Share the Company Vision Quarterly

You must share the company vision with the people you lead and manage quarterly. But don’t phone it in by just reading the same words from a page every quarter. Instead, make it a contact sport!

Bring the company vision to life by citing examples of how your employees contribute to that vision. Cite specific examples where people on your team lived out your core values. Share how someone’s role supports the company’s purpose, cause, or passion, and how they contribute to the company’s competitive differentiators.

2. Have Quarterly Conversations™ With the People You Lead

As a leader, you should provide specific and timely feedback regularly (for a job well done as well as course correction steps). Open and honest feedback offers a critical foundation for a caring relationship.

Once a quarter you take time out of working in the business to work on the business. Give your people the same courtesy by having intentional Quarterly Conversations with them.

The conversation should include how well the employee aligns with company core values and how well they perform their job.

  1. From there, ask them two critical questions:
    What’s not working in the organization?
  2. How can I help you be more successful?

These two questions ensure that you understand their expectations of you. Creating clear expectations for your employees and clearly understanding theirs builds trust.

3. Conduct Weekly Meetings Each Quarter

These weekly meetings should take place on the same day and at the same time each week. You must ensure they start and end on time each week, follow the same agenda, and happen no matter what.

Why is this so critical?

This meeting brings you and your team together, to work on the business, and to get connected as a team. When you lead the meeting, be careful not to talk “at” your team; instead, ensure that everyone participates.

Download the Level 10 Meeting Agenda

Pro tip: Get team members to participate in discussions by asking them specific questions. Then wait for the answer. Many times employees know that if they wait long enough, the leaders will answer for them. Wait them out.

Not so bad, right? Hold a weekly meeting where everyone on the team has a voice. Conduct Quarterly Conversations to give and receive feedback from each of your direct reports. And share the company vision with the team quarterly to clarify where you’re going and how you’re getting there. These activities demonstrate you care about the people you lead and manage, and they will build team trust in no time.

download the how to be a great boss toolkit

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