Whether you’re in an official leadership role or just someone people look up to at work, what you say is important and so is what you do.
Douglas Conant, founder of Conantand chairman of Avon Products, knows how many people are watching and being influenced by his behavior, and he calls on others to “[b]e the exception. Honor others with your attention and they will honor you with their commitment, hard work and trust.”
Conant also offers four tips for being a conscientious leader and inspiring the people who work with you to become better versions of themselves.
- Make time to give people choices. Keep your eyes focused on the solutions and your ears focused on opinions that differ from your own.
- Do what you say you’ll do. Empty promises won’t earn you anyone’s respect. People respond to leaders with integrity who don’t deviate from what they say they’re going to do. When you fail to do that, you lose your standing in the eyes of others.
- Take responsibility for your place on the grapevine. Speak carefully and precisely without assuming someone understands exactly what you mean. People who aren’t physically present for the conversation will still be hearing about it.
- Own your mistakes. People want to work for and with people who are “transparent, trustworthy, and highly competent,” Conant writes. Recognize your mistakes, own up to them and move on.
— Adapted from “How to Influence People Like a CEO,” Douglas Conant, LinkedIn.