Hello! It’s Ronda Conger. You have to know that I am so glad you're here. Grab a pen and paper. I'm here to fill your tank!
The topic today is excellent leadership. We’re gonna talk about leadership but I want excellent leadership. Do you understand that I'm on the hunt for it? I've been doing it for a long time and I still need help. I still need all the lessons. Whenever I come across something or someone whether it’s a leader or a teammate or other, you know out in the world, I'm like oh gosh. I need to be better. I can do this, I can work with this. We all need reminders to be excellent leaders.
Recently, I attended a leadership conference hosted by Dave Ramsey. There’s one thing Dave said that stuck with me. He said that "you as leader are a chief reminding officer." So today, I am going to be your chief reminding officer. Your reminder is this, be an excellent leader. Be an excellent leader. It's a craft, it needs honing and adjusting and changing and moving and learning. It’s not just that you get this title and boom, you’re amazing, you figured it all out. Congratulations, you're done. Oh hell no. Heck no, hell no whatever you want to insert in there, but no. We are far from done. True leaders understand that they are far from done. They understand there is still a lot of work to do, and they need to keep growing. They need to keep changing and adjusting and learning because that’s what this life is about. Especially when you’re a leader. Since you are all leaders I thought this would be an excellent topic for today.
So let’s go. Excellent leaders, what does it mean? Before I jump in and I know you’re like lady, get to the point. But before I do, this is a friendly reminder, share this. Share these things with your team, family, friends, spouse, husband, partner, or whoever. I’m sharing with you because, in my hope and prayer, you will share with others as well. That way we can all be excellent leaders together.
Five themes, here we go.
1. When people show you who they are, believe them.
When people show you who they are, believe them. As a leader, it’s our job to make sure that we have the right people on the right bus. At the same time, our job is to make sure that we just have the right people. Their attitude, their actions, their mindset, how they hold themselves, that they’re the right type of human that should be around you and your team. That’s probably one of the most important jobs as a leader. You have all these people in your charge and you’re leading them and you’re hiring them, and you’re growing them, but what you want to make sure of is that when people show you who they are, believe them.
So if they’re negative over and over again, believe them. If you want to try to change them, good luck. I hope it works but if it doesn’t, believe them. Believe that they’re negative. Then you have to decide. Is that the kind of energy that you want around you? Is that the kind of energy you want around your team? When people show you who they are, believe them. If they’re not truthful, if they’re not doing what you asked them to do. You could go through a laundry list of items but you know right? You know, because they’re showing it to you every single day. Maybe you’re just choosing to look the other way because you think, oh they’re so good at their job or they make my life easier on this one part but yet they’re horrible in every other realm. They’re negative, they're mean. They’re not being honest, they're hurting other people. So, I want you to keep this in mind, when people show you who they are, believe them. Be careful that you don’t try to excuse away bad behavior or bad attitudes. That’s lesson number one in leadership.
2. Actions speak louder than words.
Actions speak louder than words. You can yes me to death all day long. I’m telling you as a leader I’ve had that. I’ve had people come to my office and yeah yeah oh sure yeah would love to do that, yeah I’m on that. Then you follow up because leadership is also about accountability and following through. Your job as a leader is to guarantee your organization's success and results. Which means that you need to check people's actions. You need to watch the score, you need to watch activities and things being done, all that good stuff right? Because people, I will tell you this, as a leader people want to please you even if it’s true or not. Sometimes they don’t want to please you and they still say yes! So they’re like yeah yeah sure yeah I did it, yeah I’ll do that. Then they don’t do any of it.
So, here’s a friendly reminder: actions speak louder than words. If someone is yessing you, God bless them but I want you to verify it. I want you to guarantee it. I want you to check it. Or maybe they like to say yes in your office and then go out into the wild and tell everyone no shot I’m doing that, that’s dumb. That’s stupid, that Ronda gosh dang her. Think about that. If you’re in leadership, you know these types of things happen. So, the only way to protect yourself, your team and your company is to check the actions because actions speak louder than words.
3. Are you ready? Listen to your gut.
To your gut and your team. Do you realize that we all have this intuition? We all know, right? Like we truly do know when something is off. When things don’t make sense, when things aren’t what they appear to be. So, you have your gut feeling, you kind of already know what’s going on. I always say listen and watch for those warning signs. I listen to everyone. I watch everyone. I’m always on the hunt for signs. Does everything add up? Does everything make sense? Because if there’s something off in your gut, you should trust it.
Then someone will say something to you that kind of backs up your gut. Or how about your team? You go to the team and you’re like what do you guys think? Do you agree with me? Are you seeing this? Maybe you go to other leaders to see how they’re feeling. I want you to understand that your gut and your team usually are not wrong. So, I want you to listen to it, I want you to honor it. That is extremely important when you think about leadership. It’s your job to have your antennas out and be watching. To ensure that you’re on this onward, ho mission. That you have the right people on the bus with you and you’re all going in the same direction.
I’ll tell you, years ago I had all these team members quitting and I couldn’t figure out why. Turns out it was because of one human. I had a gut feeling. I had it but I was like no way that can be right. I turned to my team and they were like no they were horrible, absolutely horrible. I wish you’d understand. I wish you’d see what they do behind everyone’s back and how they treat us. You don’t see any of that because they make it seem like they’re wonderful and they’re great when you’re around. So, are you listening to your team? Are you watching the signs? It took me too long to realize that people were leaving because of that one human. At the end of the day, I should’ve caught that sooner. I’m telling you as a leader, now I listen to my gut and listen to my team as much as humanly possible.
4. Your job is to make things as easy as possible.
Then how about the fourth one and I love this one. So, I was asking someone recently how it feels to work with another individual and they said it feels like you’re going through a tough mudder. And I’m like what? What do you mean tough mudder? You know what a tough mudder is right? A tough mudder is when they throw you in the mud and make you crawl up a 10 foot ladder, do a rope swing, then go under barb wire, then make you go through mud again and it’s just the most, I’m assuming, miserable thing on the planet. Some people do love that race though. I’m not one of them but that’s what a tough mudder is. Everything is incredibly hard.
Remember when you are a leader and you have a team around you, your job is to make things as easy as possible in order for everyone to be successful. That’s the look that we’re going for. We don’t need someone who is making everything incredibly hard. Throwing up roadblocks, throwing you in the mud, making it incredibly hard to do your job. You have to eliminate the tough mudders. Because you already have so much work to do. You’re already working so hard to be successful. Then to have someone who keeps throwing you in the mud or throwing up roadblocks makes no sense. Those humans need to exit the building and find somewhere else.
5. Excellent leaders, the best ones do this: they give, they share, they teach, they train.
On to the last theme I’ll leave you with on leadership. Excellent leaders, the best ones do this: they give, they share, they teach, they train. Do you know what the opposite looks like? They hold everything, they just breadcrumb out instructions, breadcrumb out training, only let you help a little bit. Don’t tell you the whole story, don't train you on everything that you need, don’t give you access to software that you need because they want to be the shining light, the shining hero that says everything must go through me. I'm the only thing that matters and I will control your success, and I will control how much you have. No, excellent leaders are givers. They want to give you as many tools as possible. They want to share as much knowledge as humanly possible. They want to sit side-by-side with you and teach you how to do it. They wanna give you all the best training, they want to give you access to all the best software. That’s what excellent leadership looks like.
Five things; when people show you who they are, believe them, actions speak louder than words, listen to your gut and to your team, no tough mudders, give, share, teach, train. That’s what excellent leadership looks and feels like. Thanks for leading the way. We need you! Do you understand that? Leadership is one of the most important things you’ll do day in and day out. Remember, lead yourself first. Then lead your family, lead your friends, lead your team, lead your company, lead your clients, but remember you are a leader and we need you. I love you! Be great, be great, be great!