Top-Shelf Tip No. 123:

"Great leaders genuinely care for and love the people they lead more than they love leading itself."

Rick Warren

Five Powerful Ways To Show Your Team You Care

If you want to make a lasting impact on your employees, you must do your very best for your team. It sounds simple enough, but many leaders don't put their people first. Instead, they get caught up focusing on the business and their own careers, forgetting that tending to their people first will take care of both.

Over a 30-year career of leading others, author and keynote speaker Scott Mautz has learned that a leader's No. 1 job is to care. It's what good leaders and good human beings do. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Mautz's tips on how to put your employees first and show them that you genuinely care.

1. Build a MOAT around them. Mautz explains that MOAT stands for "managing on absolute trust." He pictures building a moat around his people as a key part of his job. Doing so creates an empowered island where employees are free to choose how they rule their kingdom-their projects and clients-without interference. Moats are reserved for protecting and growing important assets. Mautz encourages leaders to envision a moat surrounding their people to remind their employees that they are valued, worthy and worthwhile.

2. Give them better feedback. Any leader can give feedback. To truly make an impact, Mautz says leaders must thoughtfully plan out and deliver insightful, actionable and even brave feedback. It takes time and careful observation to give feedback in a way that employees can hear it. The next time you offer feedback, consider how you can make it more meaningful for the recipient.

3. Care about their careers as much as you care about yours. Mautz says the best bosses have crystallizing career conversations with their team members and help them identify what they want to do in their careers. Get clear with them on what it takes to get where they want to go and discuss options without setting unrealistic expectations. The next step is to advocate fiercely for them. Help them showcase their talents in ways that will give them a career boost.

4. Get the skeletons out of their closets. This means getting employees to share their most closely held performance weaknesses-the things they know they need to work on but are afraid to admit. This puts learning in overdrive but can only happen if you have a foundation of trust in place. Maybe one of your team members doesn't enjoy speaking in groups or doubts their skills at analysis. Agree to not put the opportunity on any formal performance report and just get to work helping the employee develop in that area.

5. Teach them in teachable moments. Mautz says leaders should always be on the lookout for teachable moments when learning is most powerful. Maybe a sales rep doesn't give his best effort during a key presentation or a salesperson on your team only sees things from her point of view during conflicts or tensions. In those moments, take the opportunity to be a coach.

Don't take your position as a leader for granted. Strive to make a difference in the lives of your team members and you'll be remembered as a boss who mattered.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Scott Mautz is the author of Find The Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Again. He's also an award-winning keynote speaker, the CEO of Profound Performance, an online entrepreneur and an adjunct professor at Indiana University.

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