Terri is a leadership training consultant, coach, and speaker who partners with organizations to create cultures of empowerment and to develop future leadership. She believes that, regardless of position or title, everyone can be a leader. She delivers highly successful leadership workshops and is a speaker and author of articles about leadership and working with different generations in the workplace. Terri has a weekly Blog about leadership, where she shares challenges that leaders face daily. She is also the co-author of the book, “Energize Your Leadership.” Find Terri on Twitter @TerriKlass, on her website at www.terriklassconsulting.com, and on Facebook (TerriKlassConsulting), and LinkedIn (in/TerriKlass). Highlights of our conversation follow below.
QUESTION: What are three traits necessary for a good leader, and why?
TERRI KLASS: Here are my three traits for a good leader.
First: BE TRUSTWORTHY.
Whether we are a leader on a large global team or a leader in a small organization, our ability to be trusted will impact our performance and relationships. There’s no way around it. If we can’t be trusted, we will never be able to reach our potential and become influential. A great place to build trustworthiness is by:
• Following through on what you say you will do.
• Taking interest in each member.
• Being honest in a respectful way.
• Making yourself approachable.
• Owning our missteps and mistakes.
Second: KEEP AN OPEN MIND EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU ARE RIGHT.
As long as leaders are willing to consider new perspectives, they will continue to grow and evolve. Always thinking one is right is a sabotaging mantra. We need to allow our curiosity to drive our conversations. It may be difficult for some of us to include different perspectives or even weigh suggestions that seem far-fetched, but impactful leaders welcome lively discussions and an exchange of divergent opinions.
Third: BUILD A CULTURE OF RELATIONSHIPS.
Leaders recognize that they can’t accomplish great things without the help of others, and that means being appreciative, giving credit to others, and showing kindness. To continue to grow our leadership, we need to continually build vibrant and meaningful relationships. Not only do we need to delve more deeply into our team members’ interests, but we must also help make connections for others. By building networks for the leaders throughout our organizations, we are also cultivating our own leadership.
TWEET THIS: Not only do we need to delve more deeply into our team members’ interests, but we must also help make connections for others. –@TerriKlass #LeadershipTip #EmployeeExperience #EmployerBranding
QUESTION: How do you recommend employees who are forced to work in silos by their leadership teams overcome the silos and work together?
TERRI KLASS: To be a high performing team, it is essential for leaders to not only develop strong bonds within their teams but also cultivate connections with other teams. My philosophy on leadership is that we don’t need a title or a position to lead. We can lead from wherever we are. That means employees who feel they are working in silos have the ability to reach out to other departments and cultivate relationships on other teams. Employees can set up coffees or lunches with members of other teams to learn about one another. They also owe it to their team to stay open and flexible when working with different teams to create the best end product.
QUESTION: What’s your favorite leadership book and why?
TERRI KLASS: I have so many favorite leadership books, but one author that I love is Patrick Lencioni. His brilliant book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” has been a guidebook for a great deal of my training and coaching. I believe in these five critical elements to create high performing teams and leaders.
QUESTION: How can a President/CEO become an organization’s number one brand ambassador?
TERRI KLASS: To be a brand ambassador, CEO’s need to first believe in their organization’s vision and core values. They must be clear on the benefits of their products and services and how they make a difference in their customers’ lives. Then they have to empower their employees to see the bigger picture of their contributions. Employees need to see how their individual jobs contribute to the success of an organization. Employees can also be an organization’s greatest ambassadors so it is critical for a CEO to energize and excite their organization through positive storytelling about customer satisfaction.
TWEET THIS: Employees need to see how their individual jobs contribute to the success of an organization. –@TerriKlass #LeadershipTip #EmployeeExperience #EmployerBranding
QUESTION: Lastly, one of my favorite quotes about leadership is from author and consultant Mark Herbert (@NewParadigmer on Twitter): “Leadership is a gift, not a position. It doesn’t require you to be the smartest person in the room. It requires you to trust and be trusted – and block and tackle for others.” What does this quote mean to you?
TERRI KLASS: As I previously shared, trustworthiness is critical to a leader’s success and influence. In fact, the foundation of any relationship is trust, and without it, leaders cannot lead. Anyone can be a leader who takes action, holds himself or herself accountable, is trustworthy, and puts others first. We are not born leaders. Each of us can lead from wherever we are if that is our mission. To be impactful, we must remember that leadership is about developing trusting relationships and helping others reach their north star.
My gratitude and appreciation to Terri for appearing on my Blog and sharing her leadership insights, and thanks, of course, to Instagram and Twitter for the introductions!
Image Credit: Terri Klass.
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