Management Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Published Author Brian Smith is an award-winning entrepreneur and former member of the Faculty and College Professor at Algonquin College’s School of Business having taught skills for success, management, and entrepreneurship. With a strong background in working with and leading others as General Manager of a major retailer, Brian understands the challenges facing organizations today.
Brian has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Leadership Experts to follow on Twitter and has been featured on iHeart Radio, WCKG Radio Chicago, Blog Talk Radio and Rebelpreneur Radio. His Client list includes York University, City of Ottawa, Canadian Tire Corporation, Peel Regional Police, Canada Border Services Agency, PMI Chapters in Edmonton, Ottawa, New York City and New Jersey and the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. Follow on Twitter @briansmithpld, and visit Brian online at https://briansmithpld.com.
Question: Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in early 2020, how has it impacted the role of leadership?
BRIAN SMITH: There has been a significant shift in how leaders communicate and interact with their management teams, employees, suppliers, and clients. There has also been a far greater reliance on technology as they move away from the traditional office environment to a stay-at-home workforce. The old business model no longer applies. Leaders need to re-tool and re-educate to stay in business.
Question: What traits define a good leader?
BRIAN SMITH: I believe there are four. To become a good leader and an even greater leader, leaders need to connect with others to build those all important relationships, communicate in a way that everyone understands, educate their people on what they need to know to move the organization forward, and delegate effectively. My latest book, A 4 Step Guide to Developing 21st Century Leaders, teaches leaders how.
Question: How do you recommend people who aren’t in a leadership position, or don’t have a fancy leadership title, make a difference in the workplace?
BRIAN SMITH: You don’t need a title to lead. You need to set an example for others to follow. You need to demonstrate what a good team player does. You need to show up every day prepared to do whatever you need to accomplish your task. You need to learn how to work with others even if you don’t like them. That’s what leaders do.
TWEET THIS: You don’t need a title to lead. You need to set an example for others to follow. -@briansmithpld #LeadershipTip #EmployeeExperience #DebbieLaskeysBlog
Question: How can a President/CEO become an organization’s number one brand ambassador?
BRIAN SMITH: Perception is reality. It is whatever the other person thinks it is. You need to look like, act like, and talk like a leader. The power of social media cannot be overlooked. You are the brand. Everything you do and say has consequences.
Question: How can a President/CEO create a culture that inspires its employees?
BRIAN SMITH: Most people don’t want to lead, but everyone decides what kind of leader they would follow. Culture is top-down, never bottom-up. Leaders need to be patient, open-minded, flexible, empathetic, and trustworthy. Leaders need to create an environment where it is OK to fail. And when others fail, use that as a teaching opportunity, not an opportunity to lay blame.
TWEET THIS: Leaders need to create an environment where it is OK to fail. -@briansmithpld #LeadershipTip #EmployeeExperience #DebbieLaskeysBlog
Question: One of my favorite leadership quotes is from author and consultant Mark Herbert (@NewParadigmer on Twitter): "Leadership doesn’t require you to be the smartest person in the room. It requires you to block and tackle for others." What does this quote mean to you?
BRIAN SMITH: Your job as a leader is to give others the tools they’ll need to succeed. Your job is to offer support and encouragement. Your job is to be their biggest cheerleader and let them know you have their back.
TWEET THIS: Your job as a leader is to give others the tools they’ll need to succeed. -@briansmithpld #LeadershipTip #EmployeeExperience #DebbieLaskeysBlog
My gratitude to Brian for appearing on my Blog and for sharing his inspiring leadership insights.
Image Credit: Debbie Laskey.