Monday, October 11, 2021

What Makes Effective Leaders?

Over the last 12 years, thanks to social media, I have had the privilege to meet a variety of amazing marketing, leadership, and customer experience experts. One of these experts is Wally Bock from South Carolina, who I first met via Twitter back in 2010. We recently had a discussion about leadership, and highlights follow below Wally’s bio.

Wally Bock is an award-winning author and blogger. He writes the popular Three Star Leadership Blog, and his Writing Edge Blog has more than 1,000 posts on how to write a book you can be proud of. His eBook, Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time, has 347 tips to help you do a little better every day, and is available on his Three Star Leadership site. Wally’s book Now You're the Boss: Making the Most of the Most Important Transition in Business is available as a paperback and eBook on Amazon. He works with clients as a coach and writing partner to create great business books, and some of the books have won awards and become bestsellers. Follow on Twitter @WallyBock.

QUESTION: Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in early 2020, how has it impacted the role of leadership?
WALLY BOCK: The move to remote working exposed a lot of incompetent managers. There were (and are) too many managers that can only judge by the activity they see. When their team members are out of sight, those managers didn’t know what to do.

Every leader was tested because work still had to be done and team members still had to be supported, even though the pandemic changed a lot about the work environment. The pandemic added other stresses. There was the flu, and the threat of illness. Some people were suddenly working from a home filled with other family members. Others were suddenly cut off from normal contact with others.

QUESTION: What three traits define a good leader?

WALLY BOCK: I think studying traits is a colossal waste of time. A trait is a “distinguishing characteristic” according to Merriam Webster.

I think it makes more sense to look at the behaviors of effective leaders. Effective leaders touch base a lot and communicate their core leadership message constantly. Effective leaders set clear and reasonable expectations and deliver consequences of good and poor performance. Effective leaders protect their team and teammates and help them grow and develop.

TWEET THIS: Effective leaders protect their team and teammates and help them grow and develop. -@WallyBock #Leadership #EmployeeExperience #DebbieLaskeysBlog

QUESTION: How do you recommend people who aren’t in a leadership position, or don’t have a leadership title, make a difference in the workplace?
WALLY BOCK: Do excellent work and help others do excellent work. Have the courage to speak up.

QUESTION: How can a President/CEO become an organization's number one brand ambassador?
WALLY BOCK: If we’re talking about CEOs, the term “brand ambassador” is one of those trendy phrases that obscures reality instead of illuminating it. The CEO represents the company to the outside world, but so do salespeople, customer service reps, repair techs, and a host of others. The CEO’s role is to set the tone, training, supervisors, and rewards, so that all those people and others who never work directly with customers can do good work.

QUESTION: How can a President/CEO create a culture that inspires its employees?
WALLY BOCK: I don’t think you “create” or “build” culture. Culture is an emergent property of millions of actions. The CEO’s challenge is to decide what he or she should do so the people at the company can do good work. That often means: paying ruthless attention to who gets hired, how they are trained, and how they are supervised. It always means setting the example.

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?
WALLY BOCK: The job of any boss from CEO to a first line supervisor is to help the team and team members do good work today and better work tomorrow.

TWEET THIS: The job of any boss from CEO to a first line supervisor is to help the team and team members do good work today and better work tomorrow. -@WallyBock #LeadershipTip #DebbieLaskeysBlog

My thanks to Wally for sharing his inspiring leadership insights and for appearing here on my Blog.

Image Credit: Krakenimages via Unsplash.

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