The participative leader


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A couple weeks ago the Daily Retail Quote was, “True leadership comes not from position but from participation and effectiveness.” Some of the best leaders I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and/or working with go far beyond managing people. They’re active participants in the success of their staff and their business.

These are some of the ways I see strong leaders participate in their team’s success:

1. They start each workday with a Take Five meeting. (Some of you might call it a huddle.) You know I can’t let a month go by without emphasizing the importance of the Take Five. Those few minutes every day are the cornerstone of participative management. A Take Five is a leader’s opportunity to participate in his/her employee’s daily development by sharing key information, inspiration, and focusing each employee on a key area of personal growth for the day.

2. They are actively engaged in each employee’s success. Many managers approach leadership with an attitude of “let me know if you need anything or if I can be of any help.” The participative leader is much more proactive. Throughout the day and week he/she is ensuring that each employee is on-track to be successful.

No, they don’t micromanage. That’s not participative. That’s telling people what to do. Instead, they engage the staff. Asking questions. Challenging them. Jumping in and helping if needed.

3. They seek employee participation on strategic discussion and tactical direction. I’m not a big fan of getting employee “buy in.” I almost cringe when I hear that term. What’s buy in? They agree to go along with it?

Participative leaders get ownership. They engage their team in the key discussions that lead to the store’s success. It doesn’t mean the staff is making the decisions about what to do. That’s still the leader’s role, but the staff has contributed to the discussions and offered ideas to create short and long-term success.

4. They’re always learning from their employees. A lot people think that leaders have to have all the right answers. Not so. Great leaders know they don’t have the answers, but they seek answers from everyone they can ­- especially those closest to the customer. To participate means to share, and it’s vital that sharing happen in both directions.

5. Their actions sets the example while contributing to the store’s success. Leaders can do all the trainings and write all the memos they want, but it’s their actions that teach employees the store/company standards and what’s expected, and how to meet those expectations. They go beyond leading by example; they lead by actions and participation.

So let me ask, how participative are you?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


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