employee meeting
October 31, 2019

Leadership: More Than A Buzzword

Top Story  |   |  By: Elizabeth Griffith

We constantly hear comments about the importance of being an effective leader; however, have you ever stopped to define one?

Webster defines leader as “The person who leads or commands a group, organization or country.” Pretty vague, eh? Many dairy producers believe being “the boss” and/or owner is all the definition they need to lead. I think we can all agree there is more to your team and business success than just signing the paychecks. You might be the one in charge, but are you the one leading?  A true leader has mastered the art of motivating members of their team to achieve a common goal.  

Let’s look at what successful businesses throughout the world have listed as essential attributes of a good leader.

A good leader:

1. Inspires people; both family and team members.

2. Communicates clearly and often; using positive communication to encourage and empower.

3. Is passionate about their work allowing others to see and emulate.

4. Does not care about being popular; instead they care about doing what is right.

5. Keeps their mind open to ideas from others and listens to partners and employees.

6. Is positive and encouraging; They allow team members to make mistakes, but also provide positive feedback and instruction to foster growth.

7. Respects everyone.

8. Builds relationships with partners, employees and vendors.

9. Possesses solid decision- making capabilities.

10. Gives others responsibility and accountability.

11. Does not micromanage.

12. Has empathy; they listen to understand, show concern and aid in solving problems.

13. Oversees their team; they do not order their team around.

14. Supports their partners and team; a good leader is there to serve.

15. Understands how they are perceived by their partners and employees.

Ninety-nine percent of all leaders will be lacking in one or more areas; but stay positive!  

Great leadership skills can be learned and implemented effectively. Time and determination are your friends when working to improve your leadership skills and techniques.  

Don’t be afraid to ask your employees “What can I do to be a better manager for you and our team?” Listen, ask questions and don’t be afraid to try something new.  

Being a good leader allows for accelerated growth and retention within your teams. As the saying goes, “If you do today what you did yesterday, tomorrow will look the same as it does today.” 

Now is the time to make some positive changes that will achieve positive results.

Elizabeth Griffith has been involved in the Dairy Industry for over 30 years; most of that time has been spent focusing on the
people. Her passion is helping companies develop better teams, improving communication and training leaders. Liz has spent countless hours assisting farmers with employee management, communication and conflict resolution. She is an HR consultant with Encore Consultants. 

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