So what does that mean? It means that your employees will have to believe in what you, as a leader, are selling them, and that starts with you having to sell yourself. I am aware that some people do not like when I say, “sell yourself”. I offer then try to think of it as selling your ideas/decisions/etc. I am fully aware that when working in an organisation the appointed leader can TELL the people what to do, however it is much more effective if the people believe in it and want to do it.
Just think of the saying: “you can lead a horse to water, you can’t make it drink”. You need to sell yourself, your ideas and decisions/etc. The way to do this is to do what Hycner and Jacobs, almost poetically described. People want a genuine dialog, they want to be listened to and be accepted for their individual uniqueness, what they stand for, their values. This is what you need to do as a leader, listen to your people and understand them.
You will still need to make decisions and most of the time tough and hard decisions. You will still need to decisively implement these decisions. What I am talking about is how you get to the decision and with it get you people to support it. In order to give the people a genuine dialog and accept each individual you need to be inclusive.
I think Klaus Stahlmann CEO of Sulzer said “everybody who joins us, can always suggest how we can improve”. This is inclusiveness. This is an invitation to everybody that your opinion matters.
The same things go for your customers as we saw it with Amazon, Samsung and Apple. Today’s customers have a plethora of opportunities where they can choose to spend their money. We the consumers/customers have real-time knowledge of everything that happens. We have virtually unlimited possibilities to compare quotes to all sorts of things AND, above all, we would like to be part of something that is meaningful to us.
The inclusive leader understands this and is therefore the partner who listens to employees and customers. The inclusive leader treats them as partners and shares information with them. She / He inspires, encourages and acknowledges that the people are individuals. Through her/his actions she/he shows genuine concern. It is a pleasure to work with them, which is why we choose them to be our leader.
The ones who really succeed are the ones who understand that you get appointed to a certain position, and thereafter you have to earn the right to the job. You need to get elected.