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Leadership is a delicate balance of many attributes, two of which being the confidence to cast a team vision as well as the humility and compassion to openly covey appreciation.  In Ron Smith’s book, HVAC Spells Wealth, he quotes two questions that a retired U.S. Army Commanding Officer repeatedly asked the leaders in his battalion: “Do your men know your voice in the dark?” and “Do they know that you really need them?” These two thought-provoking questions are inquiries that every leader should regularly ask themselves and other influential co-leaders.  Leading a team is a great responsibility because you’re not only impacting the lives of those that you’re directly leading but also their families as well as the other team members that rely on the guidance from the employee you’re directly supervising.  How are you leading those around you?

Growing and transforming into a mature and solid leader requires continual learning and a dedication to leading by example.  In this post, we will breakdown these two quotes to discover the main attributes inside each message:

– Reassurance: “Do your men know your voice in the dark?”

Strong leaders should strive to ensure that his followers feel confident and secure in his ability to guide and direct them through even the worst of situations.  Leaders have very little, or no control, over the external situations that come and go in life; but they can control their ability to lead, to adjust the course of action, and to encourage those that are following.  This same leadership mentality holds true for leaders and managers inside of independent contracting HVAC, plumbing, and electrical companies.  A team wants to be reassured of the care, time, preparation, and thought that their leaders and managers put into the company’s sales, service, and marketing game-plans.  Allowing employees to express concern or ask questions is beneficial to the reassurance and encouragement process because when a leader helps employees overcome their fears and objections then the team becomes further empowered and confident.  When leaders have confidence in their plan of action and have the ability to portray their inspiring message to their CSRs, dispatchers, and technicians then they aid in growing employee loyalty, confidence, and retention.

– Recognition: “Do they know that you really need them?”

Without followers, a leader ceases to be a leader and he simply becomes an individual with strong convictions.  The same is true in the independent contracting world, without a team– there is no company and no need for leaders or managers.  Employees want to feel that they are an important component to the plan and to their team.  Employees also want to know that their skills and abilities are important assets to the company.  Many times, simply offering a moment of private or public recognition and praise is a wonderful way to let team members know that they are important and valued.  Everyone likes to be recognized in different ways, some like public recognition; others prefer private praise or some type of reward.  So it is important for leaders to know the manner in which each member of their team likes to be recognized and make recognition, acknowledgement, and appreciation a means to successfully build team rapport and cohesion.

Being a great leader is about managing people, team dynamics, plans, and company culture but two of the most important components of leading is having the foresight and ability to reassure your team in order to instill confidence as well as to recognize the assets of each member on the team.  Leadership requires careful observation skills and intuition in order to successfully manage and guide a team of unique individuals.  Thank you for following our weekly posts.  Here at Service Excellence Training, we turn learning into earning!

-Resource curated by Whitney Stewart of Service Excellence Training.