Being A Leader
There’s a lot of talk and thoughts about being the leader. To be a leader means that you are the top dog and you are leading other people or their businesses, your industry or whatever it is. That’s what a leader is, a top dog. Over the years, I have learned how to be an effective leader while working on my own and also in corporate America. To be an effective leader, you need to make yourself obsolete. This seems counter-intuitive, but a great leader is somebody who helps other people become more successful than them! Today I want to talk about how to be a great leader. To do that, you need to be a follower. What do I mean by that? I mean that you have to learn how to follow certain things in order to be the great leader that you want to be.
Below I will give you 3 tips about following to become a great leader.
Follow The Leader
Let’s start here. The first tip is to follow the leader. There are industry leaders in your business and in your world who are incredibly successful and you want to be that successful. In order to succeed, you need to follow the leaders in your industry. In my industry, there are Seth Gordon, Gary Vaynerchuk and Joel Comm. They are some incredible people who’ve written incredibly successful books and are making gazillions of dollars. I want to be those people, not because I want to be rich, but because I want the influence that they have. I want to be a leader like they are. How do you find those people? The bottom line is just to check out your industry. Who is most successful?
Here’s what you have to do … you have to follow them. How do we follow the leader? There are many different ways. Two of the ways I like to follow the leader are to listen to lots of podcasts and watch a lot of videos. I go to webinars and I read the leader’s books. Basically, what I’m trying to do is hack their system. When I talk about troubleshooting, I come from an electronic engineer background. You start at the end and work back to the beginning. I have asked this before; if you are not getting any audio out of your speaker is the wire working? Is the wire connected to the receiver or the amplifier? Is the amplifier actually powered on? Is there a plug going from the source? Whether it’s a radio, an iPod, or something else plugged into the amplifier is that cable working? Ultimately, is the iPod or the source working? You need to work backwards, because if not you will drive yourself crazy if you try to go the other way.
Go figure out a success from one of those leaders. Then start to work backwards through what they are doing, so you can start to learn the steps that are helping them achieve the success that they are achieving. Follow the leader.
#2 is follow through. Now, what I mean by follow through is when you are selling something, delivering a product, delivering a service or working on anything, make sure that you’re are underpromising and over-delivering. The key component in all of these is communication. Are you communicating at the very beginning, during the process and again at the end? What it is that you are trying to provide? Follow through means that you’re educating clients step by step so that they understand exactly what it is that you’re delivering, but more importantly, you are educating them how to communicate.
Follow through means that when you start a project you are saying, “Okay I’m going to provide A, B, C and D, and this is how I’m going to deliver it. This is when I’m going to deliver it, and this is what you can expect.” Finally, if there are any problems along the way, this is the way that we are going to handle it. In the middle of the process, you are going to say, “Okay, we’ve come this far, these are the next steps that we need to achieve, and this is what’s going to come at the end.” As you go through any process or project, there is going to be something called scope creep. Things change. Make sure that you are an excellent communicator from the beginning, through the middle, to the end. Finally, when you are finished, make sure you educate your client as to exactly what they have and how to use it. More importantly is how to talk about it with other people.
You want to make sure that you are not only creating a happy client, but you are creating an advocate for everything that you’ve done so they can help promote your business to other businesses, or your products to other consumers. Whatever it is, that follow through and that communication through the process is where many of people fall flat.
#3 is follow-up and this is where many businesses are leaving lots of money on the table. Now, when we finish a project we usually say, “Okay, where do I find my next project?” We are so focused on finding new things, that we often forget the old things. Those old things are our past clients. How do we follow up with them? Yeah, we can add them to an email list and hope that they are going to read the emails and then maybe connect up.
A more effective way to connect is to send them an email and say, “Would you be willing to spend 5 minutes on the phone? Can we connect up and find out how you are doing? Did what I deliver match your expectations? Is the product or service working in the way that you expected it to?” Follow-up is incredibly important also happens with leads. Now you are not only following up with people that have already used your service, but there are some people that have said, “Yeah, I’m not ready.” You can add them to an email list and you can add them to social media, but having that one on one conversation is more important. The phone call or email exchange is huge to keep them in the loop. In the case of my classes, if somebody says I’m not ready I make sure I add them to a follow-up list. I constantly communicate with them to say, “Hey, the next one’s coming, do you want to have another conversation? Are you ready to discuss what this can do for you?”
With past clients, I make sure I ask as best as I can, “What is working? What isn’t working? Is there something you might want to add or something you want to change? Follow-up is a way for you to continue that conversation with past, present, or future clients. You have to make sure that you create a plan that communicates with all 3 of those on a regular basis. Have a list of past clients. Make sure that you are communicating with them on a regular basis. Tell them some new things that maybe they didn’t know about or that there is an additional service or product that you have added that will enhance what you’ve done. Make sure current clients are aware of other opportunities to work with you, “Hey, this is great, but I’ve got a class, a webinar, a speech or even a book coming up soon that’s going to enhance everything that you’ve already learned about.”
Future clients, I want to make sure that I’m in a place where they are ready to purchase even if it may not be today. You’ve got to make sure that you are constantly communicating with them and saying, “Hey I just want to follow up with you. Is there anything for us to discuss? Do you have any questions? Is there something I can answer for you? Is there something that you need that maybe I can provide a connection for?”
Those 3 ‘follow’ things are incredibly important: # 1. Follow the leaders and make sure that you are giving yourself the opportunity to learn from others. #2. Follow through and give your clients their due. #3. Follow up with current, past and future clients.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, so comment away!