Six Powerful Leaders – How They Inspire Action And Results

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

It is no secret that an engaged workforce drives results.

Are you struggling to get the most from your employees? Do you often wonder how to fully engage them in their work so that their passion drives top and bottom line growth? If so, you are among many leaders who are trying to figure out the magic equation when it comes to associate engagement.

This is a real struggle for many of today’s top leaders. This is primarily due to the fact that most leaders are so micro-focused on their growth and profit numbers that they lose sight of what it takes to move the numbers and their organization in the right direction. To do this successfully, you must focus on “growing the people” within the organization. Now, this sounds easy and it is a very simple concept; however, it’s a very hard for most leaders to do. Why? Because it requires two skills that don’t come naturally to most people:

  1. The ability to communicate a shared purpose and benefit (let’s face it, we are all more motivated when we understand what’s in it for us).
  2. The ability to empathize while still holding people accountable (we first seek to be understood and then we seek to understand and move forward).

The first skill helps leaders answer the “why” something is important and the second skill helps them understand “the impact” the business or change has on their associates. When a leader gets both correctly, they win the hearts and minds of their associates, and consequently, their teams are able to move mountains.

If you look at some of the most successful businesses from a growth perspective, you can see that the CEO and leaders of these organizations have this figured out. Take Starbucks for example; their CEO, Howard Schultz, has been CEO of the company since 1987. He has led his organization through thirty years of successful transition and the company still shows strong management scores and growth numbers – he has consistently grown both ROE and ROIC over the past ten years and has less than 1.14 years in debt/income! This is an amazing accomplishment for any company and they’ve had this kind of success because Howard not only understands the wants and needs of his customers, he also understands how to relate to and motivate his associates. He clearly defines the “why” and “the benefit” for associates and has learned to empathize with them while still holding them accountable for driving results. This is a utopia for any business, and yet, so many businesses fail because they miss these two critical aspects of leadership.

Here are my top six videos from leaders who have figured out how to grow their business by growing their people:

1) Margaret Heffernan (Entrepreneur and CEO) shares her concept of social capital and why the pecking order must be eliminated to keep companies from cannibalizing their own talent pool.

2) Simon Sinek (Author, Speaker, and Marketing Consultant) shares why people buy “why” you do something before they will buy what and how you do it.

3) Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) shares her ten rules for success and the leadership skills that make the biggest impact in driving a company’s growth.

4) Shawn Achor (Author, Speaker, Researcher of Happiness) shares his research on positive psychology that indicates that happiness leads to success and that leaders will benefit when they focus on bringing the whole average up.

5) Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo) shares her keys to success and why communication is one of the top skills for visionary leaders who want to create a successful company.

6) Mary Barra (CEO of General Motors) explains why leaders must win the hearts and minds of employees if they want to engage and inspire them to drive results.

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