- Catherine Nelson, global Vice President for Leadership and Customer Loyalty from Franklin Covey International, 12 year veteran of leadership and customer loyalty, says leadership is simply influence – the ability to get things done through people.What a relief! I recall my first assignment in the region with a national telecommunications company, where my peers went to great lengths to explain to me that for one to lead successfully you had to “stomp” on people and let them know you are in charge.
But as Catherine Nelson asserts, we can know if we have succeeded as leader, if we have influenced our people to achieve the following:
• Sustained superior performance
• Loyal customers
• Engaged and loyal employees
• Distinctive contribution.
Indeed, letting people know you are in charge has little to do with producing great results. And that is why, Geoff Colvin, observes that the world’s best companies are realizing that no matter what business they’re in, their real business is building leaders.
The business of leadership is to produce more leaders who will drive the business to produce sustainable results. Everyone – from frontline to back office, is a leader who must create a predictable experience for customers.
Leaders desiring to create more leaders must focus on the following:
• Help employees develop new mindsets, or paradigms – how employees see the world will determine the kind of contribution they make
• Provide new skill sets – to drive new behaviors
• Provide tools that help managers to be successful.
When leaders do these repeatedly, they develop a workforce that will produce consistently and make meaningful contributions. Workers make it easy for people to do business with their companies.
Customers in turn respond to this by becoming loyal and tangibly express their loyalty in the following ways:
• They purchase more in each visit.
• They come back and purchase more often.
• They refer their friends.
• They devote time to give their feedback.
Francis Egbuson, Principal, CEMM Group firstname.lastname@example.org
CEMM Group is the sole licensee for FranklinCovey in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.