Glenn is an author, team building and leadership consultant, father, grandfather, community activist, and volunteer. He is also the author of some 17 books, including several best sellers on team building and leadership as well as the Parker Team Player Survey which has sold more than one million copies. In today’s episode Wade and Glenn discuss the characteristics of a positively influential leader, how to lead your people through a crisis, and ways happy employees lead to organizational success.
Who is Glenn Parker?
Glenn is an author, team building and leadership consultant, father, grandfather, community activist, and volunteer. He is the author of some 17 books, including several best sellers on team building and leadership as well as the Parker Team Player Survey which has sold more than one million copies. Glenn is also the co-author with his son, Michael, of Positive Influence: The Leader Who Helps People Become Their Best Self and the forthcoming Positive Influence II: Leadership in a Time of Crisis.
Who is a Positive Influence Leader?
Everybody needs a positive influence in their lives. We need someone who can affect our character, development, or behavior. This is especially true for leaders. If you think about the various types of leaders you’ve encountered—parents, teachers, coaches, bosses—you can probably pinpoint one or two leaders who provided the support, skills, or inspiration that helped you become your best self. This is the type of leader for whom you’d do anything to support their mission or cause.
According to Glenn, a positive influence leader boasts three main characteristics:
- They have the ability to see something in their people that nobody else can see.
- They must be able to put their people in positions to be successful. A good positive influence leader will teach you all you need to know to succeed.
- A positive influence leader is encouraging and supportive. They believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself.
Leadership In Times of a Crisis
As a leader, you must understand that a time will come when you’ll have to manage your people through a crisis. It may be an internal problem or a global issue like COVID. Whatever the case, a crisis will put you under intense difficulty and stress. Unfortunately, there’s no one perfect way to overcome a crisis. But the good news is that every leader can learn how to maintain an organization’s positive, upbeat culture. Glenn believes the first step to leading through a crisis is taking care of yourself and your people before worrying about the business. Because if your people are not performing as expected, it’s almost impossible to get yourself out of the rut.
Should Employees Always Come First?
Employees should always come first. Some people may disagree, saying that it’s always about the customer. Yes, your customer is important, but research has found that organizations where the employees feel valued, and there’s real concern for their wellbeing are far more successful than those that do not. Your responsibility as a leader does not stop when your people leave the office. You are responsible for the whole person in and out of work. So ask them about their families, hobbies, and what they’re up to outside of work. But know where to draw the line; otherwise, your people will feel like you’re intruding. When you have good employee relations, you’ll get much better customer relations. Because when you treat your employees right, they’ll treat customers even better.
Leaders Hiding Behind the Open Door Policy
One of the things that we heard repeatedly in leadership over the last few decades is the importance of having an open-door policy. According to Glenn, the open-door policy is great. But in many ways, it’s gotten in the way of good leadership. What it did is it gave leaders something to hide behind. You’ll find leaders saying, “well, I have an open door policy. My people can just pop in and come see me.” Yet, it doesn’t work that way. There’s a difference between being available and being accessible. The leaders who get it are accessible. The ones that don’t are available but not accessible – their open door is just meaningless.
Open-door policies can deliver strong results if done right. But it’s more than leaders having a doorless office. Rather, they should start by seeking to understand the human dynamics that constitute the individual needs of their people. And this can only be achieved when leaders create a space where they invite honest feedback and conversation from their employees.
The Positive Influence Leader: Helping People Become Their Best Self by Glennn M Parker and Michael P