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For many of your customers and employees, that’s exactly how things feel. As a leader, it’s your job to listen to them—and to communicate how you will help make the world right again

In his monthly column for BCBusiness, Richmond-based employee engagement and internal brand communications expert Ben Baker shares his insights into how to communicate value effectively, so people want to listen and engage. In the end, it’s about creating influence through trust.

Leadership is a MINDSET and not a job title!™

Titles won’t get us through this crisis; however, people with insight, creativity, the ability to develop trust and the courage to move forward will.

People around us right now are starving for leadership. They’re unsure of where they are, let alone what the future holds. They need reassurance and guidance to help them stop grabbing their knees and rocking back and forth, so they can get up and walk toward the unknown with confidence.

Yes, there will be national leaders who step to the forefront and make grand gestures and bold moves; the world needs that. But it also needs people at all levels to lead in their own way—so they can influence others to come along with them.

Real change will happen because of a million small changes, not one large one.

Now is the time to encourage everyone to take the initiative. To develop ideas, be creative, look at the world differently, try new things and then re-evaluate, fail fast, set a new direction and try again. Those are the people we must mentor and support now and into the future. People who want to lead but don’t know how to start. People who want to step up, take a chance, and better themselves and others. 

These people are in your company and your community. It’s up to you as a leader to find them and bring them into the circle. Your job is to give them the tools to grow as the next generation of leaders, by learning from their mistakes and constantly improving.

That is the culture that leaders foster. It’s about helping others to be their best, empowering them to think differently and not admonishing them when things don’t work out exactly as planned. It’s about developing people by letting them push against the sides of the box, and possibly break through, as they question current conventions and look for better alternatives.

The days of command and control are gone. Carrot-and-stick management styles will allow your organization to be what it’s always been, but not what it can be tomorrow.

Business has changed, and so have the dynamics of what’s possible. In 2019, conventional consulting wisdom said it was impossible for a completely mobile workforce to work effectively, which has been proven wrong. So with that in mind, why aren’t we re-evaluating other parts of our businesses? 

To do so requires leadership, not management: leaders who develop other leaders who think freely and critically, communicate effectively, and are willing to take calculated risks to serve both clients and the organization better.

Managers deal with processes and procedures. Leaders help develop better people and move businesses forward.

Right now, many of your staff and customers believe the world has stopped spinning. As a true leader, you know it hasn’t. You understand that as horrible as things can look in the middle of a storm, no storm lasts forever. It’s the role of every single leader to inspire, listen and assure people that the sun will shine again—and that when it does, you’ll be there to make sure they don’t get burned.

Here’s wishing everyone health, safety and long-term success.

Ben Baker wants to help you engage, retain, and grow your most valuable asset…your employees. He provides workshops and consulting to enable staff to understand, codify and communicate their value effectively internally and externally and Retain Employees Through Leadership. The author of Powerful Personal Brands: A Hands-On Guide to Understanding Yours and the host of the iHeart Radio syndicated YourLIVINGBrand.live show, he writes extensively on leadership, brand and communication strategy. 

Ben’s complimentary online course, Know – Like – Trust: The Basis to Start Any Relationship, is now available. Click here to access the course.