Good News In Bad Times

Job security starts with you. 

By Brent Filson - 1/2009

The employment landscape looks bleak. But working with many companies in many industries, I have viewed another landscape where career opportunities abound. In this landscape, high paying jobs are going begging. Your ticket in has nothing to do with your being equipped with advanced degrees or seniority.

You just have to do one thing. You have to do it well. And you have to do it consistently. You have to be able to build and motivate teams that get results.

Leaders do nothing more important than get results. If you can't get results, you won't lead for long. But you can't get results by yourself. You need others.

And the best way to have other people get results is not by ordering them but having them want to get those results.

Leaders who can build and motivate teams that really "want to" and then translate that "want to" into great results will always be in demand.

I know executives in companies who are holding open key management positions and have been holding them open for months simply because the executives have not been able to find those kinds of leaders.

Here are four ways to develop and strengthen this leadership:

1. Be confident: Recognize that if you can build and motivate results-oriented teams in one area of one company, you can do it in many areas of that company.

And if you can do it in one company, you can do it in many companies.

Clearly, when changing from one team to another, within or between companies, you have to gain new knowledge and skills.

But the leader who has the ability to learn new skills while applying the age-old skill of getting people to work together to achieve sizable results doesn't have to be anxious about job security. In fact, it's her organization that should be anxious, anxious that she might be hired away.

2. Be a motivator: A sergeant major I know, who rose from being a sharecropper to one of the highest ranking non-commissioned officers in the Army, said that the key to getting people motivated is to be committed to their personal and professional success.

In challenging them to get results for the team, also challenge them to improve themselves, to get more skills, knowledge, and education. Be a strong advocate for their continued career advancement.

Make their stopover on your team one of the defining experiences of their career. Today, few leaders can guarantee job security, but what leaders can guarantee — must guarantee — is the personal and career growth of every member of the team.

3. Have fun: A distinguishing feature of great team leaders that I have known is that they brought joy to their work and created joy in the teams that they directed.

One key marketing executive of a major manufacturing firm, tells his teams, "If you're not having fun, you're not doing marketing!"

4. Be your team's promoter: Don't hide their light under a bushel. When your team does well, make sure the team gets recognized. Stand back and let them take the bows and get the applause. They should know that you are there for them, to help them get results, and when those results happen, ensure that they get the credit.

When you have led them in such a way that they say that they accomplished their objectives with the help of your leadership, you're a good leader. But when you have led them in such a way that they say they accomplished their objectives themselves, you're a great leader.

The British Dragoons have a motto: "We'll do it. What is it?" Make that your motto and the motto of your teams, and you'll have job security.  


1/2009© The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. – Celebrating 25 years of helping leaders of top companies worldwide achieve outstanding results every day. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get his FREE report "7 Steps To Leadership Mastery"