The Magic of User Friendly Leadership

Once upon a time, employees existed to serve their bosses.

Those days are over.

If you want your team members focused on your customers, patients, students, or other team members, you need to figure out what they need, give it to them, and get out of the way. Leaders need to be user friendly.

  • If they have a better way, let them do it.
  • When they have something to teach you, learn from it.
  • As they need guidance, be consistent.
  • If they need you, be there.

They are your customers. Leadership is your product.

Make it user friendly.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

16 comments on “The Magic of User Friendly Leadership”

  1. Within the context of the employer/employee relationship, I would agree with what you’ve said.

    However we are talking about Leadership, and all too often, you do not find leadership within the confines of many corporate entities. You find “positional leadership” as John Maxwell describes it where one person is in a position or station higher than that of another. But rarely do you find “true leadership.”

    “True leadership” comes when someone chooses to follow the leader (no pun intended). But even so, it is still the responsibility of the leader to actually lead… to be in the trenches… on the front lines… doing those things that he or she expects those following to be doing also.

    If the leader hasn’t done or isn’t doing what they are telling the team to do, then they are not a leader they are merely “giving orders.” Yes leaders have the permission and ability to delegate, but that is a different situation.

    How do you know if you are a leader? Turn around if no one is following you, you’re just out for a walk.

    1. Well James, that is a major problem.

      If companies want to succeed in this business environment, real leadership is needed. That’s the message we need to be spreading.

      No more people out for a walk…

      1. Agreed.

        And there ARE true leaders out there. But you can’t make someone be a leader (as is frequently done through “positional leadership”). They have to have that quality within them and they have to want to express it, and then it needs to be cultivated and nurtured by someone who can guide them into a leadership role.

  2. This is a thought provoking post. Way to go, Aaron.

    I totally embrace making it easy for followers and fans to understand…

    1. What you are doing in terms of the big picture: mission and vision
    2. What the rules and guidelines are
    3. What you expect from them as individuals in general
    4. What you are asking them to do right now
    5. How to ask you for what they need to do their job right
    6. How to ask you for help when they are facing a wall
    7. How to communicate their enthusiasm, support, and concerns about a specific project or about the mission and vision – in general.

    Stan Faryna

    Recently on my blog: Are you comfortable faking it? And other social media DOHs. http://wp.me/pbg0R-pl

  3. Isn’t it somewhat disturbing? Why do you think employees no longer serve bosses? Have bosses become worse? Why have they become worse?

    I think the day the concept of outsourcing came was the day that bosses stopped being good, because bosses realized that they didn’t owe their employees anything, and employees became just a number. Rarely do you see the employee who stays at a company for 20+ years and get that gold watch. Such respect has been all but lost.

    I think this is why I do what I do. Work by day, midnight oil and improving the network by night. It’s probably because I’m jaded to the fact that my employer owes me nothing, will never owe me anything and will kick me to the curb when they want to. Sure the unemployment claim is nice, but it’s never going to be fair again.

    Tell me I’m wrong, Aaron. At the age of 24, one can’t be this bitter yet, can they?

    1. I wouldn’t call you bitter. Just realistic.

      You’re only 24, but imagine the 48 year old that HAS been with the same company for 20 years (an anomaly to be sure), worked his guts out to move up, sacrificed time with his family, burned himself out to get to where he is.

      Then he gets laid off, only to learn the company replaced him with two 20-year-olds that they pay half what the 48 yr old was making – the company gets double the return on the same payroll outlay and the “old guy” gets to try to figure out what he’s gonna do with the rest of his life.

      1. Is this then, a case of money, or a case of people? I think when you talk people and money, money always speaks louder. Sad and inconvenient truth.

  4. In the distant past I had some great bosses and some really bad ones. The bad ones tried to use fear or intimidation as a motivational tool. All this did was cause resentment and a high turnover rate.

    The great bosses want to make sure their team succeeds and works to help them. They know that a happy team means success for the organization, themselves and their team.

  5. Excellent advise Aaron. And I agree with you on all points. Both my husband and I have our own businesses and we have seen the interesting evolution occur from the time when employees served their bosses no questions asked to a culture of bosses needing to create that “user friendly” environment. And both of us have made that transition gracefully. Our only confusion is why, in this awful economy, is it still true that bosses serve their employee and need to spin those plates to keep everyone happy? We are confused as to why people that DO get jobs wouldn’t be so incredibly grateful to have a job that they would do anything for their bosses to keep that job? It does confuse me. That being said, I do everything in my power to keep my office moving forward as a team with valued input and guidance when needed.
    Claudia

    1. Thanks Claudia. I’m not sure why some employees choose to be ungrateful. Probably the same reasons some managers choose to serve themselves.

      That’s humanity for you.

      Claudia, I can tell by your comments that you are a thoughtful leader and you’re making a difference. :-)

  6. I have my doctorate in Ed Leadership and teach in a doctoral program for instructional management and leadership. I was impressed that is such few succinct words you were able to explain this leadership truth. Well done.

    1. Thank you so much Shellie! Coming from someone who teaches leadership, that is a great honor.

      I try to keep my posts short because I know my fellow 8pm Warriors don’t have a lot of time.

  7. Aaron I couldn’t agree more and to repeat what Shellie said – Amazing that you were able to reveal such truths in such few words – bravo!

    I teach a workshop on virtual leadership and managing remote employees and dispersed teams. This is much the same wisdom I share with the attendees as best practices for making the shift from a manager to a leader.

    Love the website. As a long time night owl I’m on board. Following you and the 8PM warriors on twitter now.

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