Creating an Atmosphere That Makes You Understand Your Leader
As a continuation of what we discussed on how to lift your leader’s load (1), we said understanding your leader goes beyond following them to effectively responding to responsibilities assigned to you as a follower. There are other ways to help apart from the four listed in the previous article. They are:
Stand in for Your Leader Whenever You Can
Helping your leader means standing in for him whenever you can in a capacity he would have acted. John Darlington and Gloria Marcela were two employees working in Abuja the capital of Nigeria with Greed Works Ltd. They were both at the same level in the organisation, but reported to Daniel Umelo a senior colleague. Umelo always went to the branch office at Abuja to sign a document every weekend, so that business transactions could flow uninterrupted during the following week.
One weekend all flight to Abuja was cancelled and he couldn’t make it to Abuja. He tried to reach them via different means, but he wasn’t successful. Gloria took the initiative at the absence of her boss, to stand in his capacity so that work could flow the following week.
When Mr. Umelo finally reached them, he noticed that Gloria stood in for him. He was glad, he recommended her for promotion.
Individuals at all levels represent the leader they work for. Accordingly, they can choose to step up and stand in for their leaders, representing them well and serving the organisation.
Stand Up for Your Leader When You Can
Leaders appreciate those that can stand up for them; people who can execute decisions with a sense an attitude of ownership. Standing up for your leader could sometimes mean acting in a capacity where you handle issues that would have been directed at him. There are times your leader may be faced with issues where he does not have the necessary information to defend himself. Such situation could require a follower who has relevant information to stand up for him. This doesn’t mean acting irrationally, but being smart in whatever situation you find yourself to intelligently defend your leader with facts that can be verified. In doing this, you have helped your leader to lift his load.
Ask Your Leader How You Can Lift the Load
This is usually the last option any follower should result to. This is because leaders appreciate people who can anticipate what they may need or want. Only those who have handled their responsibility very well should be the ones to ask their leaders areas they can help them lift their own load. If you have done your job very well, then your leader will be glad to tell you where you can help him. This position is not for those struggling with their own responsibilities. A boss will be delighted to give a star performer more responsibility than someone they presume to be a mediocre.
After few years of working and garnering experience, I have come to understand that there are capacities where you can lift your leader’s load when you represent him. All need to do is to ask him some questions like:
Sir, what do you expect from me when I’m representing you?
Should I say this to the client to make an impression about us?
Can I disclose the full detail or should I be discrete?
When you ask these questions, a good leader will appreciate the fact that you are concerned about representing him in full capacity. And most of the time they will give you an answer to those questions.
Leaders are excited working with a person who understands them, creating an atmosphere to reduce their load to help them focus on other important issues. You can be that person that makes your leader feel less pressure and relaxed because you help him with his load.