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Your Three Answers
September 02, 2014

Only three tools?

As per your request – I am publishing this Leader Newsletter issue with the managerial tools that YOU think are most important.

Rather than reading this entire Newsletter issue word by word – perhaps – it might be more practical for you to scan through it, and use it as a meter to measure your own effectiveness as a leader.

Use it as a checklist – and ask yourself these questions …

  • What is it that I am already doing reasonably well?
  • What is it that I want to improve upon?
  • What is it that I am not doing at all – and I want to learn?

    Also – if there is a topic in this Newsletter issue that you would like me to write about in more detail – hit the “Reply” button and tell me so.

    I will then write about it in a future Newsletter issue.

    Remember – your feedback always helps me to customize this Newsletter to better meet your specific needs.

    For the sake of clarity – I have arbitrarily grouped your responses in three categories.

  • The basics
  • Organizational skills
  • Longer answers

    And the order of appearance is also arbitrary. If I wrote “honesty” at the top – it doesn’t mean that more of you (readers) told me about honesty. It simply means that the text placed in this order is more readable.


    Inside this category – I am placing your responses that tend to be individual leadership qualities.

  • Be honest
  • Have ethics
  • Have integrity
  • Be a role model
  • Be transparent – don’t play games
  • Share both – your strengths and your vulnerabilities
  • Be accountable – outcome is ultimately your own responsibility
  • Have the ability to garner and grow trust
  • Be flexible
  • Be firm and approachable at the same time
  • Be patient
  • Be a good listener
  • Be open mind to invite conversation and to hear different and probably better solutions
  • Have an insatiable hunger for learning
  • Reach emotional intelligence
  • Have self-control
  • Know when you are using your intuition
  • Develop the ability to read a situation and respond appropriately
  • Share your knowledge
  • Smile
  • Say “Thank you”


    Inside this category – I am placing your answers that tend to help organizational performance.

  • Be visionary
  • Master your strategic planning abilities
  • Build win-win relationships with your employees, with your customers, and with your suppliers
  • Know your particular industry’s drivers
  • Build a high performance team
  • Consistently and impartially manage the performance of your direct reports
  • Use performance appraisals to grow your people
  • Be a great coach
  • Empower your employees
  • Set SMART goals, track them in an ongoing basis, and follow through
  • Be an excellent communicator
  • Make sure your expectations are clearly understood
  • Delegate
  • Know how to give and receive feedback
  • Give genuine compliments
  • Execute your employees’ personal development plans
  • Create a motivated, committed and engaged workforce
  • Develop team processes to solve problems and make decisions
  • Learn to negotiate
  • Know how to deal with different cultures
  • Be influential


    Inside this category – I am placing your responses that are more elaborated.

    Set the example to others – peers and subordinates: You cannot expect people to behave and act in ways other than those employed by yourself. People look at you for what you are doing, and if your heart is not where your mouth is, they will always follow what they see you do, rather than what they hear you say. 

    Be thorough: Whatever you do, drive for the best you can, with no compromises in respect of Quality, Accuracy, Integrity, etc. This, of course, also reflects on the point above.

    Be sure of your Values, and abide by them: So many managers either do not have any Values, or keep them as a ‘lips tax’ only.

    Build healthy relationships – and all the tools that are important to building, maintaining, clarifying and/or repairing them.  Some of these skills include listening, understanding where your employee (or superior, peer, supplier, customer) is “coming from,” understanding what might her competing priorities be, helping her to identify what barriers (if any) she might be facing, and how you might be able to assist her. This also means respecting the individual – which requires an understanding of the big picture to see how the product of her work fits into all this.

    Be organized – this helps you to clarify expectations, prioritize importance and focus, managing time, projects, activities, goals, objectives, etc.

    Communication – Know when to be silent, when to speak, when to listen, when to plant a “seed” so others can develop an idea and call it their own, etc.

    Strong trust and continually growing it is the foundation of leadership, so the first tool is doing the things that allow trust to build: listening, sharing, and accepting.  Sounds “touchy-feely” until you try following a leader who doesn’t give a rip about you – or who does not trust you (like a micromanager).

    A shared vision is critical for leadership success, so the ability to develop a vision collaboratively, along with the willingness to share responsibility (and rewards) is a necessary tool.  Sounds obvious until you have worked for someone who doesn’t know where the group needs to go – or who doesn’t tell you where you are headed.

    A willingness to develop people, to help people move forward and eventually to take your place – even to do your job better than you do – is a bold and exposing tool, but it is also a clear demonstration that you care about the future of both the organization and your folks.  Sounds scary until you realize how empowering it is to yourself AND your people.

    A great mental exercise to develop these tools is to think about how you would like to be led.  Further, although great leadership inspires people, you have to 1) show people how to be inspired and 2) hire people who are open to inspiration.  If someone is impervious (resistant to) to input, feedback, trust and a shared vision, put them on a different bus and examine your hiring practices.

    Integrity. Without it, you do not have the moral foundation of leadership, especially with your followers.

    Vision. If you do not set the course and the vision for the organization, everyone will simply do what they feel is the right thing to do or they will do what they are comfortable doing. A) Without vision, people perish. B) Failing to plan (e.g., envisioning the future and developing an action plan) is planning to fail!

    Communication. Communicate…communicate…communicate! Communicating your and the company’s values (integrity and other values/principles), your vision, and the way ahead (action plans) are critical for getting every level of your company to focus on what is important.  Communicate at all levels of the company and to your customers and suppliers. You need to tailor your messages to each audience.

    Voilà – that’s it folks.


    Thank you VERY much for your willingness to share your wisdom with this community.

    We all learn more and grow more when we contribute with our experience, when we participate with our individual perspectives, and when we ask questions.

    Use these tools to become a better manager – and an unforgettable boss.

    Apply them to develop your employees, to create a cohesive team, and to build a high performance organization.

    And remember – if there is anything that you would like me to write about – respond to this email and tell me what you are struggling with. Even if it’s really small, don’t hesitate.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Talk soon.

    Please click here to see the entire "Leader Newsletter" Archive.

    Questions? Feedback? Reply to this Newsletter and tell me what you would like future issues to be about.

    Feel free to re-send this "Leader Newsletter" to your colleagues.

    Most recent 12 "Leader Newsletter" issues:

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    You must know the answer to this simple question
    What organization do you want to build and lead?
    A simple “hello” and the bottom line
    Are these two assumptions costing you money?
    Do you have a difficult employee?
    Are you alert by choice - or stressed by default?
    Do you want to get rid of stress?
    Can’t you improve your team’s performance?
    Misunderstandings cost you money
    Your Goals on Steroids

    See you next month!
    Joseluis Romero - Publisher
    September 2, 2013. Copyright: All rights reserved
    I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month
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