By Bill Raymond, Owner Frank & Lindy Plumbing, Heating & AC, Nexstar® Network Master Trainer

When I think about leadership, my thoughts first turn to all those “bad” leaders I’ve had over the course of my career. One was too tough on me, another one didn’t value me, and one didn’t give me any opportunities to grow. Think about your worst experiences with leaders. They probably include a few of the behaviors listed below.

Top 10 Poor Leadership Behaviors

10. Lacking personal characteristics (honesty, integrity, trustworthy, humility, etc.)
9. Lacking clear vision and purpose
8. No passion for what you do
7. Limited competence (intellectual and emotional)
6. Leading by poor example
5. Lacking interpersonal and communication skills
4. No continued focus on learning and growth
3. Inability to think strategically
2. Hiring the wrong people
1. Lacking accountability and inability to admit and/or learn from mistakes.

I know we’ve all worked for leaders who have these traits. These leaders are ineffective and don’t create a positive work culture. My challenge for you today, as a business owner and leader in the PHCE industries, is to take a look at your own leadership style and do what you can to make sure you are NOT doing the behaviors above.

But what if you are doing one or two of those behaviors? I am here to assure you, great leaders are not born they are made. Leadership lessons can be learned. It takes work, but you can learn how to be an effective, and even a great, leader.

Why is it important to be a great leader? It starts with understanding what leadership is. Simply, leadership is defined as a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.

Put in the context of your HVAC, Plumbing or Electrical business, it means YOUR behavior and the environment YOU create guide the behaviors of YOUR team! In essence, creating YOUR culture!

Effective Leaders are consistent with their decision-making and understand how their thinking and behaviors impact others’ behaviors and ultimately the culture of their organization.

As an effective leader, you will be better equipped to create a strategic business plan, keep good employees, provide staff training and development, and ultimately increase sales and profits.

Isn’t that what being a leader is all about? Nexstar® Network understands the success of a business relies on the effectiveness of its leader. I am excited to help launch the first Leadership for Owners course in November 2013 for Nexstar members.

To learn more about the training Nexstar offers or how to join, call 1-888-240-7827 or email: membership@nexstarnetwork.com.