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Aug 01 2016
Best Practices of Great Leaders
Patty Fullmer, CBA, BMC


Best Practices of Great Leaders
NACM Credit Congress 2016

Wednesday June 15, 2016

Presented by: Wes Friesen

NACM Credit Congress 2016 was filled with conversation, food, fun and great educational classes. As the credit management field continues to change, it is necessary that we stay up to date with what is new and what will help us build a successful career. One of the classes I attended had great insight to be a great leader; here are some of the highlights:

"The success of any organization (team) rises or falls based upon the quality of the leadership" ~ John Maxwell

20 Key Research Findings (Best Practices) for getting the best results:

1.  Use effective and dynamic communication practices

2.  Lead by example to demonstrate character and competence

3.  Establish and maintain a clear and meaningful vision and mission

4.  Provide motivation to create ownership and accountability for results

5.  Clarify performance expectations with employees

6.  Foster teamwork and cooperation

7.  Develop clear and balanced performance goals and metrics

8.  Develop key working relationships

9.  Provide ongoing employee training and education

10. Conduct appropriate and systematic planning activities

11. Remove performance barriers quickly

12. Keep yourself current and practice personal development

13. Provide ongoing performance feedback and coaching

14. Demonstrate extreme care in staffing your organization

15. Clarify your value-add role as a manager

16. Provide ongoing performance monitoring and measurement

17. Equip people with the resources they need to perform

18. Proactively improve your processes

19. Practice constructive employee appraisal and development 

20. Maintain balance in both your professional and personal life

In our everyday work, we can forget the importance of these things. Getting everyone on your team on the same page isn't always easy, but always worth the effort. Focus on the purpose of the organization. "Great leaders rally people to a better future" and "Inspire a shared vision." 

Do you have a clear vision and mission statement? If not it may be time to work with your team to get one put together. Have everyone contribute so they have a vested interest. President Woodrow Wilson said "I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." Use and value your team members ideas. Promote collaboration within your team. 

Clarify the value of your team's roll and also the value you bring to the accomplishment of the common goals. "You must have long range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short range failures."


By developing performance goals and metrics you will keep staff members motivated, by showing appreciation and recognition for meeting those performance goals you will get staff members exceeding expectations.

"You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality." ` Walt Disney 

The following are the keys to building a great workplace:

1.     Individual differences are nurtured

2.     Information is not suppressed

3.     The organization adds value to employees

4.     The organization stands for something meaningful - people want to be part of something good

5.     The work is intrinsically rewarding

6.     There are no stupid rules - eliminate unnecessary rules

We need to identify, foster, nurture and sustain relationships, practice effective communication, and foster cooperation through the practice of trustworthy leadership with the people you need to get results from. Effective 360 degree working relationships can help with these goals. Consistently seek to give your employees the "Best," believe in them, encourage them, support them and trust that they will do the right things. Recognize and show appreciation for skills and good performance. Reward; include both monetary and non-monetary rewards such as a hand written note. Treat people positively like you would like to be treated. "Leadership is unlocking the strength of others."

"No individual achievement can equal the pleasure of leading a group of people to achieve a worthy goal. When you cross the finish line together, there's a deep satisfaction that it was your leadership that made the difference. There's simply nothing that can compare with that." ~ Bill George 

For more ideas read the book "Your Team Can Soar!" by Wes Friesen.