How to Unlock Your Team’s Potential with Steven Howard
Micromanaging is a thing of the past. You can’t manage people and expect them to give you their absolute best. To bring out the best in your team, you’ve got to lead and empower them. Our guest today has a lot of wisdom to share on this topic.
Meet Steven Howard. Steven is a prominent leadership coach and keynote speaker. He’s also an acclaimed author of 22 best-sellers in leadership, business, and motivation, with the latest achievement called ‘Humony Leadership’ serving as a powerful guide to people-centric leadership. With over 45 years of international senior sales and marketing experience, Steven has shaped his expertise into his latest book, which has gained recognition all around the globe. In 2023, he was honored as one of the 200 Biggest Global Voices on Leadership, ranking 97th on the list. His impact goes beyond his writing; Steven has mentored, trained, and taught thousands of leaders on leadership growth, people development, and achieving results.
He firmly believes that managing is outdated and that it’s time to embrace true, genuine leadership. This way, every individual can thrive and achieve their highest potential.
In this episode of the Think Business with Tyler podcast, we talk about why leadership beats micromanagement, the importance of adaptability for leaders, how to give reinforcing feedback, and why learning should never stop.
If you want to transform your leadership for unparalleled success, this episode is a must-listen, so join us to hear Steven’s valuable insights.
💡 Name: Steven Howard
💡 What he does: Steven is a leadership coach, book author, and keynote speaker.
💡 Noteworthy: He is the award-winning author of 22 leadership, business, and motivational books. In 2023, he was named one of the 200 Biggest Global Voices on Leadership, ranking 97th on the list.
💡 Key Quote: “Managing people is a 1980s concept that’s not relevant today. It’s not applicable today. People don’t want to be managed. They want to be led. They want to be empowered.”
💡 Where to find Steven: LinkedIn
Don’t micromanage your people; empower them. The days of micromanaging are long gone. People don’t want to be micromanagement; they want to be led and empowered. They prefer knowing the company’s goals and being trusted to achieve them in their own way.
Steven explains, “I realized that coming out of the pandemic, leadership mindsets had to change. So, the 1st core principle of humanity is it is a mindset, and your mindset has to change. And probably the best example of that mindset is managing people is a 1980s concept that’s not relevant today. It’s not applicable today. People don’t want to be managed. They want to be led. They want to be empowered. They want to be unshackled from directives and told how to do their job. Just tell me what the outcome is we’re going to get to, what success looks like, and then let me go do it. Don’t micromanage me. No one wakes up in the morning and says, ‘I can’t wait to be managed by my boss.’ And certainly, no one ever says, ‘I can’t wait to be micromanaged today.’”
Adaptability is crucial for effective leadership. Being flexible and adaptable is crucial for every good leader. According to Steven, planning is the safest way to prepare for the unexpected in this fast-evolving world. He says leaders need to be ready for different situations so they can guide their teams effectively no matter what challenges come their way.
He explains, “Adaptability is the keyword there. And, one of the things I just wrote an article recently that says we need to think about how we measure leaders. Leaders are measured on results and executing a plan. Well, I would suggest to you now that leaders should be measured on they need to have not only just plan A and plan B, but they should have plan B1 and 2 and maybe C1 and 2 and D1 and 2 or whatever.”
Give impactful and reinforcing feedback to your team members. The entire purpose of feedback to your employees is to help them grow and become better at their jobs. So, when giving feedback to them, make sure you always explain the impact behind it.
Steven explains, “This is what most people don’t understand about feedback; is not just saying something about it. It’s explaining the impact. When I said you did it, I thought you were well prepared. And when you answered the questions well, but the impact was, it built credibility in you, and it built credibility in the content. And when you give feedback to people, particularly what I call reinforcing feedback […], you want people you want to build not just their competency and their capability. You want to build their confidence.”
Life is an endless learning experience. Learning never stops, especially when you’re a leader or entrepreneur. If you want your business to keep growing and evolving, embrace the mindset of continuous learning.
Steven says, “Never stop learning because life never stops teaching. So, you have to have, as a leader, a continuous growth mindset. You want to continuously be listening to podcasts like yours, hopefully reading books like mine, reading articles, but be continuously learning because, as we’ve seen, the world changes rapidly.”
“We’re all people, but we have different backgrounds, different cultures, different beliefs, and we have to be careful how we express those beliefs. And more important, I learned to listen to people and their cultures and understand what they were talking about, where they came from. So, it’s actually helped me here back in the United States, because often I get brought in by medium size on up to Fortune 500 companies to help them, particularly their first-line leaders, understand how to manage people, lead people who are globally.”
“The word ‘humony’, I created the word, it’s not in the dictionary, and I did it by combining human, humanity, and harmony. And people laughed at me when, as I was researching for the book I wrote when I asked people, what’s harmony like in your workplace? And they all laugh. ‘What do you mean by harmony? There’s no harmony in our workplace.’”
“The definition of a leader is that you lead people. So, one of the things I emphasize to people look, you manage things, you manage processes, policies, procedures, but you lead people, and to take that mindset change from my role is to manage people, no, it’s really to lead people and develop people, and it doesn’t matter what part of the organization or what level of what size team you have. That’s your key responsibility.”
“When you got a team in flow, everyone is moving together, working together, respecting each other, not knocking people down, not joking about people, not criticizing people’s ideas. That’s harmony. And with that also is the understanding that people are human beings. They’re not assets. They’re not resources. They’re not headcounts. They are human beings.”
“If we allow people to fulfill those responsibilities outside work, then they’re going to come into work with a better mindset, less stress, less anxiety, and then there’ll be more harmony in the workplace. The more we can leave our personal stresses and anxieties at the door, the more harmonized our workplaces will be.”
“Think of your employees as customers. You make things as flexible, adaptable for your customers as possible so they’ll buy from you. Well, I would suggest you make things as flexible and adaptable for your employees so they’ll continue working with you.”
“In his book, he says, ‘The war for talent is over, and talent has won.’ Well, leaders, you better understand that you are not in control anymore. Control went out the window in March 2020, I guess, when we had the work-from-home mandates by the government. So you better be flexible, or you’re going to lose people.”
“Take your eye off the goal as your primary focus and focus on your people first. If you focus on your people, you focus on developing your people, you focus on coaching, mentoring your people, you focus on creating a good work environment where they can thrive, you’re going to get the results.”
“There’s two types of feedback. There is reinforcement or fortifying feedback, which reinforces what someone’s doing well so they can repeat it or replicate it. And then there’s what I call enhancement feedback, where you want to take somebody’s, what they’re currently doing, and you want to enhance their skills, or as I said earlier, enhance their competency, their capability, or their confidence.”
Get in touch with Steven at email@example.com