WaterPro Magazine - 2017 - 11
FROM THE PRESIDENT
By Steve Fletcher,
Qualities Every Leader
URAL WATER HAS ALWAYS been looked upon as "the leader in rural water."
So, take a breath, calm down and remind yourself of the leader you are or would like to
become. To help you, here are some qualities I think every leader should possess.
Approach: Not all human beings are the same. You have cultural perspectives,
language barriers, educational backgrounds and personality traits that affect how people
will process and interpret information. Some people work well under pressure, some don't.
To be an effective leader, you need to customize your approach on a person-by-person basis to get the best
out of your team.
Positive Attitude: Keep your team motivated towards the success of the utility. Remember, everyone on your
team is a person. Keep the mood a good balance between productivity and playfulness. If your team is feeling
happy and upbeat, chances are they won't mind staying that extra hour and giving their best work to the utility.
Confidence: There may be days where the future of your utility is worrisome and things aren't going according
to plan. This is true with any business. The important thing is not to panic. As their leader, stay calm and confident
and your team will feel the same.
Honesty: Whatever ethics you hold yourself to, when you are responsible for a team of people it's important
to raise the bar even higher. As a manager, director or board member, your utility and its employees are a
reflection of you, and if you make ethical behavior a key value, your team will, too.
Communication: Knowing what you want to accomplish may seem clear
WITH ALL THE CHANGES GOING
to you, but if you try to explain it to someone else and are met with a blank
ON IN DC, PEOPLE ALL ACROSS THE expression, there's a problem. Being able to clearly describe what you want done
COUNTRY ARE LOOKING TO RURAL is very important.
Commitment: If you expect your team to work hard and produce quality
WATER FOR OUR LEADERSHIP. IT'S
content, you're going to need to lead by example. There is no greater motivation
UP TO EVERY ONE OF US TO STEP
than seeing the boss down in the trenches working alongside everyone else,
showing that hard work is being done on every level. You will not only earn
UP AND BE THE LEADERS THAT
OUR EMPLOYEES, CUSTOMERS AND the respect of your team, but will also instill that same hardworking energy to
OTHERS EXPECT OF US.
Creativity: Some decisions are not always clear-cut. At times you may have to
deviate from your set course and make an on-the-fly decision. This is where your
creativity will come to play. It's during these situations that your team will look to you for guidance and you may be
forced to make a quick decision. As a leader, it's important to think outside the box and sometimes even turn to
your team for guidance.
Intuition: Many times there's no roadmap for leaders. This is where your intuition kicks in. When something
unexpected occurs, or you are thrown into a new scenario, your team will look to you for guidance. The tough
decisions will be up to you and you'll need to depend on your instinct for answers. Learning to trust yourself is as
important as your team learning to trust you.
Inspiration: Inspiring your team to see the vision of the utility and the successes ahead is vital. Make your
team feel invested in the accomplishments of the utility. Acknowledge the work that everyone has done and
commend your team on their efforts. It's your job to keep spirits up, and that begins with an appreciation for their
With all the changes going on in DC, people all across the country are looking to Rural Water for our leadership.
It's up to every one of us to step up and be the leaders that our employees, customers and others expect of us. ●