So You Wanna Be a Leader
This Social Media ocean in which we all live is full of self acclaimed gurus and leadership aficionados! While many of them are fair contributors in the ongoing global conversation on topics like Personal Development, Leadership, Business, People Skills, and more, there are also a lot of “wanna-be’s” swimming in the soup!
You can always tell the level of someone’s leadership by the size of their following!
Now, I am among the aspiring Personal Development Professionals of the world, and I’m the first to admit that my following is not as large as some, while at the same time being much larger than others . With 20 years of Leadership Experience under my belt, I do consider myself an expert at some level. And those years of experience have garnered for me an annual Multiple 6 Figure Passive Income. I’ll leave it to you to decide if I have anything to offer you or not! But I will tell you this: those 20 years have taught me a thing or two.
Here are a few thoughts that I urge you to consider as an emerging leader. Try them on for size…I believe they may help you in relation to your follower-ship.
1) “It works for me, so it must work for you” – This idea is a limiting belief birthed in the minds of under developed leaders. What works for you, works for YOU! Your strengths are yours alone. Please understand, there are many capable people all around you, who have developed their own methods-of-doing birthed from their individual strengths. Learn to value and utilize the polyphony of voices that surround you in the market place. You will be stronger as you allow them be your support.
2) Putting yourself and your ideas first is a leadership mistake. Give equal consideration to the knowledge and wisdom of those on your team. Just because you are the leader doesn’t mean you have the only well-developed brain in the room! Listen to your team with attentive ears. In the end, it could be that your idea was the best idea. (After all, you didn’t become a leader because of your bad ideas). But your team will respect you more if they feel that you genuinely listen to them and believe in their ability to contribute. As often as possible, implement good ideas and strategies from the group.
3) Many under developed leaders neglect to self reflect. Taking time to look back over each day, each week, each month, and then each year will make you a stronger person (and therefore a stronger leader). Identify your weaknesses or inefficiencies, and find corrective measures. It could be that you need to add someone to your team to fill the void, or it could be as simple as picking up a great book to assist your skill development. And don’t forget to celebrate your strengths! Stand victorious in the things you are doing well, and keep doing them! Success is a habit, so in your reflection look for the things that should become mainstays in your growth strategy.
4) Vision is not enough! There’s a quote from the Bible that says something to the effect of…”without vision the people perish”. Yes! Vision is important! But vision without implementation is nothing more than another idea that never manifests. Be a person of action! Once the vision is clear, take time to write out a plan of action. Even if the plan morphs as you move forward, at least you are MOVING FORWARD! Action breeds more action, AND more ideas….more vision. TAKE ACTION! Only then will others have the privilege of seeing the visionary in you that you see in yourself.
5) Don’t let your results of the past become your identity! You don’t want to be seen as the proverbial old high school quarterback that won state, that still goes to every home game and hits the same bar every Friday night. Everyone knows that THAT Guy is a “has-been”. The Truly-Greats go on to play college, and then pro, and then end up in the Hall of Fame. And by that time, they have grown enough to know how to leverage their successes of the past to create an empire for the future! You want to be the Leader-Visionary who realizes that 5 yesterday’s victory is now a thing of the past, and so you are on to the next big win! Those who follow you will respect you more as they see you fighting for that next success…and they will join you in your cause.
6) Be the Leader that you are and not the leader that you’re not! Often times, leaders will attempt to embrace leadership models that are not befitting to their personality or natural bent. Shakespeare taught us, “This above all, to thine on self be true!” So take a lesson from the great play write: be yourself! Play to your strengths. Allow others to fill in your weaknesses. A large part of being a great leader is bringing out the greatness in others, and allowing them to shine in the areas that are not your fortes.
7) Criticize less and praise more! If you are all the time showing the team where they have missed the mark it can beat them down. Spend more to cheerleading their efforts and celebrating the victories, no matter how small! I promise: you will earn there ear for those times when you must address the challenges.
8) Move and groove! Zig and zag! Failure to adapt to the ever-changing market place can render you…..useless! If your team is aware of the changes happening in your niche of the world and YOU are NOT aware…then you’d better BEWARD! You’ll lose them. You’ll lose their confidence. You’ll lose their respect. And if you’re not careful, you may even lose your job! (And one of your team will end up with it)
9) Expect the same quality of work from yourself that you expect from others! It’s not fair to demand excellence from your team while you are busy checking Facebook, playing Clash of Clans, our Google searching for your next vacation. Bring your A-Game each and every time you show up to play ball, and swing for the fences!
10) Work hard! Play hard! Do both with your team. After a long hard week, or maybe after conquering a big project, take some “down time” together and have fun! This will foster relationships and create the breeding ground for interconnectivity within the team. If the team can play together successfully, the work environment will only benefit that much more.
Here’s to you and your team! Lead well.