Effective leaders know it’s not about them; it’s about those they lead. This series is for busy professionals who want to find easier ways to improve their essential leadership skills.
Below are the final ten statements followed by a reflection and an action. Review the reflection and determine how you would rate yourself, then decide if that’s acceptable to you or not. If you want to make improvements, do the suggested action.
1. Sharing your skills and knowledge is a selfless act.
Reflection: Do you teach others?
Action: Make the extra effort and take the needed time to share a skill, a shortcut, your wisdom gained, or a trick of the trade that will make an invaluable impact on someone else.
2. You will not love all of it, but you better love most of it.
Reflection: Do you enjoy your role?
Action: Think about your role as a leader and list the elements you dislike against the elements you enjoy. If you find you lack gratification and joy the majority of the time, how effective of a leader do you think you are? Today, overcompensate and pursue the tasks that fulfill you.
3. Where do you want to go? What can you see that others do not … yet?
Reflection: Do you share a vision?
Action: It is one thing to see in your mind’s eye where you want to go, what you want to create and achieve. To get there as a leader, you will have to share your vision with others who can help. To do that, make it a sensible vision. That means two things. It should be currently out of reach, but not out of the realm of possibility. Second, you should describe it in a way that invokes all of the senses.
4. If you find it difficult to operate within the rules, you might not be cut out for leadership.
Reflection: Do you behave ethically?
Action: make sure you are acting congruently with your personal morals, values, and ethics.
5. Honesty is not designed to hide well. It is the envelope that holds your integrity.
Reflection: Are you honest?
Action: Don’t fib or hedge when assessing your honesty. Being honest isn’t always less painful, but it is easier.
6. Leadership is finding the nuance between, “It’s not about you.” and “You’re 100% responsible.”
Reflection: Do you give credit and take blame?
Action: When you receive praise, say thank you, and if anyone helped you achieve it, thank them. When you receive blame, accept the feedback and fix the problem.
7. Wishing is not enough. Consistent active participation makes dreams come true.
Reflection: Do you focus on a goal?
Action: As a leader, you had better be goal driven, and that goal or those goals should bring you closer to your vision. Keep yourself and others focused on the things that do that, and away from distractions.
8. The larger the organization, the more defined (and entrenched) the culture. Regardless of the size of the team, leaders set the tone of what is acceptable and what is not.
Reflection: Do you create and or nurture a culture?
Action: Acknowledge that, like it or not, as a leader, you are a role model. Your actions are being scrutinized and mimicked. Therefore, make sure they reinforce the culture of performance you want.
9. Make a distinction between danger and fear. Avoid danger, confront fear.
Reflection: Do you possess courage?
Action: Confront something that fills you with dread. Confidence grows out of competence, which you achieve by doing. Help to destroy a fear today, either yours or someone else’s.
10. It is not about you.
Reflection: Do you serve those you lead?
Action: The team is not there for the career betterment or aggrandization of the leader. It is the reverse. Determine how you will serve your team so they can achieve increasingly greater things.
Acting on these ten areas will improve your leadership. Coupled with the previous twenty, you’ll dramatically improve your leadership. Share your favorite in the comments section. I’d love to hear about your progress.