To develop into a great leader, you first need to understand where and how you can truly make an impact. Strong leadership doesn’t maintain the status quo but takes on powerful challenges and finds a way to make a significant difference in any situation.
Help your team members step up by letting them ‘shadow’ you in your job. This shows them how you spend your day, what you do, how you do it, what problems you face, and how you manage difficult situations. It also gives them the chance to ask relevant questions, which helps you understand and assess their current knowledge.
“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Externally, it means knowing the organization’s customers (from every conceivable angle); having a feel for existing and potential markets; knowing what competitors (and potential competitors) are doing and planning; staying in touch with industry trends; and monitoring the environment in general, (which these days is global for just about everybody), for broader opportunities and threats.
Taking the time to build rapport with your team is a valuable exercise. When you get to know them and what’s most important to them, you can manage them more effectively. They’re also then more likely to come to you with problems that affect your work.
Patricia Gray, principal at Balboa High School, says that she spent two to three hours a day observing in classrooms and talking with teachers during her first several years as principal. Principal Weiner notes that many teachers initially objected to the hours he spent observing in classrooms at Alvarado, but he quickly found that the best teachers were eager to work with him to improve their teaching.
Successful school leaders are outward-looking and curious. As Teresa Tunnadine, headteacher at the Compton School in Barnet, states: “Headship is about having at least one foot outside of the school looking at what’s going on elsewhere and picking up good ideas.” They are excellent networkers and great opportunists, always in touch with events.
As an executive educator and coach, I help people understand how our beliefs and the environments we operate in can trigger negative behaviors. Through simple and practical advice, I help people achieve and sustain positive behavioral change.
^ Jump up to: a b c d Sy, T.; Cote, S.; Saavedra, R. (2005). “The contagious leader: Impact of the leader’s mood on the mood of group members, group affective tone, and group processes” (PDF). Journal of Applied Psychology. 90 (2): 295–305. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.90.2.295. PMID 15769239.
According to Maxwell’s Law of Magnetism, we attract people who are similar to us. So, if you’re an insecure, lazy person (which I’m sure none of you are), you’re going to struggle to build a strong inner circle because you attract people with the same bad habits that you have.
For example, in 2011, the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, tried to convert the successful DVD-renting business into a streaming-only enterprise, provisionally called Qwikster. Hordes of Netflix devotees ended their subscription. Netflix’s stock price dropped nearly 80% at one point.
Let’s start with the definition of “leader.” My good friend and mentor, Dr. Paul Hersey, defined leadership as “working with and through others to achieve objectives.” Given this definition, anyone in a position whose achievement requires support from others can play the role of a leader. I love this definition because it supports the philosophy of “leadership at all levels,” which is so critical in today’s world of knowledge workers.
Having the team understand their objectives is also crucial to their performance and success. Being able to communication the How, What, Where and Why of an organization’s objective to the team ensures that they are all moving harmoniously in one single direction. Leaders with good communication skills are also viewed as being more credible. Their charismatic nature increases the trust and confidence that the team has in their leader’s abilities.
“A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter — or to others — is not a nice person. Watch out for those with situational value systems — people who turn the charm on and off depending on the status of the person with whom they’re interacting. Those people may be good actors, but they don’t become good leaders.”
In his research, Mann has found that, after individuals point out things they’re happy with in a problematic situation, they don’t feel so strongly about the problem and are better able to think clearly and solve it. The same is true when a leader needs to improve his or her strategy. If you or a team member notices a particular course of action you’ve taken that just isn’t working, figure out some things you’ve done in the past that have worked.
It’s true that a woman can take part in a man’s success, just as it’s true that she can take part in his failure. Not just a woman that a is in a relationship with, but a man’s closest friends will all influence his outcomes. For anyone who truly desires success it’s crucial to have the right kind of people around. Select the right people to be around you as this will help you in life.
Good communication skills allow the good leader to be a better negotiator and conflict manager. Being able to effectively explain the circumstance and justify the decision taken not only makes team members feel more comfortable with the decision, but also view their leader as being more credible.
By clearly describing his or her idea to their team, the leader will be able to create a sense of ease and understanding with his peers. When every member of the team is striving towards a common goal, then there is nothing that cannot be accomplished.
4. Do your fair share. Even though you’re the project leader, you still have to do some of the heavy lifting. Others will notice if you aren’t pitching in or continually push off unexpected and last-minute problems to someone else. You’ll exert the most influence when others see you working as hard – if not harder – than they are.
While communication skills are important for everyone, leaders and managers perhaps need them even more. These skills are general interpersonal skills, not specific to leadership, but successful leaders tend to show high levels of skill when communicating.
This formula is your key to success and has worked for almost everyone who has ever tried it. It will require the very most you can give and the best qualities you can develop. In developing and following these keys to personal success, you will evolve and grow to become an extraordinary person.
Keep in mind that it is perfectly fine to spend some time doing nothing and just being lazy each day. This can actually help with your imagination and self-awareness. Strive for a balance between doing things you want to do and allowing yourself to just “be.”
Personal Story: Growing up I did NOT like reading. But as I got older, reading’s value became very clear. Growing up in the information age enabled me to read anything I wanted, I quickly realized this allowed me to stay ahead of the curve.
All successful businesses keep detailed records. By keeping detailed records, you’ll know where the business stands financially and what potential challenges you could be facing. Just knowing this gives you time to create strategies to overcome those challenges.