It’s Time For You to Lead
Anyone can be a leader and anyone can lead from anywhere in the organization. Real leaders exist in every corner of an organization whether it’s a 4-person department or a global organization of 20,000. What matters most is you, as the new leader, see what needs to be done and you get it done. Being fully engaged with people, caring for others and the challenges we all face is of more value personally and professionally than how to carefully craft your image as the neophyte leader. Start of your leadership journey by becoming an Elegant Leader with Voltage.
Operating under the assumption that you have to be someone else in order to be effective can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This article is not your atypical Top 5, Top 10 Band-aid list of how to be a super dooper new leader. The cadence is to unpack four simple thoughts and develop them on your own and at your own pace – The Culture Whisperer’s advice for a new leader, the Elegant Leader with Voltage in-training encompasses passion kindness, humility and patience.
Own who you are and where you are in your leadership journey.
The person you become in the next 2-3 years will be based upon the books you read and the people you associate yourself with. According to Forbes, CEOs read anywhere from 4-6 books per month in order to lead and to execute effectively, efficiently and the what’s and how’s of leading with authenticity and confidence. I have a couple mentors to point you towards in Larry Bossidy, the Chairman and former CEO of Honeywell International. Earlier in his career he was chairman and CEO of AlliedSignal, COO of General Electric Credit (now GE Capital Corporation).
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy offers unparalleled insights on delivering results and why some companies are successful and others are not. His knowledge and experiences are evident on how to close the gap between results promised and results delivered that people in business need today. Whether you connect with Bossidy, Richard Branson to the community-leading executive in your hamlet, you’re likely to hear “the best advice came from” a parent or close family friend when diluted to its simplest form.
Ready or Not? Be Patient
Are you comfortable with who or where you are now? Many of us are not, due to a deficiency somewhere, whether it’s a skill to be developed, a character trait to be tested by fire or just needing “reps.”
Some reasons stem from one or more of the following:
- Uncertainty. When you exude insecurity, it affects how people view and interact with you. Others are less likely to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself.
- Insincere. People understand when you’re being genuine with them and when you aren’t. Putting on a façade doesn’t instill trust and confidence.
- Fear. When you avoid situations you’re uncomfortable with, you’re not doing your job. The energy you spend dealing with fear and insecurity is energy you’re not spending on getting work done.
- Innocent or ignorant. If you aren’t self-aware enough, new challenges can easily throw you off balance.
- Insecurity. Lacking self-awareness, avoiding uncomfortable situations, spending time in your insecurity takes valuable time away from doing your job effectively.
You don’t know what you don’t know. Be Humble
- Know who you are – own it, know where you want to go and get someone to help you get there – either adapt or die, gain the skill, buy, build or borrow the skill, delegate it to a team member, embrace your idiosyncrasies and never pretend who you are – be yourself.
- Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. Look hard, listen to feedback – treat it as a gift – and be honest with yourself. If you’re not sure where to begin, solicit advice from competent friends, colleagues, your own management or a trusted advisor.
- You have options. If you know you’re weak in a particular domain, you have two options. You can either develop those skills yourself or find coverage elsewhere on the team. Being comfortable delegating to, and collaborating with, those who are more expert than you isn’t a sign of weakness—it’s a sign of leadership.
- Understand (and embrace) your weird. Most of us have idiosyncrasies that fall outside the norm. Welcome to the human race! Get comfortable with it.
- Use your self-awareness and acceptance as a strength. Steve Jobs, an undisputed industry leader, was known for his prickly personality. But he didn’t hide who he was. Would he have had the same impact had he pretended to be someone else?
It’s Okay to Get Angry. It’s Never Okay to be Cruel. Be Kind.
- Ask great questions. A new leader, one who strives to become an Elegant Leader with Voltage, asks great questions and sincerely listens to the answers given. Learning what’s going on in your business and the underpinning issues resident in the current situation allow the new leader to uncover what the climate and culture truly are.
- Get in the mud. As a new leader and if you’re going to grow into an Elegant Leader with Voltage, then you’re going to have to get dirty. By your example, you’re going to have to show everyone you’re not beneath the dark and difficult work of getting close to the situation, showing and sharing empathy that if it’s important, then you’re ensuring the message is clear for everyone.
Being Intense and Intentional. Have Passion
- Find their passion. By asking great questions and over communicating, the new leader will find team’s passions. Supporting and leveraging these passions will extend, expand and possibly create opportunities internally to leverage skill sets that were previously dormant for a variety of reason. Simon Sinek has said, “Working hard for something we don’t care about is stress. Working for something we love is called passion.”
- Over-communicate. Leaders in the early stages of their leadership journey know they must over communicate. Getting the message out to everyone is inclusive. There’s no need for an inner circle in order to ensure the low level of employees have an honest sense of belonging. Delivering a clear, concise and compelling message is critical in order for employees to feel safe and to feel empowered to perform their jobs without the fear of recrimination. Over communication allows the leader to establish a healthy environment.
Being new is rarely easy, and by taking the time to be a learner and to get to know your team, chances are they will follow you when you step up and lead. How would you like to know more about having passion, being kind, humble and patient in beginning your leadership journey as an Elegant Leader with Voltage? Click here to get your FREE copy of the 7-Steps to Become an Elegant Leader with Voltage.