There’s thousands of books on how to become a better leader, and just as many with inspiring stories about leading varying industries, economies and overcoming adversities of all shapes and sizes. Looking in the mirror is great for generating or deepening your self awareness. But what if you don’t know what you’re looking for? Many executives and business professionals we’ve worked with once they’re honest with themselves reveal there’s this very small inner fear that they’re “not enough” or “less than” (feeling). When it’s time for people to go beyond where they are today, for where they know they must go, the vast majority of people, the question of “better” may mean any of the following:
I want to move forward from what’s holding me back.
Is there a skill, ability or knowledge I must acquire?
Maybe I need to diversify my experience?
I’m buried beneath three hi-caliber, long-tenured executives.
Maybe I can be more outgoing…
We could list hundreds more adjectives of “I’m not enough” and increasingly discounted versions of our careers and organizational trajectory. This article will give you simple, powerful and practical insight into how you can be a better leader and bulletproof your career and organizational future today. Let’s begin simply. Simple because it’s easily replicated.
Four Essential To-Do’s Starting Today:
Delegate– extend trust to your team. Easier said than done? Or is this trait difficult, because loosening some control is beyond a current capability of yours. Notice, I didn’t say ALL control – some. Relinquishing control, as some of you are internalizing this point, demonstrates to others and indirectly yourself that you lack trust in others from a past negative experience. According to a Gallup survey, trust is the #1 factor attributing to a leader’s success. I said simple, I didn’t say easy.
Communicate– initiate authentic conversations, and be succinct while speaking directly. This ‘to-do’ represents one of the 7 Steps to Become an Elegant Leader – to be clear, concise and compelling. Without it, we’re hearing ourselves speak, not learning anything and thus not solving any problems. As a leader, you’re charged with communicating more frequently and solving problems together with your people up, down and across an organization. Want to be a better leader, really? Communicate effectively, simply and powerfull!
Likeable– whether you characterize this ‘to-do’ as enthusiasm, attitude or energy, the underlying premise is to naturally exude positive energy; keep an upbeat attitude. Not a Pollyanna fake-it-til-you-make-it bullshit, but rather a genuine, sincere and honestly likeable personality. I didn’t say anything about being charismatic or an extrovert. Some of the best leaders I know and have had the pleasure of working with avoid ‘the stage’. Their confident sense of self and clear communication far outweigh any appearance of a ‘high octane’ persona.
Accountability– Act ethically and responsibly, and don’t make promises you can’t keep. There’s very little else to say. Remember the early point about trust? You must be trustworthy to be a better leader.
The everchanging environment we live and work in today is starved for a need, for purpose, direction and unity. A leader, and if you choose to become an Elegant Leader, must extend trust, encourage drive, be courageur under stree and encourage people throughout an organization – in short, LEAD – throughout the ambiguity, turbulence and constant change. Leadership is rare!
What do people do when they don’t lead? After years spent in the coaching and consulting profession, the answer is clear – in the diary or calendar. The truth is in your meeting agendas, in the people you surround yourself with and the conversations with them. Daily work consumes Future-work, and necessity trumps opportunity. Our calendars, agendas and conversations are cluttered with management activities and we often don’t realize how bad it is until we step back and take an honest inventory or ask a trusted person to help.
Naturally, the issue is bigger than ourselves. Even if you are a CEO, it is systemic in a corporate world to drive plans, budgets, policies, processes, measures and controls to force a complex organization to do what it naturally does not do: function reliably and efficiently, day-by-day, which is, in short, management.
We manage process, numbers and operations but at it’s core is leadership, because everything we do and are accountable (should be held accountable for) is done with and through people. Very, very few of these people have ever run a business at- or -to scale. What will you do to LEAD MORE today? And for some of you, what are you willing to commit to today and in the same vein, what are you not willing to commit to today?
Elegant Leadership with Voltage is a proven methodology building your courage and have you lead with courage in all environments you will ever face. We may not know what our future holds, but we do know what happens when we fail to lead. If you’d like to know more about Elegant Leadership READ MORE…