‘A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for finding potential in people & processes and who has the courage to develop that potential’. – Brene Brown
Leadership – it’s both an opportunity and a responsibility to help others to be successful.
A chance for you to set the direction, guide your team and community to make a lasting impact.
This is the final article of my 3-part series on Leadership.
When I decided to write about this topic, I found it difficult to express my thoughts in just one article because the subject of ‘great leadership’ is so deep, compelling, and important.
It’s important because as leaders our words, energy and stamina all matter when building relationships with others.
I believe that writing about leadership is more than sharing a list of impossible to achieve qualities and characteristics that many blogs, videos and articles promote and write about.
I wrote these articles with intention.
Wherever you are in your leadership journey- new, seasoned, young, or old – if you aspire to be the best leader you can, then this series will support your journey.
My intent for these articles is that they serve as an essential guide for leaders and aspiring leaders in today’s ever shifting world.
Part 1-‘The Perception of Leadership Exposed’ : relates to our opinion of leadership being skewed by social media and society. We often associate great leadership with money, a luxurious lifestyle, social media presence and power.
Viewing leadership ONLY from this perspective, does not allow us to dig deeper.
It hinders our ability to carefully study these figures as masters of their craft because we are viewing leadership from a limited lens.
If you missed Part 1, you could read it using the link the below:
Part 2- ‘The Path to Self Discovery’ focuses on self leadership.
Great leaders master the art of self discovery through:
- Self Discovery.
- Self Acceptance.
- Self Management.
It’s the practice of understanding who you are and the internal factors to help develop a greater sense of self.
If you missed Part 2, please access using the link below:
Now that we have clarity on self leadership practices by managing ourselves INTERNALLY, it’s time to focus on EXTERNAL leadership.
‘As a leader, it’s a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behaviour your want others to follow’ -Himanshu Bhatia, Founder & CEO, Rose International Inc.
Based on my experience as a leader, building relationships with mentors and being a student of leadership, I’ve developed a list of what great leaders actually do that have…
“THE GREATEST IMPACT”
- SELF AWARENESS:
The essence of being an authentic leader is becoming aware of yourself and how you interact with the world. I’ve spent most of my life trying to become more authentic and a better leader.
I believe the world today doesn’t need more leaders who are charismatic, ego driven or self serving.
Instead, we need more leaders who are real, who can bring people together around a passion for a common purpose.
To make a community, a company, and our world a better place.
To create this space, and help those around you, an awareness and understanding of who you are is essential.
You need to be comfortable with yourself.
When I think about self awareness…
I am reminded of the simple words of the Greek Philosopher, Socrates when he stated: ‘KNOW THYSELF’
Building awareness really gets to the core of who you are, and keep in mind that this journey can take a lifetime of work.
Learn to accept yourself for what and who you are. Lean in and understand your own personal story.
Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed of certain qualities and more importantly, do not make yourself ‘small’ by limiting your story.
Take out your journal and ask yourself these powerful questions and record your answers/thoughts:
- Are you comfortable with being yourself? Around friends, family and/or work colleagues? Why or Why not?
- Do you feel like you have to put on a mask? Or a façade and be someone you are not? Why?
- In what situations do you find yourself not being true to who you are?
There are many positive external effects of becoming more self aware as a leader. Self Awareness equips leaders with critical skills for success such as:
When you learn to understand yourself, you will become more understanding of others.
Loving and accepting ourselves helps us to better understand and appreciate others.
When you are in ‘tune’ with yourself by identifying and managing your emotions, you will be able to have more situational awareness in your ability to recognize and influence the emotions of others.
CONSTANTLY LOOKING TO IMPROVE:
Aspiring leaders or students of leadership are aware of their strengths, weaknesses, hidden bias and take accountability for them.
And most important, constantly ask for feedback in order to improve.
Leaders who are self aware, are relentless in their quest to improve and recognize the value of continuous learning and growth.
Ask people you respect for feedback on your performance as a leader on an ongoing basis.
Be open to feedback and ask, ‘What can I do to get better?’
‘Please help others rise. Greatness comes not from a position, but from helping others build the future. We have an obligation to pull others up’-Indra Nooyi, Former CEO of PepsiCo.
People who support what they create, enlist other people by asking …
- What they think.
- How they feel.
- And what they desire and need.
Getting people involved means giving them the trust and decision-making authority to work toward a vision, goal, or objective.
In order to give autonomy…
The role of leader is to equip them with knowledge:
- And trainings to succeed.
This will build momentum and enhance meaningful work.
Being an empowering leader supports and develops other powerful habits such as:
- Setting clear expectations.
- Rewards and recognition.
- Evaluating and sharing progress/feedback.
- Being communicative which includes thoughtful listening.
3. LEAD AS A COACH:
‘Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.’-Simon Sinek
I have experienced leaders who give orders and make judgements during my career.
This changed my behaviour, and I became:
Leading by fear or ego is easy. It doesn’t require much thought and is self serving.
Coaching is an art. A student of leadership values it’s positive effect and makes it a part of their learning journey. It becomes part of their identity.
The ability to coach someone through challenges without micromanaging or directing is the pinnacle of leadership.
Effective leaders are skilled at asking the right questions to help solve challenges with the purpose of helping someone learn and grow, rather than become dependent.
I believe that effective and intentional coaching will unleash energy, motivation, and commitment.
Moving toward a coaching model in which leaders facilitate solving and encouraging employee development by asking questions and offering support and guidance rather than giving orders and making judgements.
One of my favourite books on coaching and the power of leadership is by Author and Speaker, Simon Sinek called ‘Leader Eat Last, Why Some Teams Pull together and Some Don’t’.
Refer to the link below for the book, however I recommend the audio version as I find the voice and reading of the text inspiring:
As a student of leadership, I am excited about mastering my craft and believing that I can always be better, that there is always something to learn and ways to grow.
I also believe that extraordinary results are simply a by-product of us showing up authentically, and powerfully as we can.
In summary, impactful leadership is…
- Self Awareness.
The result of focusing on sharpening these qualities are humility, emotional intelligence, and self improvement
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I sincerely wish you the best on your journey to enhance your life!
George Andreas, Founder