Not all leaders are in actual designated “leadership positions.” We have the opportunity to be a high quality leader every day, in whatever capacity the day calls for, whether it is with those in our same household or with individuals worldwide.
Good leaders have the ability to lead and follow. They are visionaries. Everyone can have a vision, no matter what position they hold. They can influence individuals to “do” something. They have a high sense of integrity and use wisdom in their decision making. Leaders are not always popular and that can be difficult at times but for the sake of the greater good they hold their ground. Leadership also means being humble enough to make corrections when making a wrong turn.
Critical leadership characteristics are the ability to be results-focused and still give a hug of support; to operate with a focus that incorporates the head and the heart in decision-making and problem solving, willingness to let go of biases and positions to see possibilities; to create space/environments of inclusion and acceptance; and think of themselves as resources and not “Bosses”.
Leadership Strategies & Outcomes: The impact of Leader has no bounds! An ancient quote from Phillip II of Macedon still holds true today: “An army of deer led by a lion(esse) is more to be feared than an army of lions led by a deer.” Why? A lion(esse) is involved, firm and confident, and scouts new opportunities for provisions. They take position for battle AND they take care of their own. Deer are peaceful, passive and run away when frightened.
Strong leaders listen to staff. Take this simple test to check your listening skills. At the end of your week, write three things – learned from employees that week. Examples: insight about customer, better way – handle process, reasons why project didn’t work. So much – learn from employees. If you can’t list at least three things per week, you may not be listening carefully enough.
Nurture and Inspire: You can be a great leader without degrading others as you move forward, in your career, or as a leader or coach. Always be mindful of other people’s feelings and to never jump to conclusions about their behavior. No one knows what challenge they may be dealing with.
Positive Influence: We all have a need for a sense of belonging and do things that make people feel included. Leaders let others know that they are valued members of the team. Female leaders are particularly talented at helping their employees feel like they belong. Talk to each employee as a human with needs, emotions and goals. Develop an other-person mindset. Begin looking for ways to include others. Caring means a genuine concern for others that can create a more productive work atmosphere.
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