How many times have you seen/read/heard someone or the other talk about: Ignite the leader within you. Or give you the steps for How to be an effective leader. Or get the leadership skills you need. Well, I know there have been many… BUT I must admit, I’ve been guilty of writing in the same way. And I’ve fallen prey to this ‘how-to’ mechanism for years now. Especially, to understand or rather I should say, to hone my “leadership skills” when all the time, I just had it within me.
Well, for starters, let me tell you that the leader that you always thought you wanted to be, or looked up to, chances are you might already be it.
There’s so much to learn from John Maxwell’s book. It is a MUST READ. I highly recommend that you grab it, I’ve put the link above. I love his work and I would borrow something from him to you’d enjoy the post today. One thing true about leadership is taking risks. I’ll let you ponder over that for a while. I think no one explains it better than John C. Maxwell, as he stated something pertinent about leadership:
“There was a very cautious man
Who never laughed or played
He never risked, he never tried,
He never sang or prayed.
And when he on day passed away,
His insurance was denied,
For since he never really lived,
They claimed, so, he never really died.”
Another person, who I deeply admire and have learned a lot from is Seth Godin, if you want to really know what it takes to be from ordinary to exemplary leader, you must read the book Tribes: We need you to lead us. [You can get a discounted version through that link]. His take on leadership, really makes you think where you stand and with what power. I borrowed Seth’s words from his blog because they are so pertinent to our understanding of leadership at work, today:
“Managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper. Leaders, on the other hand, know where they’d like to go, but understand that they can’t get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen. Managers want authority. Leaders take responsibility.“
Largely, most people who think they are leaders at work are just managers. Surely, we need both. However, they cannot be confused since leaders are scarce assets today and definitely more valuable.
When I was in Denver this May, I heard Simon Sineck talk at ATD‘s first keynote. He said something really pertinent about leadership, he said, “leadership isn’t about making the right choices and decisions.” Whether it is deciding to make your own way and speed up ahead when someone isn’t letting you pass or making a decision to let someone else go ahead and pulling yourself back. This hold true in so many instances in our life.
what I found was that everything sort of makes you feel
So many folks talk either too technical or gawky about leadership, everywhere. Through my experience of leading teams and actually running my own consultancy now, I’ve figured, 9 strategies that can help you truly realize your leading potential:
- Choose your confidence pose: From time to time we all need a little confidence boost. When I had first heard about the confidence pose and read about it, I couldn’t stop laughing. However, it repeatedly kept coming back to me. Early this year, when the CEO of DDI world, Tacy Byham spoke about it and gave the data for how beneficial the confidence pose was. I had to try it! AND Voila! It definitely worked, maybe I just had to hear it from someone else. So, give this a go. No matter what situation you might be in, whether you’re going in for big meeting, an interview, a talk, or just leading a team, it helps tremendously to choose a pose which gives you confidence and makes you feel GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF. You may want to Google Amy Cudder and confidence pose too. 🙂 Try it.
- Create a bond with people around you: You can’t be a leader if you aren’t good with people. Those weird bosses, who yell at you to get the work done, and actually get the work done, may not be in the best of terms with his/her team. Eventually, they exhaust teams and never have higher retention as well. Effective leadership adds value to the teams by creating a friendly and trustworthy environment.
- Go with what feels right inside: Decision making is absolutely crucial for effective leadership. When you are in a leadership role, or as I would like to call it, in everyday life leadership, you are ought to make good decisions. And you can make the most effective and authentic decisions when you go ahead with what feels right in your gut. When you mind and heart tells you to go ahead with something. Of course, you don’t just choose anything without any effective analysis but you know it that it feels right.
- Don’t be afraid to speak your mind: There is a concept of lizard brain propagated by Steven Pressfield. This concept is ABSOLUTELY GENIUS and he mentions it in Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way another book I highly recommend that you GRAB NOW. [I’ve added the link, where you can find it for a good discount]. He talks about our lizard brain being always scared to “being laughed” at so, never tries to speak the mind or put anything worth what our mind wishes, it stops us. Ignoring the voice of skepticism and resistance is crucial if you want to produce something meaningful in the world and make a difference as well (whether in your team or otherwise).
- Mind your language: Oops! You must be thinking I’m crazy, cause I mentioned on top, don’t be afraid to speak your mind and here I am talking about “Minding Your Language.” Well, as a true leader, in life and at work, you must be careful about hurting others. Well, if you’ve ever read, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, you’ll know that he says, the only way you can ever win an argument without hurting anyone is by not having one. And ever since I’ve read and understood that it has changed my life. You need to be an effective communicator for sure and ensure that you are speaking your mind, with the right words at the right time. (Psssttt… I am emailing something on positive languages that leaders should speak, you’ll love it, sign up to get the resource).
- Always have the courage: I mentioned earlier, on top, you need to take risks. Well that is important to make any good decisions. It enables you to break the clutter and get rid of your lizard brain, which doesn’t allow you to thrive or do anything beyond your comfort zone.
- Stay strong with your body language: Ultimately, it isn’t just your confidence that will help you sail through your inner leadership journey. Leadership is definitely an inside job and we can give out the effective leadership vibes when, we embrace it in the way we speak, non-verbal as well. A confident and smart body language is of utmost importance when you are adding value to your team and ensuring that you’re being recognized for your good and effective work.
- Always use the law of reciprocation: Though personally, I am personally not a big fan of this but I’ve suggested it to some of my clients and it has worked wonders for them. Always be kind to others show compassion and empathy in demanding situations. When you ensure to give more to your team or the people around you, you automatically lead the path to reciprocation of similar good vibes and positive behavior. It thus becomes a cycle, of love, effective work, better performance and healthier trust.
- Take advantage of self fulfilling prophecy: The eighth point leads me to the ninth and the last tactic, which never fails. The premise of self fulfilling prophecy is quite simple. It allows you ensure that you become your best possible version, as you envision and start living that characteristic and trait every single day. Your actions impact other people’s beliefs and ideas, in reciprocation their ideas and actions reinforce your beliefs, thus, influence your actions further. This makes us, as individuals, to be in a position, to influence others and be there for the greater common good.
Now, you tell me: Which one the nine strategies work best with you or you could immediately apply to your work and life? Or do you follow a different strategy to stay true to your leadership? Mention it in the comments below.
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