In order to lead others, you have to know what kind of leader you are. I have written about this before, but it is essential to review and reflect continually. You also need to know who you are leading!
Do you realize you are leading even when you think you are not? Everyone watches you in your dress, your speech, your body language, and your actions. It is true! You think you can run out to the store to grab some milk to finish making those pancakes when a parent and student spot you. You have old boots, jogging pants, an old sweatshirt, no makeup, and hair in a ponytail because you just got up. It never fails to happen!
As a coach, the first thing I ask you is to tell me what kind of leader you are. This is so we can build from this point. The next step is to talk about how you model the leader you are for others. Our final step will be to ask more reflective questions to dive deeper for more insight.
The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”-Henry Kissinger
A leader who leads others to success knows who they are as a leader. Understanding who you are as a leader provides the ability to have authentic tools to develop and inspire those you lead—enhancing the skill levels of others by guiding them with feedback, gentle reminders, and sometimes harsh realities.
We can gain a great deal from the quote I selected. The use of “his leadership” indicates the challenges females have had and, I believe, still do to a degree in the acceptance into leadership positions. If we add in race with gender, we can reveal even more statistics of challenges leaders face.
The uphill climb in leadership continues to separate good leaders from extraordinary leaders. There are many tools to utilize in the journey from “Good to Great” as Jim Collins writes about successful companies with extraordinary leadership.
Strategies for Leading Others
- Establish a vision
- Define a clear mission
- Identify core values and beliefs
- Ask questions instead of providing the answers
- Engage in dialogue, conversations, debate, and not one-sided threats or coercion
- Build on strengths and weaknesses
- Informed by data- simplified, targeted, unbiased and cannot be ignored
- Disciplined action steps with accountability and responsibility
- Expectations are modeled, addressing issues promptly of unacceptable behaviors
- Shared responsibility to build on momentum and to have individuals in the right places to engage in moving forward
- Accepting and admitting when mistakes happen. This is part of the learning process.
Quick fixes and instant results are not a formula you will find for successful sustainable development. Just like diets, it is a change in “how” we live day-to-day. Habits and mindsets are part of the process of change when we look at leading others.
It takes patience, practice, precision, and purpose. Our passion drives our purpose, and the rest comes as we establish our goals. Make sure not to set the bar too high or too low. You want the goals to be attainable, and you want to have some short-term wins.
Leadership is not a title or position; it is an individual guiding others to a destination, to achieve a goal, or to accomplish the understanding of purpose in serving others. Let’s be the positive leaders to light the way to a brighter tomorrow.