Are you a leader? Great! I have compiled some ideas from a few places to make an overview of leadership and how you should act and be. But first remember, you lead people and manage things.
Leading people is not about management
Management is when you deal with things and activities: you manage projects, timetables, budgets, moves, etc.
You lead change because that has to do with people, and of course you lead people. Leadership is about yourself as a leader and it’s about your relationships with the people you lead. So, there’s the communication aspect and the aspect of your person as a leader.
Good communication as a leader
· You take genuine interestin your people
This is not as difficult as it seems, as they are your real assets. They are the way forward for your team and your for your team and your company, so you should naturally be interested in what will bring success: your people.
· You smile
Not only should you add this activity to your healthy-living activities- but it’s good for the team, too. They will react positively and start smiling, too. Soon the atmosphere will improve, just watch!
· You use your people’s names
It’s been proven that people feel valued when their names are used. I take the time to learn my students’ names (about 100 per semester). People like to hear their names so use them.
· You give praise and credit where it’s due, and consider people’s feelings
One of the worst failures a leader can do is take credit for someone else’s work or ideas. People have feelings and need to be treated honorably and with the value due their person.
· You think first and then act or say (being intentional)
Whether it’s about an idea, a project, or about dealing with a person, you need to be thoughtful about what you are doing and not reactionary. Reaction leads to mistakes.
· You invite others’ opinions and actually consider them; you are interactive
If you are not inviting opinions, you are losing out on a wealth of solutions. Not only do people feel valued when their opinions and ideas are requested, but your team members are more invested in the team, AND you have more great ideas to work with. Three plus-es, and no minus-es.
· You take the initiative and speak to people (there are no elephants in the room)
If you are not talking about issues and problems, probably nobody else will. Go ahead and bring things into the light. It’s your job.
· You listen first and foremost (and then acting proactively, not reactively)
· You are positive, creating a positive team (and company) culture
Much has been written on this, but a positive team is much more productive, as we all know.
· You are friendly, helpful, patient, offering your help when it’s needed
You are the proverbial Scout (boy or girl). You are the one to be there, and you are there.
· You always remember that in a conflict there are three “sides”- yours, theirs, and the truth
Your person (character) as a leader
· You are a visionary, taking initiative with change and ideas
Without a vision, the people – and the company –perish.
· You are transparent, honest and full of integrity
Eventually these characteristics, or lack thereof, will bring you and your team forward – or down, respectively. It’s your choice.
· You are calm (again, not reactive)
“Power is so characteristically calm, that calmness in itself has the aspect of strength.“ – Edward Bulwer-Lytton
· You are humble and honest about your own capabilities (you know what you can and can’t do, what you do and don’t know, and you do your job, not everyone else’s job)
This means you can ask for others to do what you cannot, which is important for success.
· You are a positive model
If you know it or not, you team is watching you and naturally emulating you, for good or bad. So, do good.
· You are reliable and accountable
You do what you say and say what you do; thus, your team can trust you and count on you.
· You are (reasonably) organized
This is where management comes into play. You manage your time, your responsibilities and so on.
· You want the best people on your team, so you are not the expert in the room
It is very freeing when you are surrounded by so many capable people, and you remember that a MIXED team of people NOT like you is best for the company.
· You are solution-oriented (finding the answer is your goal)
You goal is to find answers, and you do not need to have all of them; that’s where your wonderfully diverse team comes into play.
· You celebrate- the beginning, middle and end: a kick-off party really is one
The process is also to be celebrated, not just the end product. A team that celebrates together is healthy and more productive.
Have a great week!
I have take some of the ideas from the article from the Entrepreneur below, from, from a quote (included), from my own ideas, and from Daniel Goleman of “Emotional Intelligence”.