What is leadership and how does it work?
Leadership is relevant to all of us. Whether we are extroverted or introverted. Whether we manage or lead a team at work or in our business or lead our families. In essence leadership is influence and everyone influences someone either for good or bad. Maxwell says that even the most introverted of us will influence thousands of people in our lifetime.
So if we are all leaders in some way or another (even if that leadership is just of ourselves), then we need to learn how to lead well. Here are a few things to bear in mind if you want to be a good leader:
1) First lead yourself well - If you are going to lead your family, friends, business, school or work colleagues well, then the first person you need to lead well is yourself. Learn simple disciplines and habits that will get you achieving what you want to achieve in your life. Then helping others to achieve through your leadership will come naturally.
2) Have a core set of values. Work out what you really value and want in life. If you have a set of principles you are working to then you will have something to judge the decisions you make by. What are the values at the centre of your life that lead you? Faith in God, doing good, providing for your family, leaving a positive contribution in the world, achieving your best athletically, making a certain amount of money. If you are clear about your values then you will be clear what to do and not to do in each situation and you will also be a clear example to others.
3) Have integrity - This is a real buzz word these days. But what does it mean? It really means being honest with yourself and others. Being the same on the inside as you are on the outside. This way people will trust you as a leader because they know that what you say is what you mean. Also this way you can also trust yourself, because you say what you mean. The more confident you are in yourself about yourself, the more confidence it will generate in others.
4) Do what you say you will do - If you say you will do something then do it. If you deliver you will feel good about yourself and others will trust you. Also deliver ahead of the time you set. So if you think you will realistically get something done by Wednesday. Say you will get it done by Friday and then people will have great confidence in your leadership when you deliver on time or even earlier than predicted.
5) Lead by example - Show others the way you want them to work and deliver everything you do with excellence. Excellence means doing things to the best of your ability rather than half-heartedly.
6) Give clear instructions to others about what you want them to do with realistic deadlines and point them to how they can do it. Also be willing to listen to any difficulties they may have in achieving the task and guide them from your experience and expertise. Always hold them to a high standard and believe they can do it.
7) Have regular accountability meetings - Meet with your team at least once a week to make sure they are on target for their projects. Don't be afraid to confront where something is not happening but always do this with gentleness and respect. This way the issue is on the table but not the relationship.
8) Reward your team - Reward those who work for you. Always have regular times of celebration when something has been achieved. This might be a thank-you in a meeting or an appreciation card or award or meal out with the team.
9) Speak Positively and have a positive attitude - Positivity breeds positivity and a good working environment. People work better when they feel respected and fell like we are all in it together. We are all working to achieve the task and promote the organisation.
10) Always be looking to develop those who work for you. Let them know you care about the company and them. Send them on training courses that help them improve their skills for their work but also their personal interests.
There are so many more lessons to learn about leadership and we will try to look at some more of them through this week. But these will get you started.
Feel free to leave any comments or ask any questions below and I will give you the best answers I can.