What is leadership? Leadership means different things to different people. I don’t think there are any concrete rules – not like those books that promise “these 6 or 7 actions will make you a great leader”! Rather, leadership has guiding principles and approaches that can help us all grow into illustrious leaders.
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Over the last few weeks I have been asked “How do you become a leader that makes a difference?”
The leadership that changes cultures, changes industries, changes the game and changes lives! The leaders that make a real, valued and dramatic contribution their followers… to the world around them. A bit more than just being a good boss!
So there are no rules… but we do have principles and approaches… 3 of which, if you applied to your leadership style, can make a massive difference to your leadership, your followers, your results, your world.
- 1. Do the scary stuff!
It’s about challenging the norm… It’s about creativity, vision and pushing the boundaries… Its about asking your followers to give up the comfortable. It’s about setting a course of action that you don’t know will work or be successful.
It’s about putting your neck above the line, for the chance to create something amazing.
Like I said, to truly lead, to truly make a difference… you have to commit to do some scary stuff! Especially in this day and age where most corporate worlds like their leaders to be compliant and follow consistent process. Do you want to make a difference? Do you want to lead in the truest sense of the word?
Then commit to the action that is going to make that difference… trust me anything that feels different, will frighten most people… The leaders that commit are the leaders that change the world!
Isn’t this frightening? Isn’t fear a human instinct that stops us getting into danger? Yes – fear does stop us doing stupid stuff… It can also stop us doing great things!
The fear of failure is not danger… it’s how we learn… don’t be afraid to learn!! That would be ridiculous!
Not only that but by doing the scary stuff, it will take you out of your comfort zone, which of course means you are growing, developing and becoming a better leader… AND it gives the opportunity for our followers to achieve things beyond the norm, the opportunity to achieve the amazing, the opportunity to feel fulfilled in something bigger than any individual.
Bottom line – Don’t push yourself and do the scary then you won’t achieve anything of real significance.
- Care about your people
Genuine, massive, in the centre of your heart type of caring… not as team members, not as recourse… care for your people as the individuals they are!
Why should this be a key factor? Well if we analyse this in a logical manner, it is highly likely we would come to the conclusion it is the right thing to do! However for those who need a bit more convincing, consider the following…
Genuine care, creates loyalty, inspiration, drive and innovation within followers… That sounds like a leader that makes a real difference to me! Have you ever had a leader that had genuine care for you? How did you feel at work? Did you do a good job? Think if you made your followers feel cared for, would they do a good job for you?
This doesn’t mean you have to bake cakes for everyone and ring after work every night to see if they have got home safe… Its caring about your followers welfare, contribution, hopes, fears, desires and aspirations… Its about doing the right thing for your people long-term, rather than delivering the short term result.
This cant be faked… and you cant hope your followers know you care.
It has to be true… so pay attention, find the common ground and do the right thing for people… A group of followers who feel protected, who feel cared for, who feel valued… Will deliver better results, more consistently than a team who don’t feel that way… Not only that, your followers will grow, enjoy and have fun delivering for you!
3.Intensity builds immensity
Create energy and define the higher purpose everyday… Its an obvious statement, but followers look to their leader for direction, action and belief. The great leaders take accountability for this… most just assume that teams of people will be self motivated and will understand the vision, the reason why… This is a critical error! Don’t assume a thing… Take accountability instead…
Talk about the vision everyday… Link every single result, task and objective to the vision… drop the activities that don’t link to the vision… and celebrate the great feelings that will come from achieving the vision.
Articulating the feelings associated with achievement… the pleasure, the abundance, the buzz… will create energy… in you… and in your followers! Its vital, as a leader, you maintain high energy, build intensity and create that higher purpose.
Link EVERYTHING the team does to the purpose… and link all the positive feeling of delivering to the purpose… Talk about it EVERYDAY… intensity builds immensity!
In summary… nothing significant will be achieved by leaders without pushing themselves and their followers out of the comfort zone and doing something scary. To truly lead you have to truly care about your followers… only then will you see the power within your people and don’t leave your followers energy or purpose to chance, take accountability and link it to all they do…
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