10 steps to better leadership
1. Create the space
Slow down, allow yourself that needed pause. Check in and bring awareness to your state of mind before engaging in a situation. So often we rush headlong unaware of the baggage we bring to the party. By creating that space between action and reaction we offer ourselves that chance to catch a thought before it is energized into an emotion. “It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters” – Epictetus
2. Act authentically
You cannot be who you are not. There is no perfect leader; we all have different skills, behaviors and idiosyncrasies. Don’t attempt to mask or obfuscate, rather embrace those differences. This does not mean you needn’t work to improve in areas that would benefit from such effort. In fact, acting authentically requires the self-acknowledgement of the personal work to be done.
3. Truly care
Care about what you do, for whom and with whom. If you are going to expect the best out of others, ensure you place that same expectation upon yourself. Get to know your people, learn what is important to them. Recognize that we all want the same things, to be heard, cared for, valued and respected.
4. Be humble
The risk of success is that we believe that we are its creator. Success is never accomplished alone. We are all interdependent. Someone has helped us or some factor has allowed us to meet with that result. We are merely the recipient. Certainly, our actions can position us for its achievement, but to build ourselves up as creator, will only diminish the contribution of others.
5. Allow vulnerability
We all have worries and insecurities. Their existence does not make us weak; they only make us human. Don’t hide that vulnerability, yet instead allow it to manifest. A leader who is fallible and flawed is for more relatable. Not knowing the answer is not the problem; it is failing to ask for help that is the issue.
6. Be fully present
How many times have you had an employee in your office for a conversation and while talking with them, you also glanced at your computer screen as a new email appeared? You are not alone. There is so much information constantly bombarding our senses. Thich Nhat Hahn said, “The greatest gift we can offer is our presence.” Don’t let information sweep you away, offer your full attention, be there completely.
7. Listen deeply
A wonderful way to validate the importance of another is to offer them your ear. Listen and ask, not on the surface but intently and deeply. Not only will you be demonstrating interest and respect, you will be availing yourself to potential new learning and better understanding.
8. Do good; avoid harm
On this surface this sounds so obvious, but it is not so easy to accomplish. Many times our actions have unintended consequences. Bring full awareness to the potential outcome of your actions. More importantly understand fully the root of the action and take care to ensure that is stems from good intention.
Laughter is a gift to yourself and others. It can fill a room, alter a situation, and change an outcome. Used wisely, it can bring people together, build trust and foster friendship. Leverage the power of laughter often.
10. Passion in what you do!
Passion can be found right here and right now. Don’t chase it externally; instead find it where you stand. What do you love to do and how can you do it right now and right here? Passion is the energy of purpose, so connect to your purpose and passion will emerge.
This may appear to be a daunting list or even idealistic. But choose one or two of these steps and give yourself fully to the effort and you will witness change. Please contact us to learn more about how to take these steps.
Thanks for reading.