When my colleagues shared their thoughts about various leadership styles, why leaders should always be authentic and why they need to evaluate their own purpose, I took the time to sit down and think about my very own Top 10 thoughts about inspirational leadership.
So here it is, my Top 10 tip-list of being a leader who can influence myself and others…
1. Trust and respect
I work hard to earn that every day, I don’t take myself too seriously. Just because I am positioned as someone else’s boss doesn’t mean I automatically have their “endorsement” to lead them. Earn that trust, respect and endorsement from the people you lead and vice versa.
2. Actions speak louder than words
I never try to be someone I am not. People can see through the real face of leaders over time through actions and behaviors, not words.
3. Be real and authentic
I treat my employees as adults. Adults can take tough news when tough news needs to be delivered. Don’t beat around the bush when communicating difficult news to employees. People want the truth even if it’s the tough reality – be sympathetic in the delivery and genuine about it.
4. It’s okay for leaders to be vulnerable
Just because we are leaders doesn’t mean we have to have ALL the answers ALL the time. Chuck personal ego out of the door when you step into the office every morning.
5. Accept and be vigilant of verbal and non-verbal cues
As leaders, we are observed and judgment is made about us whether we like it or not. If we truly “listen” and ”watch” the body language of those around us, we will see the signals and those signals are cues for us to act.
6. Always seek feedback and be 100% sincere and act on feedback
As leaders, it’s extremely difficult to get real feedback from people at a lower level. Be creative about how you go about getting feedback. At times, look at yourself in the mirror and ask the tough questions.
7. Be open, honest and transparent
Be open, honest and transparent in using 360 degree feedback for direct reports – feedback is a gift, people transform if given timely, relevant, accurate and specific feedback.
8. See your role as a leader is to remove roadblocks
…to help your team to be the best they can be, to be of service to them. My employees’ successes collectively become my success. Share!
9. Support key talents behind the scenes
Coach your key talents and promote their visibility by giving them exposure to your next level of leaders – when they get recognition from the top, they deeply appreciate what you have done for them. You never have to call it out or ask for credit.
10. Model the way every day on “THE” way of working
Open & honest, fact-based, non-political, collaborative and efficient.
So what are yours? Worth taking the time to think about it.
If you want to read more about inspirational leadership, have a look at the previous leadership posts.