Being a great leader depends on how well they know themselves. Leaders must make sure that they are self-aware, clearly communicate their goals and expectations, reach their goals, set high standards, expect quality work and meet deadlines, demonstrate that all their team members matter, show gratitude, don’t settle and spend time with their team.
Needless to say, a little introspection is required from time to time.
Wondering how do you become the best version of yourself?
Sometimes, we end up in or go after leadership positions but don’t understand why or how we got there.
It is always important to assess our goals, values and purpose every step of the way.
Leadership encapsulates different concepts and key competencies.
For most, leadership is the ability to wheel power, to influence people positively in order to be successful, to bring like-minded individuals together towards a common goal or vision and to translate that vision into reality.
In order to be effective you must figure out what leadership means to you.
Most people want to lead because they see themselves in power, in control, with status and doing whatever they want.
However, leaders are always held accountable for their actions, have to serve as models and have to exhibit exemplary behavior.
Without an ethical purpose in mind, they will not be able to sustain their role very long.
If you weren’t a leader, what would you do? What career would you pursue?
Do you have sufficient resources to achieve your goals and yourself?
Leaders must find at least one field in which they excel. This will develop their credibility, their confidence and will help you be of assistance to people in need.
If your leadership roles don’t correspond to your values, it is time to rethink your career.
Learning to center yourself, to choose peace of mind requires that you acquire new healthy habits and that you question your thoughts that most often are an illusion or distorted memories.
Figure out how to preserve your time and energy, how to ensure your growth, how to continually improve as a person, and how to boost your leadership self-esteem?
Some people get into positions to please their families, impress their friends or flatter their own egos.
A job or a role in which you feel boxed in is frustrating, leaves little space for you to develop your skills or maximize your strengths.
As a leader, you must project yourself in the future and visualize the legacy that you want to leave.
It actually goes a long way and projects more authority and credibility than a title or a position would.
Furthermore, the team you lead, the environment that you work in is a direct reflection of you. If you want a trusting workplace, be trustworthy.
Being open to learn and to explore is detrimental to success.
To start the learning process, you can read books, take trainings and classes, and talk to people who are in positions that you aspire to.
Furthermore, you must understand that if you seek knowledge, you will never fully be an expert.
Creating work-life balance is not giving equal attention to both work and life.
But, it means that you are satisfied with your contributions to your life and work, that you are able to create a sustainable synergy between both so that you are fueled by them on a daily basis.
To do so, you must focus on the vital few and not let your career affect your personal life and vice versa.
We choose a certain career because our ever-changing needs and desires align with that particular career but not necessarily with the collective good.
In the leadership position, there is a huge discrepancy between hiring the right person with the right competencies for the job, between hiring someone with lesser competencies to feel unthreatened, between hiring someone to serve you and caress your ego.
There is also a difference between wanting the organization to succeed, wanting the team and the project to shine, and taking all the credit for someone else’s work.
Leadership style refers to the way that the leader interacts with his or her employees, influences their behavior, motivates them, make decisions for them and for the organization.
A specific leadership style can deeply influence the quality of work, the levels of commitment, the work satisfaction of both leader and employees.
We cannot control everything in our life.
However, we can control how we react to different situations, how we see ourselves and who we aspire to be.
Leaders must be able to anticipate problems and implement solutions for the future. What strategies do you apply? How do you handle bad news? How do you set boundaries? Do you encourage dissension?
There are several components to leadership. One of them is building and maintaining healthy relationships.
Leaders are responsible for the people they hire and the people that they lead. How do you build your team?
Cultural sensitivity is being aware that everyone is different.
It means being able to learn from different people, to understand their backgrounds, to collaborate and cooperate with them, without being judgmental.
Failures don’t directly lead to success but it can show you the way. It is best when your mistakes come to light rather than going unnoticed.
It is important to recall the time you have succeeded and demonstrated great leadership.
The memory of past success will serve you right when you face challenges. If you did it once, then you can do it again.
It is similar to tutorship, to parenthood, to partnership, or to an alliance.
As a leader, your behavior in pressure moments impacts those around you and can predict their performance.
The ability to anticipate, to solve problems, to make quick and sound decisions will determine the success of a leader.
Effective communication skills will improve your leadership credibility, your self-confidence, your relationships with others, your feelings of belonging and will decrease your stress level.
Using those skills, leaders should be pushing a vision for their life, for their family or their organization and it shouldn’t matter whether they have the right relationships, enough money, enough favors, or have hired people with the desired skill set.
Being organized, methodical, pragmatic will help you gain a sense of satisfaction and will increase your chances of success.
It is critical to have a role model who will help you improve, achieve your goals and will show you your life purpose.
Your role model is authentic, relatable and can be a family member, a friend in your entourage or someone you barely know.
Leaders must visibly act out the change, must be ready to do things differently and to think otherwise.
You can’t always find out what you like but life has a funny way of putting you in front of the things that you hate the most.
Accepting criticism implies that you are able to listen, accept people point of view and give feedback as well.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni defines the five dysfunctions of a team to avoid in order to be successful. He teaches us how to build a team as a leader and how to effectively be part of one.
For Lencioni, a team is a “relatively small number of people (anywhere from three to twelve) that shares common goals as well as the rewards and responsibilities for achieving them. Team members readily set aside their individual or personal needs for the greater good of the group.”
Patrick Lencioni believes in team work and that it is the ultimate competitive advantage in a company. Effective team work being easy to attain but hard to measure, he judges effective team work by measuring its performance, its results, by its capacity to overcome obstacles and the five dysfunctions model (seen below).
Trust is an uncommon trait in life, is the most important factor in team survivals, is rare and is generally hard to instill. Being a trustful and trustworthy designates a person unafraid to be open, candid, transparent, willing to expose their weaknesses, and admit their failures.
Because of human preservation instincts, because people wear masks to protect themselves and their true feelings, being vulnerable is uncommon and unnatural. People don’t find rewarding to take such risks, to put themselves in harm’s way for other people, for an organization.
Furthermore, lack of trust is a destroyer of team work, multiplies hypocrisy, causes the team to watch their every move, monitor their every word. To overcome this dysfunction, Lencioni suggests that:
In addition to overcoming trust issues, teams must learn to handle conflicts. Conflicts don’t necessarily have to be feuds, quarrels or arguments. Conflicts can also be healthy debates that lead the team to a solution, discussions where people are listening and seriously considering other people points of view. Needless to say, without trust, the debate will easily become a contest.
Conflict is inevitable but must not be avoided. It is either constructive or destructive, and anywhere along that spectrum. It has the benefit to push people out of their emotional comfort zone.
To overcome dysfunction #2, Lencioni proposes to:
A lack of commitment is the third dysfunction to be overcome by teams. Commitment lies in fact that the team buys in a decision whether or not they agree with it. To create clarity and alignment, to avoid assumptions:
All members of the team, including the team leader, must remain accountable for their actions. They must remind each other of their respectful responsibility, of their behaviors, standards, results and performance. Otherwise, they gradually lose respect for each other, lose morale.
Leaders have to be able to receive critical feedback around their behavior and performance in order to give feedback. To encourage a culture of peer-to-peer accountability, Lencioni suggests that teams must openly:
Self-orientated distractions, individualization are also destroyers of teams. To address this last dysfunction, there is no need to have completely overcome the four previous dysfunctions.
Focusing on collective results implies that team members are not self-interested and not only looking out for number one.
Results are what measure team success and keeps people focused on the priorities. Teams must commit early and openly to their expected results, keep a scoreboard and measure the progress at all times.
In Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni shows leaders how to build and optimize their team through practical examples, gradual exercises and valid assessments such as the Myers Briggs assessment tests.
Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is very insightful and dedicated to toxic environments, to self-disciplined, thoughtful leaders. In order for them to be successful, Lencioni recommends that team members become:
Each characteristic can be worked on simultaneously. Of course, the leader has to be the facilitator as well and all expected behaviors have to be modeled on the leader.
After analyzing the 5 different dysfunctions that destroys teams, Lencioni answers additional questions that he received from clients, consultants and executives, replies to the objections of some participants, demonstrates the obstacles to avoid, the ways to convince skeptical leaders, engage uncomfortable people.
At last, Lencioni provides us with tools, questionnaires, team building exercises, road maps, steps to take in order to start and maintain the team building process.
A leader without a vision is a leader without a head. A leader without a vision is a wandering leader. A leader without a vision is a rolling stone without a moss.
I have to say, to most, a vision is a dream. To leaders, a vision becomes a set of goals that they create for themselves and for their existing or fictional organization. To successful leaders, a vision is a dream that encompass their values and morals, that seems unrealistic but that is yet anchored in reality, that is ingrained in their DNA and adaptable to their environment.
Wondering why is it important to create a leadership vision and by what measure leaders sustain their vision?
A lot of people have a vision for their life. However, most of them do not pursue it or don’t acknowledge it because it seems unattainable or far-fetched, because they inspire others and not themselves, they are afraid, they are discouraged or they are too busy to look within to act upon their vision.
Nonetheless, people without vision are impotent to perform and remain bitter or frustrated. It is the vision that leads you and propels you forward, that wakes you up in the morning, that gives you purpose, that drive your performance, that is communicated to your employees, that gives meaning to your actions and decisions, and that leans on your belief systems.
Leaders should be pushing a vision for their life, for their family or their organization and it shouldn’t matter whether they have the right relationships, enough money, enough favors, or have hired people with the desired skill set.
The leadership vision has to be intrinsic, greater than the obvious, has to be overwhelming, powerful and so inspiring that it annoys everyone else. It becomes essential to protect that vision and not to let anyone intimidate that vision or impose their vision.
Leaders with a vision are ambitious and satisfied with their lives, become hopeful and optimistic about the future, invite change, select their employees according to their strengths and not their weaknesses, are daring and don’t fear failure, are emotionally invested in their goals, flexible, persistent, resistant to social pressure and are convinced of their future success.
First of all, a leadership vision is sometimes born when you are afflicted or when the situation is unbearable.
Keep in mind, a leadership vision does not appear suddenly out of the blue. It takes time and a thorough self-assessment and a proper knowledge of your environment in order to express your vision. A vision is invisible but you have to believe in it, conceive it and hold on to it.
To create a leadership vision, it is therefore fundamental that:
Once you have your vision in place, in order to make it more effective and vivid:
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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