I work with a lot of companies on the topic of leadership.
I define leadership as the ability to impact, influence and inspire others to achieve their potential.
It means letting go of ego, of the need to be right, and the desire to have power. That’s a big ask for many people! To be humble, to be wrong, and to not prove a point, to not hold your ground or prove you’re right…
It’s about being present to the needs of others consistently.
When I coach someone on leadership, it’s a good idea to have some benchmarks that must be present for my client to know they’re developing and demonstrating their leadership skills. These benchmarks are by no means exhaustive, and you need to adapt them for your own style, of course. However, they do provide a simple guide for the new leader.
- Keep your eye on the prize
An effective leader cannot be distracted from the main game. Whatever that is – for us, it’s ‘Helping create extraordinary coaches’ – stay on target, as they say in Star Wars. There will always be distractions; that’s part of life. The key is that none of them sway you from keeping your eyes on the vision and making that the focus of each and every decision you make.
- Live the values
When I coach someone in leadership, we need to talk about values. The company, the team, the person’s values, need to be front a centre of how decisions are made.
- Setting an example always
An effective leader needs to be the example of excellence in all situations. This means being calm, listening attentively, providing sound judgment, remaining judgment free and holding the line on high standards. It’s not easy, but it’s not negotiable.
- Delivering results
Leadership is not telling people what to do. It’s being able to show people how to succeed. The best way for this is to do it, or have done it. There is no greater credibility than the credibility achieved through having succeeded at doing the thing others are expected to do.
A leader must be able to set the benchmark in terms of results. They’re required to believe it until they see it. Followers have to see it to believe it. The leader, then, must be able to set the standard, so others can know what’s achievable.
- Bringing others along
There’s little point in being a trail blazer if you’re all alone, because you left everyone behind. The leader brings their team with them. In fact, the effective leader realizes that if no one is with them, all they’re doing is going for a walk. J
The team must be beside the leader, in front of the leader and behind the leader, depending on where they’re at in their own development journey.
There is, of course more to this than just five tips. There is always more! The key though is to start collecting your own ‘true-isms’ about leadership that seem to work in all contexts and situations, and coach your client to achieve them.
Books I recommend on this:
Five Levels of Leadership-by John Maxwell
The Speed of Trust- by Stephen Covey
Start with Why- by Simon Sinek