Leadership in business = increasing the odds in your favour.
We all know when we are in the presence of a true leader. We may not connect the dots and logically say to ourselves “this is a true leader”. No, we are more likely to not think it at all but instead to experience it. It’s when we do not have to be told on introduction what their role is, and somehow, it’s not important. We are more curious about who they are? We find ourselves listening and absorbing contently. We may experience a sense of calmness and being grounded or metaphorically held yet sparks of inspiration are being ignited.
Look for what they bring to the table? A great leader shows real interest and curiosity in the person at that very moment. A great leader will explore and expand ideas, stretching and inspiring the boundaries of possibility, investing confidence in the other person. They show genuine excitement for another’s achievements, promoting that person’s abilities publicly. They seek to inspire autonomy in others and not control. Their ability to conclude the decision-making process fast and without friction is a testament to their high levels of self-awareness. This leads to the calm credibility and charisma of the leader.
What is your impact.
It is my experience that there has been a limited understanding of the real meaning of leadership and its phenomenal potency in business success in the past. The evidence of the which still exists, training continues to be confused by amalgamating ‘Leadership and Management training together.
The skills are so significantly different, I would, in my opinion, question the training providers’ acumen. Lumping the two disciplines together may feel like a bargain when investing in training, but in the long run, is an expensive error.
We manage systems and processes, but we lead and influence through our beliefs, values, and emotional energy banks. This may sound a bit wishy-washy for some more traditionalists and those who are yet to develop emotionally. However, every organization, even the company of one, has an emotional culture.
What is your business’s emotional culture? What is it you create?
Is it warm welcoming and inspirational? Or is it one of fear, control, and suppression? Don’t be fooled into thinking we must employ staff to have this impact on our businesses or that no one notices us?
Your ability to understand and manage your emotional responses to everyday situations and events will where it all starts.
We as humans are just one great bucket of emotion. It how we make sense of the environment. Happy, sad, excited, frightened, pain, love, loss, rejection, doubt and the list goes on. Emotional intelligence is not as scary as it sounds. It begins with you investing in and valuing how you operate.
We are creatures of habit and habit means we need to do things consistently and repetitively. When we are consistent, we see results, good and bad. Now it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that consistency of effort and behaviours in your business when they are aligned with your goal will result in the goal. So, start small and look at your consistent habits and the results you are currently seeing? How might adjusting those habits be more fruitful to you emotionally, and in business.
Are you the reluctant leader?
I would probably go as far as saying, a significant high percentage of business owners are ‘reluctant’ leaders. They may have worked their way up through a Company because they were good at what they do. They may have chosen a path into self-employment and become their own boss. The most spoken about challenges for many of my clients is their own motivation, the decision making, the organisational skills not to mention the pressure of expectations from those around them.
I had the great pleasure in speaking at length with one business owner in a Networking follow up call, who proudly announced that she did not relate to being a ‘leader’ of anything? A ship without a Captain at the helm is also known as driftwood.
The ability to lead oneself is the foundation of any successful person. Look at any of the notable publications and authorities in the field for your evidence, author Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich, author Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of highly effective people, Brene Brown Dare to Lead, to name just 3 that span decades of thought leadership. They all have the clear message that success in life begins with leading yourself first.
SME leaders aren’t alone in either their reluctance to accept the position or accountability. Let alone misunderstanding the true relevance of the impact leadership has in achieving in the organisations or company’s mission. The Public Sector and large organisations invest large sums of money into their ‘leadership teams’. I have no dought leadership teams are made up of highly qualified individuals, this is not in question. Expert in their ‘chosen’ field but sticking them in a classroom for a few days on a ‘one off’ course does not miraculously turn them into great leaders. We must embrace and see the potential and work on understanding and expanding our leadership qualities willingly. Not just for ourselves but the wider impact and legacy we want to leave.
Theory to practice
Theories are all very useful but to know which ‘category’ your style of leadership fits, puts it more into the world of a fashion accessory in my book. I have sat through so many interviews listening to eager, wide-eyed, and excited new leaders who wax lyrical about their preferred style of leadership to motivate the ‘staff’. One interviewee announced his style as ‘Machiavellian’ in style? I actually felt my toenails recoil, as a large question mark was placed over … ‘values’. What is it they say, “never a truer word was said, than that in jest”?
When you really start to think like the leader in your business, your business will respond by translating those thoughts into purposeful action and the results will follow.
Stop looking at Leadership as a qualification to study in exchange for a certificate and a shiny stamp. Instead study yourself.
The world needs emotionally intelligent leaders in business more than ever. It does not require people in leadership roles.
I hope this has offered you valuable food for thought, consideration and to take a fresh look at how you are performing in your business.
You are very welcome to download and complete this PDF.
4 Strategies to dramatically improve your leadership.
I have designed the PDF to help you explore, with small adjustments, what visible results you can achieve.
Download the 4 Strategies to Improve your leadership PDF by completing the form below: