Want to Be a WOW Leader?
I’ve reached two key conclusions in my career regarding leadership. The first, being a leader can be the best job on earth, and at times, the worst. The second, when things get really bad, we tend to forget most of what we’ve heard or learned.
Sound discouraging? Never fear, the key to successfully navigating challenging situations is tapping into what you’ve been trained to do. In other words, going on autopilot. Embracing the following tips can help ensure you’re having more good days than bad.
9 Tips for Success
- Two key ingredients of leadership success – the leader and the team. This is a symbiotic relationship. A leader can’t be successful without the right team, and the team won’t be successful without a competent leader. A competent leader utilizes both head and heart to guide decision making, is open and honest, seeks input and really listens, and creates an environment where people feel valued, empowered and recognized. Keep in mind, the team can only do what the leader allows them to do.
- Be the real you. People can spot a phony a mile way. Know who you are, what you stand for, and be true to that. Being genuine and demonstrating a caring attitude builds credibility, which in turn builds trust.
- Embrace the fact that you can’t do it all and ease up on yourself. Choose where you want to focus your talents and energy. We tend to be much kinder and gentler to others than we are to ourselves. Ask yourself: “Would I let someone talk to me like I talk to myself?”
- Ensure you have “A” players. In times of organizational stress, having “A” players is even more critical to the organization. Having the right talent with the right skills can make your life oh so much easier. Unfortunately, not everyone is an “A” player. The conflict happens when there is a gap between what the organization needs, and what the individual can offer. Although swapping out players is never easy, the organization, the team and even the individual will be better off in the long run.
- Identify and enlist YOUR personal success partners. You need support. Perhaps a confidante – someone you can just “be” with, who won’t judge you, who has your best interests at heart …someone who can “talk you off the ledge” when you’re at your worst. You might want a mentor who shares what they have learned from their journey instead of you having to do learn everything the hard way. Or, maybe you need a coach who can help you identify and leverage your strengths, set goals, and develop a roadmap to help you address your weaknesses.
- Know when to ask for help. No one person has all the answers. Asking for help is a sign of strength and wisdom – not a weakness. Lead by example, be vulnerable – others will appreciate that you’re human and will model the behavior.
- Stay grounded. When things get tough, your team needs you to be your best. As the flight attendant says, “put your mask on first.” You can’t help others if you aren’t in good condition yourself. Know what it takes to keep you grounded before a crisis occurs and practice it often.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Most of us are not rocket scientists or brain surgeons. Yes, our jobs are important and our actions have far reaching implications. However; as author Brendon Burchard tells us “be the person who brings joy, humility, and fun, even as you strive to reach difficult goals and make your difference.” Don’t be like me – a slow learner! It took me too many years to discover that it doesn’t have to be an either/or – you can have fun AND do a great job!
- Think, listen and ask before you react. It’s really easy to shoot the messenger. Before you do, hit the pause button, step away from the reaction and step into discovery mode. Once the intake is finished, take time to analyze before acting.