Archive for 'Career'

How to Build a Business That’s Good for Everyone

Posted on 20. Dec, 2016 by .

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screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-7-38-14-amWith so many businesses barely getting by, everyone wants to know the secret to make their business good for everyone, and how they can build a company that can thrive.

At the core of every business success it’s important to make sure that your employees are engaged and your customers are satisfied.

As a leadership coach and business consultant, I’ve seen lots of companies make it and lots of companies struggle. And from my experience, the ones that truly thrive share some key principles.

Here are the most important:

Make it personal. There’s a misconception that business and the personal should never mix—but the most successful companies create a personal culture, one where both employees and customers know they matter. That means getting to know them and creating mutually beneficial relationships with meaningful connection and engagement.

Good communication connects everyone. If you want an organizational culture where people are working hard to achieve the same goals, communication is key—team to team, team to board, customers to leadership—in every direction and at every level.

Surround yourself with A+ players. Steve Jobs always used to say to surround yourself with A+ players, because the best players always surround themselves with better players than themselves. The same is true for companies. Make sure your organization has highly talented people and treat them well so they will remain loyal and dedicated to the purpose and mission. When you surround yourself with the best you thrive on excellence.

Under promise- over deliver. Whatever you do, whatever product or service you are providing, make it the best out there. Do it better than anyone else to a ridiculous degree. Build and maintain the best relationship with those you serve. Deliver more than you promise to keep them with you.

Grow your team. Once you have a team of excellent people in place, the smart thing is to keep them there. The best companies make sure they have training and development programs that help people grow and move forward in their career path, because that’s how you retain a great team.

Make your company a great place to work. Work is where people spend most of their time, so make your company a place where people feel motivated and inspired and they can have fun. Create an environment where people enjoy coming to work. A culture build on fun and excitement gives people the energy to outperform their own potential.

Make a difference. If the aim of your company is to make money, that’s great, but it won’t speak to the hearts and souls of your people. It doesn’t give people anything to be inspired by. But if your business improves the lives of others—if you’re providing solutions that make selling and service the same thing—your team and your customers will be far more engaged. The results? A stable, energized team, loyal customers, and great grassroots advertising through word of mouth and social media.

To create a business that thrives you have to make it a company that is good for everyone.

Lead From Within: Bottom line: When people are happy- when customers are satisfied companies succeed.

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7 Habits That Are Destroying Your Ability to Lead

Posted on 13. Dec, 2016 by .

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screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-7-38-51-amWhether you are a manager, supervisor, entrepreneur or leader, it is your leadership abilities that will ultimately dictate your professional success or failure.

That means you need to identify which habits are working for you and which aren’t, and eliminate anything that may be keeping you from your goals.

Here are seven of the most destructive habits leaders can maintain:

1. Surrounding yourself with clones.  Strength lies in diversity and difference and challenge; being around people who are just like you may be comfortable, but it keeps you playing small.

2. Speaking without listening.  The best leaders listen more than they speak, and they know the importance of hearing and gathering information from all.

3.  Confusing activity with productivity. It’s easy to fall into the trap of keeping busy without actually being productive. There is always so much to do, but the tasks you naturally reach for are not necessarily the ones that should be at the top of your list of priorities. Instead of plowing through a to-do list, ask yourself what you should be doing to attain the results you want to see—to move you closer to your goals.

4. Flying solo. One of the biggest challenges for many people, especially leaders, is the belief in the power of one—the idea that you can do everything by yourself. Trying to do everything alone will end up exhausting and taxing you, and in time it will destroy your ability to lead.

5. Thinking you know it all. As a leader you need to always be willing to listen to others and be teachable. Sometimes people don’t want to have the answers handed to them but to brainstorm together and come up with a range of solutions. Other times people just want to vent.

6: Being unavailable and inaccessible. Being an unavailable and inaccessible leader, is the worst kind of leadership and management style, because it sends the message that your people are not important.

7. Constantly micromanaging. Saving the worst for last: Micromanagement is the flip side of leadership. The leader thinks no one can do the job as well as they can so they hover over you and make demands instead of allowing you to do your job. The message sent by micromanager leaders is “I don’t trust you.”

Lead From Within: Bad habits are destroying our leadership because they are hindering us from being the leader we want to be.

 

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This Is Your Starting Point for Leadership Growth

Posted on 08. Nov, 2016 by .

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screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-6-08-16-amIf you aspire to become a great leader, it’s important to remember that your leadership begins far before you have a leader’s title. The starting point of your leadership growth starts where you are today.

Great leadership is learned on the job; it is cultivated in the trenches of everyday experiences, and it comes from learning the ropes under every circumstance.

Who we are today will help us become better leaders tomorrow. There are always people who want the title just for showing up, but the rest of us know leadership is earned with hard work and dedication to the craft. It’s a lifelong process, one that we begin again every day. We have to develop from where we are to get to where we want to go.

Here are six ways to make it happen:

Learn from every experience. Take advantage of whatever surrounds you right now. Whether it’s positive or negative, every circumstance, conversation and connection holds lessons and principles and wisdom if you’re willing to learn. Never allow an opportunity to pass you by.

Focus on the collective. Don’t think only about your own advancement but consider how you can best interact with the others around you and how you can give credit to those who have put in great effort. Leadership means honoring others, and it is important to understand the value of the collective and learn that two is greater than one.

Make it a priority to get along with people. It is imperative that you learn to get along with people—those who are above you, those who stand beside you and those who look up to you. Make it a goal to build strong relationships of mutual learning and respect in every direction.

Work on communication every day. As you interact with people, learn to communicate concisely and clearly. When you speak, think of ways you can contribute that add real value, not just more noise. Ask questions, get feedback and let others know that you are open to dialogue. If you can remain curious there’s almost nothing you can’t learn.

Take on more responsibility. Even if the everyday requirements of your job keep you busy, the best way to truly stand out and learn from every experience is to take on more responsibility than most. Be the person who steps up and comes through as accountable and dependable.

Give your personal best. It’s not enough to speak if you don’t deliver, or take on a task if you don’t do it with excellence. In everything you do, give your personal best. Not only will it help your reputation but it will build your character.

Lead from within: Leadership growth begin with leading at your best today, wherever you are, is what prepares you to be a great leader for tomorrow.

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How to Tell If Your Leadership is Failing

Posted on 13. Sep, 2016 by .

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screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-6-14-22-amJust because you’re a leader, there’s no guarantee that you are leading. Sometimes your leadership is failing and you don’t even know it.

Holding the position and the title of leader doesn’t mean much if you’re not taking the right actions.

Leadership is active—it’s forever developing and improving, based not on who you are or where you appear on an org chart but the things you do every day.

What about your leadership?

Is it progressing or stagnant?

Are you moving ahead or treading water?

Have you stopped leading and are just going through the motions?

Here are 10 top symptoms to look out for:

1. Lack of vision. Leaders are the ones with a compelling vision to share. It’s your vision that sets the direction for everything you and your team do. If you don’t know where you’re going, it leaves people confused and uncertain. People need to know where they’re going; they need their leader to set the direction and make it compelling enough that they want to follow it.

2. Pretending to know it all. Leaders who think they know it all aren’t really leading. The path of leadership is one of questioning, listening and learning, and the best leaders are on a constant journey of discovery. But you can’t learn if you can’t admit you don’t know everything.

3. Failing to challenge the status quo. The best leaders are uncomfortable with being comfortable. They’re constantly and consistently challenging themselves to think bigger, do more and improve on what they see around them. If you’re not challenging the status quo, not pushing back against the paradigms, you’re not leading.

4. Lack of conversation. Where there’s no communication, disconnection is happening. When you’re not connected and engaged with the people who are most valuable to you, you have stopped having influence and you’re no longer leading. A true leader knows the importance of communication and staying engaged.

5. Absence of trust. Trust is the foundation of leadership; when there is no trust there is no loyalty, no respect, no credibility—and it’s a sure indication that you have stopped leading, because leadership cannot happen in the absence of trust.

6. Absence of change. Leadership is about creating new things and moving forward in new ways. If nothing is changing, you’re not leading.

7. Death of confidence. No one wants to follow an insecure, unsure, self-conscious None of those traits will promote assurances that you can be trusted to lead and guide.

8. Silenced complaints. A negative workplace is damaging, but some degree of complaint is healthy. The bottom line is this: if no one is complaining, people are settling, and they’re scared to speak up.

9. Consistent lateness. If you don’t show respect for other people, they will not respect your leadership. Period. if you are frequently late for meetings or calls or just constantly moving the schedule around, your leadership isn’t going to be taken seriously.

10. Trying to please everyone. If your goal is to make everyone happy, you are never going to be an effective leader. Your team’s best accomplishments will come when you are stretching them past their comfort zone. If you seek everyone’s approval, that stretch won’t happen—and you still won’t have pleased them all.

Lead from Within: If any of these traits sound familiar, do something before you find that your leadership is failing.

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For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact us.

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Optimism: The Secret Of Great Leadership

Posted on 21. Jun, 2016 by .

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Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 11.56.11 PMIf you’re looking for powerful fuel for your leadership, look at optimism.

Winston Churchill used to say “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Maybe that’s why optimistic leaders are usually more successful than pessimists.

When you’re a pessimist, everything is about failure, anxiety, and problems. Bu when you’re optimistic you can be someone who continually improves and moves forward.

Even if you’re not among the lucky people for whom optimism comes naturally, you’ll discover it’s is an attitude that can be learned and practiced. Here are some strategies to consider to foster optimism in yourself and those around you:

1. Go for the gold. Celebrate your strengths and talent instead of concentrating on your weaknesses. Focus on what you do well and what you are good at. Don’t be down on yourself for everything you aren’t; instead, start loving yourself for everything you already are.

2. Get out of your comfort zone. Cultivate unpremeditated and unrehearsed actions, and encourage yourself to do things that are impulsive and impromptu. Especially if you are a creature of habit, push yourself to the edge of your comfort zone. Uncalculated action builds your optimistic muscle—when you stop doing what you have always done, you get new results.

3. Look for the proverbial silver lining. Learn to rethink every challenge and every adversity and always look for the gift. Try to look at situations that trigger your negativity as opportunities to learn. Teach yourself whatever discipline it takes to redirect your reaction into positivity.

4. Avoid negativity altogether. That means doing what you can to avoid negative environments, people, and circumstances. It won’t be easy, but make a true effort. If you know someone to be a complainer, do everything you can to keep your distance.

5. Nurture your well-being. Do what you can to surround yourself with positive messaging on a daily basis. Watch inspirational videos, read motivational blogs, biographies—whatever it is that inspires you and nurtures you.

6. Visualize the winner within. Every success starts within. If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you can’t perform as one. The biggest challenge in any situation is to stay positive in a world that is filled with negativity.

7. Focus beyond yourself. If you know you have a tendency to be negative, do what you can to focus on something beyond yourself. Try to step outside of yourself, beyond the circumstances and situation, and past your pessimism.

8. Remember that happier equals healthier. There is evidence that the immune systems of optimistic people are stronger than those of pessimists. Stay positive and you may be able to enjoy better health.

9. Engage in daily positive mantras. If you have a tendency to talk to yourself in a negative way, change it up and give yourself a positive mantra. Try telling yourself, This will go right because I worked hard and this time I will succeed. Simple positive affirmations can have a positive effect on your mindset.

10. Be in control of what you can control. When faced with challenges, failures, adversity, recognize what you can change and proactively try to find ways to do something about it. Control the things you can control. Incredible things happen when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.

Lead from within: Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of  true progress and great leadership.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

 

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Learn How to Manage What Triggers You

Posted on 19. Apr, 2016 by .

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Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 4.15.20 PMIf we don’t learn how to manage our triggers, our triggers will manage us, and therefore, we must learn how to manage our triggers successfully.

Our emotional triggers are created from past negative experiences. When we are placed in a position similar to that negative experience, strong emotions are stirred up, and the ensuing reactions can lead to emotional difficulties—maybe even regrettable outbursts. Triggers can appear anywhere in our relationships or communication, and left unchecked, they will control us.

But the choice of how we respond will always be ours.

We can allow our triggers to set us off and control us, or we can manage them and discipline ourselves. The good news is that there are ways to can address these triggers and reduce our negative reactions to them.

Here are some powerful ways to manage triggers:

Listen to your body. The moment you get triggered, you may experience a physical response. Your breathing may get shallow or your chest may tighten. You may suddenly feel that your head is about to explode. Whatever form it takes, learn to pay attention to your body’s signals. Listen to your body so you can stay ahead of the trigger.

Behavior tells. Sometimes strong emotions come up and we have no idea what triggered them. But by paying close attention over time to the situations where you become agitated or annoyed and you aren’t even sure why, you can identify the types of things that tend to trigger you. This makes it easier to work with them.

Stay in touch with your feelings. Our emotions signal to us what is going on for us within. By staying emotionally honest with yourself and recognizing the cues of your emotions, you’ll be able to identify what you’re feeling and why—and do something about it.

Expand your tolerance. It’s natural to want to avoid triggering people or circumstances. That may be possible and even good when you’re in the early stages of learning to manage your triggers, but it isn’t usually realistic in the long run. Slowly allow yourself to take on more triggering experiences, reminding yourself to slow and control your responses, then build on that success until it’s no longer a problem

Take a time out. Distract yourself by giving yourself a time out. Stepping back can help you calm down before you re-engage with a situation. You can use this time to think about the emotions you’re experiencing and how to address them in a positive way. Do something that can create an opposite emotion—if you are stressed, think of things that will calm you down.

Create a new habit. Long term, to avoid being triggered at all, you need to work to create new habits of mind—not to break down what your have built for yourself, but to build a better life by making small changes. When you create a new habit for positive change, you will experience long-term effects on your emotions and how you mange them. Work toward self-improvement by taking small steps each day. Do something that helps you feel competent and more in control to regulate your emotions and gives positive feedback for your sense of purpose.

We must learn how to manage our triggers successfully, before they overpower our leadership.

LEAD FROM WITHIN: We all have our own unique emotional triggers. Learning to mange them constructively enables us to deal with the issues that get in our way and move ahead in our lives and leadership.

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Love is a Leadership Competency

Posted on 09. Feb, 2016 by .

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Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 9.31.07 PMWhen I first started my coaching businesses, I used to use the word love with my clients. I told them:

Love what you do.

Love your people.

Love your work.

Love your company.

At the time, most people had never even considered that love could be a leadership competency.

People thought of love as a feminine quality, a simple emotion.

But as the years have passed, more and more of us have come see that love is not only feminine energy but has a masculine quality too. And it’s far more than an emotion; it’s an awareness that shapes everything about your behavior. It’s what allows you to lead from within.

Here are some ways to demonstrate love as a leadership competency:

Love yourself by showing compassion. If you want to lead from within, compassion is the first necessity. And the place to begin practicing compassion is with yourself. That means seeing yourself as a unique human being with faults, failures, successes and weakness—not deciding whether or not you are deserving. Showing compassion to yourself prepares you to extend it to others.

Love your people by showing your commitment. Honoring your commitments with integrity is not only a bedrock of ethical behavior but a sign of genuine love, letting others know that you can be trusted to come through for them. Love your people enough to let them know they can count on you.

Love your work by showing up with competence. Vision is a great starting place, but it’s competence that makes it into a reality. Results are important, and the care you bring to your work shows love for those you lead. When you love your work enough to contribute the very best of your capabilities, you lead with excellence.

Love those around you by showing kindness. The most simple act of kindness is powerful—nothing carries more potential for change. Kindness shows your love and transforms everyone it touches. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which are far more powerful then a thousand thinking heads. If you can show kindness, you are leader who loves.

Love is a game-changing competency, not only in leadership but also in life.

Work to become someone who leads with compassion, commitment, competence, and kindness—the qualities that define us as human beings and that propel us and those around us to greatness.

Lead From Within: When people ask you to name the most important competency of leadership, I hope you remember the competencies of love, because in the end love conquers all.

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Artwork by Hugh MacLeod

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I Have A Dream

Posted on 18. Jan, 2016 by .

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Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 11.50.26 AMWe go about our everyday lives wanting things to get better.

We hope that our work makes a difference and those who came before us are proud.

We wish for our children to have more than what we were given.

And as Martin Luther King Jr.’s said so famously in his speech-

“Dreams are at the center of any effort
to make things better.”

And so I share my dream with you:

I have a dream that we understand that we can make a difference in the world, and that how we do the things we do is just as important as why.

I have a dream that organizations work not from a place of control and fear but a place of connection and collaboration.

I have a dream that we stop asking employees to follow the status quo but allow them to be curious and creative, and that we recognize all ideas as potential stepping stones to something much greater.

I have a dream that we treat money as something to work for but not something we just accumulate.

I have a dream that when fear shows up we stare back at it courageously.

I have a dream that we replace trying to please each other with caring for each other as we care for ourselves.

I have a dream that we communicate with meaning and purpose, saying what really matters and not what we think people want us to hear.

I have a dream that we commit ourselves to lifelong relationships that stretch across the boundaries of geography, organizations, and beliefs.

I have a dream that we open ourselves to connecting on a deep level so we can mutually benefit and enrich each others’ lives, gravitating toward each other instead of away into ourselves.

I have a dream that we become a world that shares our collective intelligence and inner wisdom, that together we generate such creativity and strength and enlightenment that future generations look back at this time as the beginning of the world they grew up in.

Because as life would have it-

When we can dream together
we can change the world.

Lead From Within: Dream with me—when we dream together we can truly dream big and change the world forever.

What are your dreams?

Share them here!

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Sometimes You Have to Look Back to Move Forward

Posted on 29. Dec, 2015 by .

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Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 4.14.43 AMAs the year comes to a close, most of us are looking forward and making plans for the future—but sometimes to move ahead you must look back.

The best leaders are always taking stock of their lives, asking and reflecting. The best way to make improvements is to decide three things: what came before, what comes next, and how to get it.

But in order to move forward, you have to assess what you have learned about yourself up to this point.

Here are 10 year-end review questions to ask yourself as you prepare a strategy for moving forward.

1. What defined you most this past year?

Make a list of your defining moments in the past year and how they portray who you are. What impact did they have? How have they changed you? Reflect on those times and what they meant to you.

2. What people have you encountered and what did you learn from them?

Some of those we meet have an enormous impact on us, and others don’t. Some teach us lessons we may not have been ready to learn. Make a list of the people you met and what you’ve learned from them. What did they say or do that was especially compelling? How have they changed you?

3. What books did I read and what have they taught me?

We become the books we read; books give wisdom to our soul and wings to our mind. As Dr. Seuss said so eloquently, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Books teach us about ourselves; they clarify ideas for us and inspire us to grow and expand. Make a list of the books you read last year and what has stayed with you from that reading.

4. Where did I succeed best?

Make a list of all your biggest accomplishments. Even those that seem small to others may loom larger for you, because you know what effort it took to get there. What were your biggest accomplishments? Were they the result of pure determination, or was luck a factor? Where did you take a risk and succeed?

5. Where did I fail?

What didn’t work this year? Where did you make mistakes? Fold a page in half and on one side list all your failures. On the other side list all the lessons you learned from those failures. Remember a failure is a lesson and the first step to a success, and write “thank you” at the end of your list.

6. How did I treat myself when it came to my mental health, physical health spiritual healthy, emotional well-being?

What have you done to care for yourself this year? How can you make yourself more important in your priorities? A tired malnourished mind is over stressed and rarely productive. What will you do to nourish all parts of yourself? Make a list of how you will honor yourself—all of yourself.

7. What can I improve on?

Even one small intention can make a big improvement. Make a list of all the thing you want to improve on. Look to see where you can do better next time, where can you tweak things so you get different results. The way to make major impact is to get serious about improving yourself.

8. What do I need to stop?

What isn’t working for you? Maybe you need to stop caring so much what other people think. Maybe you need to stop overthinking or worrying about everything. Maybe you need to stop delaying the risk and go for it. Maybe you need to stop procrastinating. Maybe you need to stop living someone else’s life and start becoming the person you are meant to be. Look at what you need to stop and take action to eliminate it.

9. What can I be grateful for?

List all the things that you are grateful for: your health, your family, things that worked out, ways you could be of service? Be grateful for the times you were able to make a difference. Having an attitude of gratitude gives you more to be appreciative of.

10. What do I need to start?

In order to become who you are born to be, you must follow your heart and make the time to accomplish the things you are meant to do. If you did not do them this past year, how can you get started? Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish and what you need to begin making it happen… whether it’s writing a book, mending a relationship, launching a business. Think of all of the things you need to start and make the plan.

A year-end review helps you prepare a new path for your future. It is the things we learn about ourselves that help us move forward into our success.

Lead from within: The only time you should look back is to see how far you have come is when you want to know how to move forward into the future, doing so allows you to see how much you have accomplished and where you still want to go.

Additional Reading:
Tear down the wall so trust can get in
How to become a leader people want to follow

What legacy are you leaving
How to become a leader you admire

For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact us.

Photo Credit: Getty

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7 Basic Things Every Great Leader Should Know

Posted on 22. Dec, 2015 by .

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Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 7.08.45 AMTo rediscover great leadership, we must return to the basics of leading.

In a recent survey, only 3 percent said they have confidence in corporate executives.

The news was equally dismal for others: 3 percent reported having confidence in government officials, 5 percent in reporters and journalists, 8 percent in small business owners, and only 11 percent in ministers and clergy.

These results show, among other things, how hard it can be to find the leader who can be credible, courageous, trustworthy, ethical, and transparent.

But we all know great leadership is possible —because we ourselves want it.

Here are some basic ways we can be the example of what it looks like.

1. Do what you say you will do. Too many leaders just do whatever they can get away with. Be credible.

2. Do what’s right, not what’s easy. This one can be hard; doing what is right is rarely easy. And many times leaders choose the wrong path. Be courageous

3. Take responsibility for your actions. Stop making excuses for your decisions and rationalizing your choices. The more excuses they hear from you, the less people will trust you. Be trustworthy.

4. Stand by your convictions. Some leaders believe that high standards limit their opportunities. Everyone has their own level, but you cannot be a leader people admire if you don’t have strong convictions. Know what you value and believe.

5. Find clarity in transparency. For some the idea of transparency in leadership may be disruptive, but to be unrestricted and open ensures that those you lead are open and unrestricted with you. Today’s power is gained by sharing knowledge not by hoarding it. Be transparent.

6. Maintain scrupulous honesty. Leaders need to be honest with themselves and others. They need to understand what they can do what they cannot do and consider what they can do better. It is better to be realistic about who you are then have someone call you out on your pretense. Be honest.

7. Value character above perfection. It is often said that character is the cornerstone of leadership, the thing that sets people apart as leaders. Be righteous.

We can always look at others and complain that they don’t have what we want in a leader—but the answer lies not with others but in each one of us.

We can be the answer to the call for leadership.

We can be the example that people want to see.

We can be the leaders that others trust and admire.

Lead from within: When we get back to the basics, we can always begin again to make it right.

Additional Reading:
Tear down the wall so trust can get in
How to become a leader people want to follow

What legacy are you leaving
How to become a leader you admire

For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact us.

Photo Credit: Dustin Lee

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