Archive for 'Personal Development'

The Sobering Realities Every Leader Must Face

Posted on 31. Jan, 2017 by .

3

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 7.59.46 AMIn leadership, as in all things, there are tough realities we all have to face.

We can wish it were otherwise, and we can work to make it otherwise to the extent we are able, but whatever the situation, you’re never well served by ignoring what exists now.

There are times when leadership feels like a problem to be solved and other times when it feels like a reality to be experienced.

Here are some sobering realities you’re likely to face at some point in your leadership:

You don’t always get the credit you deserve (or think you deserve). if you think leadership is about gaining recognition and glory for what you accomplish, think again. It’s far more often about giving credit to others and acknowledging their contributions. You may feel you deserve more, but that’s not how it works—and the faster you can face that reality, the less disappointed you will feel. It’s the leader who can lead just as passionately toward a noble cause or a compelling vision while getting little credit (but more than their share of criticism) who’s on track for success.

Leadership can be really lonely. To be a leader comes with great responsibility. Many people look up to you to always know the answers and provide direction. But who can you turn to when you need inspiration or motivation? The reality is that leadership is often a lonely and isolated experience. The antidote is to create for yourself a inner core group that supports you and is there for you.

The pressure is continuous, and it’s exhausting. A leader has to be on top of their game 24/7. You can hardly let your guard down, because people are counting on you and there is always a lot to get done. Sometimes the sheer pressure of leadership can be utterly exhausting. If you don’t want to burn out, learn to find a balance between your leadership and your private life— and be sure to make the things that are important to you a priority.

Your mindset affects not only you but also those around you. Keeping a positive outlook is not an option but a necessity. As a leader, you must keep a mindset that’s optimistic and positive, because people are relying on you. If your attitude is off, it will affect everyone around you. Do everything you can to maintain a positive outlook, because negativity causes unnecessary disruption and turmoil among those you lead.

Authenticity is strength. If you’re reluctant to embrace authenticity, you may have subscribed to the idea that it’s a point of vulnerability and therefore not a smart move. It’s certainly true that your authenticity will make you vulnerable, but here’s the surprising truth: that vulnerability can be the best thing you have going for your leadership. It helps you stand out of the crowd and shine as who you really are—not who others want you to be. Even in an environment where authenticity isn’t valued, the best leaders know that being real is a strength.

Sobering realities are a part of everyone’s learning, in leadership as in any other field. And at some point in the tenure of your leadership, you realize that it’s not the hard realities but what you do about them that truly matters.

Lead from within: Never try to escape your realities. Take them on and make them everything you want them to be. Because a bad leader can destroy good people.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

How to Be a Real Leader And Great Manager

Posted on 24. Jan, 2017 by .

2

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 12.22.00 AMFrom time to time through the years, I’ve written on the difference between leadership and management.

I am revisiting the subject now because it’s not enough to understand that leadership and management are two different things.

I believe that the two are complementary; to be truly effective, you need both.

Of course we do have defined tasks as leaders, and managers have a specific role to play too. But that doesn’t mean that the two functions are easily separated.

People look to managers not just to assign them a task but also to define a purpose for them—something that’s usually a role of leadership.

And managers organize workers not just to maximize efficiency but to nurture skills, develop talent and inspire results, again showing overlap with leadership.

Here are seven ways that management and leadership roles can complement each other:

1.    Leaders focus on motivating people while managers focus on tasks, systems and structures to provide inspiration. The success of leaders is measured by the relationships they develop and how they can engage and bond with people. The success of managers, on the other hand, is measured by how well they deal with daily tasks of running the business—budget control, customer service, deadlines, procedures processes. A balance of both is vital to motivating and inspiring people.

2.    Leaders seek to challenge while managers try to maintain the status quo. Leaders achieve success by consistently and continually challenging so they scale up, move the needle and place themselves ahead of their time. Managers work to keep things the same so they can have the space to grow and take chances. Some may view management as a controlling function, but the managers allow for new things to happen even as they maintain order. Different techniques but similar goals.

3.    Leaders seek to innovate while managers look to copy. Leaders work in the spheres of innovation and creativity—thinking outside the box, trying new things, taking risks. Managers make sure that the team can consistently repeat what they’ve done well. To maintain overall success, you need to copy with some as a backup when innovation and creativity may fail you.

4.    Leaders take a long-range perspective while managers take a short-term view. Leaders are oriented to think of the future and assess their plans, visions and goals in terms of where they want to take others. Managers ensure completion of the day-to-day tasks that allow organizations to reach the long-range goals. You can’t aim at the horizon if the stuff at your feet is out of control.

5.    Leaders use emotional intelligence while managers are more concerned with intellect. Leaders understand the value of emotional intelligence and self-awareness. They develop skills in empathy, motivation and self-control. Managers are more concerned with analytical thinking and technical skills. Of course, teams and organizations need both perspectives to thrive.

6.    Leaders explore opportunities while managers avoid risk. Leaders know how to seize an opportunity. They’re instinctively able to assess target markets, resources required and the level of risk, and they understand that even if they fail and they face hard times, each experience provides great opportunities. Managers tend to avoid risk. They’re much more concerned with making sure their objectives are met and risk is avoided, but they understand the importance of taking measured risks to scale and innovate.

7.    Leaders inspire trust while the managers rely on control. Leaders are all about earning trust, building trust and becoming trustworthy, if you are to follow someone into an unknown compelling future, you need to be able to trust and believe in them. Managers are focused on cultivating and maintaining control, making sure everything runs smoothly and according to plan and that nothing deviates off course. Managers believe that by relying on control they can organize people—not just to maximize efficiency, but to nurture skills, develop talent and get results.

As always, there’s a clear difference between real leaders and great managers. But with today’s new methods of business development and the ever-changing climate of our economy, there’s more room than ever for the roles of managers and leaders to complement each other, with a shared goal of respecting, appreciating, and validating those who work hard and bring their best to what they do.

Lead From Within: As leaders and managers, we have to understand that the differences in the two roles allow for the emergence of skills that will make each more successful.

Additional articles you might enjoy:

Continue Reading

The Best Leaders Are Great Coaches

Posted on 03. Jan, 2017 by .

1

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-6-54-24-amGreat leadership is made up of numerous different elements and roles, which come together differently in different leadership styles. One role that’s often overlooked is that of serving as a coach.

If you’ve ever played or trained under a great coach, you already understand how vast their influence can be.

The best leaders, like the best coaches, give those around them permission to succeed and know how to help them reach their potential.

Here are some of the most important coaching ideas shared by great leaders—ideas that can benefit anyone’s leadership in any field:

Communicate with wisdom. As a coach and leader, you need exceptional communication skills. Your words should make people sit up, listen and feel inspired to act.

Challenge the unchallenged. It’s important to know how to challenge others without making them feel criticized or scorned.

Raise the bar. Set and maintain high personal standards. Keep raising the bar so others can follow suit.

Invest in teamwork. Teach those around you to value great collaboration even more than individual achievement. Demonstrate the truth of TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More

Encourage boldness. Encourage others to make mistakes and take bold moves. Nothing great was ever achieved by not being courageous.

Embrace diversity. Understand and take to heart the value of diversity and take advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate and attest to its importance.

View people in terms of their potential. Recognize the unrealized potential in those around you. Even more important, help them see it for themselves.

Be available. Whatever your position, build a reputation as someone who’s approachable and quick to help.

Accumulate resources. Develop an extensive network both within and outside your organization. Make it available as a resource for others, not just yourself.

Provide solutions. Learn to seek out and develop win-win solutions and teach those skills to others.

Be an optimist. Cultivate an optimistic outlook that guides you to focus on the possibilities and connections that others might miss.

Create a compelling vision. Have a well-developed personal vision that you can communicate clearly and with inspiration. Present your vision in a way that encourages others to do the same.

Coaches are great leaders because they know how to unlock potential and motivate people to maximize their performance. In short, they help others learn to be their best. And that’s what leadership is all about.

Lead from within: Great leadership isn’t about what you accomplish yourself; it’s about what you inspire others to do.

For coaching, consulting, workshops, and speaking. Please feel free to contact us.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

 

Continue Reading

The Best Leaders Are Humble Leaders

Posted on 06. Dec, 2016 by .

6

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-7-28-00-amWhen we think of great qualities of leaders, the first things that come to mind are traits like charisma, bravado and vision.

You wouldn’t expect to see humility on that list—but you should.

Research shows the effectiveness of humble leadership: Humble leaders have more influence, they attract better people, and they earn more confidence, respect and loyalty than those who rely upon ego and power.

In my work as a coach, I emphasize not just the importance of humility but also the fact that it’s a skill.

Here are some key skills of humble leaders. Look through and see which you already have and which you need to develop:

They lead to serve. Humble leaders shift attention away from themselves and focus on the contributions and needs of those around them.

They have reserves of inner strength. Being a humble leader isn’t a sign of meekness or powerlessness but of great inner strength. The best leaders are humble on the outside and confident on the inside.

They admit to their mistakes. All leaders are human, which means they all make mistakes from time to time. When you are willing to share your own missteps and mistakes, it allows others to connect to you in a deeper way. Humility is a quality that lets others see your humanity.

They seek input from others. The first step of turning to others for input is being vulnerable enough to admit that you need the help and insight of others—which is a sign of great character on its own.

They know themselves. Humble leaders know who they are and behave in a way that’s consistent with that knowledge. They also recognize where there’s room for improvement.

They are genuine. Humble leaders know the importance of being authentic. They are the same person in private, in public, and in personal life, in every situation and with every kind of people.

They invite trust. Humble leaders know that trust—earning it, giving it and building it—is the foundation of great leadership.

They treat others with respect. Humble leaders are consistent and disciplined in their treatment of others. They treat everyone with respect regardless of their position, role or title.

They understand their limitations. Humble leaders have the confidence to recognize their own weaknesses. Rather than viewing their limits as a threat or a sign of frailty, they surround themselves with others who have complementary skills.

They model the way. Humble leaders lead by example. Their leadership isn’t expressed as “because I’m the boss” authority but in every one of their actions and words.

Lead From Within: There is always room to be a better person and leader. If you can cultivate humility as a skill, you will be strong when you are weak and brave when you are scared.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

Posted on 29. Nov, 2016 by .

15

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-6-10-01-amSome people are fine skating through uncertainty by the seat of their pants, but most of us in leadership prefer to feel in control.

We like having all the answers (or most of them, anyway), and seeing a clear path ahead. And in time, people come to expect those things of us, and we come to expect them of ourselves.

So for a leader to admit they don’t know is a big deal.

For some it feels like an uncomfortable vulnerability; for others, worry. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are some things you can do when you just don’t know:

Trust your intuition. Whether you call it intuition, your sixth sense or following our gut, sometimes when intellect fails you it’s time to rely on your subconscious. It’s a realm where you don’t need to explain or justify your actions or feelings. Just trust your inner guidance to know what’s best.

Make a bold move. In uncertain times we all feel tentative, but if you don’t take bold moves your leadership can’t move forward. Boldness inspires creativity, innovation, vision—exactly the things you need at such times. Let go of fear and remember that most people aren’t hoping to catch you in trouble but want to see you succeed. Whatever you send out always comes back to you, so let your actions set the direction of your leadership.

Let worry go. Worry won’t stop the bad stuff from happening; it just stops you from enjoying the good. The best thing you can do is let worry go and allow yourself to learn in the moment from the experience. Do the best you can do with what you have—beyond that, it’s outside your control.

Hire a coach. A great coach can ask the questions that can lead you to genuinely helpful answers, tell you the things you don’t want to hear and help you transcend your own point of view. The best coaches lead you past what you don’t know into possibility, and help you become the leader you’ve always known you can be.

Remember, feeling worried accomplishes nothing it only prevents you from moving forward, and stagnation is not an option for a leader.

Whatever the situation, do everything you can to keep yourself moving forward, either alone or with the help of a trusted advisor.

Make use of the wisdom you have within, and solicit as much knowledge as you can from those you trust.

Lead from within:  What you don’t know today will be something you can learn from tomorrow.

Additional articles you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Continue Reading

7 Superpowers That Will Make You a Great Leader

Posted on 22. Nov, 2016 by .

9

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-6-54-15-amAs leaders, we all wield significant power—but not the old-model version of bossing people around and yelling “you’re fired!” if they don’t make the grade.

True power calls us to connect with others and to connect them with their own strengths, encourage them and lead them toward places they wouldn’t normally go to on their own.

That’s the best kind of power, but it can easily fall through the cracks of day-to-day leadership.

As an executive leadership coach, I sometimes find myself having to remind my clients of how powerful they really are, and the ways in which they can exercise that power.

Here are 7 types of power so effective that they’re practically superpowers:

1. Persuasion. Your ability to persuade others—to win them over to your point of view and inspire them to action—is grounded in your relationship with that person and in your own integrity. When you carry out your own role with excellence and a commitment to serving others, you can persuade others with genuine authority.

2. Positivity. To stay positive in the worst times, when everyone around you has given in to negativity, automatically elevates your work and message. Positivity gives hope and purpose to others when they need it most and leads your team to the highest level of accomplishment.

3. Observation. Many people are too busy to even notice their surroundings or their circumstances. Sometimes the power of a great leader comes from the simple act of slowing down enough to take a look around and assess what you see. Observation allows you to pinpoint problems and issues—and their solutions—early on.

4. Decisiveness. While others pride themselves on being a great thinkers, great leaders understand the power of decisiveness. They observe and assess, then act quickly and confidently without second-guessing their conclusions. Even if you get it wrong once in a while, you’ll still outperform those who are slow to act.

5. Modesty. It may go against intuition, but modesty is a secret weapon of some of the greatest leaders. When you’re modest you stay teachable and humble, no matter how much you already know. You see yourself as a servant and a student more than a master, and you exhibit a willingness to engage with others that leads to respect.

6. Tenacity.  If you could have only one leadership superpower, this is the one you’d want. In many situations it’s the factor that determines your chances for success. When everything around you is falling apart and you respond with determination, courage, persistence, and strength, that’s character. And genuine character is the highest form of power.

7.  Insight. Vision is one of the most important factors in leadership, and insight is the highest form of vision. With insight you really can see around corners and through walls to know what’s really going on and gain a feel for the underlying issues. A single moment of insight can be as powerful as a lifetime of experience—but it’s a skill that has to be built and nurtured.

Lead from within: It may feel vain to consider your sources of power, but they’re the things you need to fulfill the responsibilities of leadership—and the more you understand them, the stronger they become.

Additional articles you may enjoy:

  1. Your Leadership Requires You to Have Guts
For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact us.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

Continue Reading

12 of the Most Dangerous Leadership Mindsets

Posted on 01. Nov, 2016 by .

13

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-11-39-23-pmMindset is extremely important when it comes to great leadership.

Mindset is the set of beliefs or way of thinking that determines your behavior, outlook and mental attitude. If your mindset is negative, your attitude (and likely your behavior) is negative.

Mindset is everything, and learning to control it is a key to fulfilling your potential.

Here are some of the damaging mindsets I have seen in leaders. Don’t let them stand in your way:

1. Seeing the glass as half empty. Many leaders are guilty of this mindset. Some think that if they point out the bad, that will get people to improve—but we know a negative attitude will never lead to positive results. Nothing will slow your progress like a negative mindset.

2. Thinking you know people better than you do. There is a danger in labeling people and putting them into a box when you haven’t had a chance to take in their complexity. How can you truly get to know people if your mindset has already told you who they are? Give people a chance to reveal, and sometimes surprise you with, who they are really are.

3. Believing that perfect is a goal. Perfection doesn’t exist and perfect can never be a goal. When you aim to be perfect, you’re setting yourself up for failure—either by paralyzing yourself into inaction or by endlessly trying to reach an unreachable goal. Set perfectionism aside and focus on excellence.

4. Thinking that you never need to rest. I know leaders who take pride in being constantly on. But we all need some time off, opportunities to shut down for a while. It is impossible to keep going 24/7 and still be the best you can be. You may think you can do everything and be everywhere, but really you can’t. Get some rest.

5. Assuming that you accomplished great things alone. Anytime you think you’ve achieved something by yourself, you’re failing to give someone else the credit they deserve. There is no success on a team without the efforts of others, and when you as the leader take all the credit, it costs you respect. Make your language always US and WE, not ME and I.

6. Not staying present in the moment. If you’re always thinking of where you need to be next instead of staying in the moment, you lose out on precious time and valuable lessons. A constant forward push isn’t sustainable in the long term. It burns people out and will lead to low morale and low energy. Give everyone a chance to slow down and experience what’s happening now.

7. Expecting others to do what you’re unwilling to do. How many of us have encountered leaders with a mindset of entitlement—that things need to be about what others can do for them rather than how they can serve others? Entitlement is a dangerous mindset, one that disempowers and alienates people. If you want great people to stick around to serve you, you need to serve them.

8. Becoming so obsessed with details that you lose the big picture. There are always details that need legitimate attention. But great leaders know that to get bogged down in all the details and minutia is a waste of time, energy and productivity. Getting stuck in the details will cost you big-picture success.

9. Isolating yourself from others. Some leaders actually believe that leadership means immersing yourself in process and procedures instead of being among people. The mindset that a leader can’t let others too close is one of the most dangerous I have observed. Leadership is all about engagement and empowering others, and you simply cannot do it in isolation. Leaders need people and people need leaders.

10. Having different sets of rules. The mindset that you can have one set of rules for yourself and another set for everyone else is disturbing and goes against the principles of service and recognition that leadership should be based on. It leads to disdain and disrespect.

11. Holding an all-or-nothing orientation. Failing to recognize nuance and shades of gray leads to bias and distorted thinking. We need leaders who are flexible and agile, unafraid of what might go wrong and positive about what could go right. All or nothing is a dangerous and damaging proposition.

12. Believing that you have to do everything yourself. You probably became a leader because you’re really good at what you do, but the truth is you never have to do everything alone. Great leaders delegate—which not only helps them but involves other people. If you want things done your own way, teach others how it’s done, but bring them in.

Lead From Within: You are only going to be as good as you think you are. To create something exceptional, keep your mindset focused on greatness.

Additional Reading:

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

These 13 Things Will Kill Great Leadership

Posted on 27. Sep, 2016 by .

24

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-12-35-31-amMany people hold an oversimplified idea about what leadership means.

Some think it’s just a matter of guiding others to complete a task. Others confuse it with motivation.

In truth, leadership is a complex blend of competencies and capabilities.

It means communicating and empathizing, directing and modeling, teaching and mentoring—and, above all, trusting and serving.

With so many directions, it’s a practice that can stretch and bend to accommodate different strengths and skills, and even weaknesses.

There are a few qualities, though, that can kill even strong leadership.

Here are few of the deadliest—keep them far from your own practice of leadership if you want to advance and be successful.

1. Dishonesty. Honesty is one of the most important qualities in a leader. A dishonest leader cannot be trusted. A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future.

2. Revenge. Weak leaders seek revenge; strong leaders forgive; great leaders know the best revenge is to have enough self-worth not to seek it.

3. Arrogance. Arrogance is most often an unhealthy ego in need of repair. Great leaders know how to keep their ego in check, because ego is only about edging greatness out and doesn’t allow greatness in. Arrogance diminishes leadership.

4. Fear. Great leaders need to be too brave to be doubtful, too courageous to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated. Fear has no place in great leadership. Successful leaders experience fear, and then they fuel it into something bold and brave. The fears we don’t face, though, become our deadly limits.

5. Disrespect. Disrespect is the weapon of the weak, and it hurts people and organizations. The kind of people who make up great organizations don’t tolerate disrespect. Disrespecting others, or tolerating others who disrespect you, shows a lack of self-esteem.

6. Envy. Great leaders know who they are and take great pride in what they can accomplish. They enjoy watching others succeed and they make no room for envy. They know that if you’re always looking over your shoulder at what other people have, you can’t look forward to accomplishing great things.

7. Ingratitude. Great leaders value those around them and appreciate their hard work. They know they cannot attain success without others.

8. Favoritism. Leaders who practice favoritism in the workplace have no chance to build a trust or respect. Great leaders value all people and their gifts while understanding their differing needs, and they do their best to treat everyone well. This may sometimes look like favoritism on the surface, but those involved will always know the difference.

9. Laziness. Good leadership requires hard work. In fact, the leader should be willing to be the hardest worker on the team.

10. Poor communication. Communication is how leaders keep people and the organization healthy and on track as they fulfill their vision, goals, and objectives. The key to a culture of success is an environment where people can thrive without unnecessary dysfunction or confusion—and that means great communication. Great leaders know that clarity and communication reinforce human connection.

11. Conceit. A leader who always thinks they are the smartest in the room or they know best without even consulting others has fallen into conceit. Conceit almost always partners with arrogance, and great leaders know that it’s never compatible with compassion and understanding.

12. Rigidity. Some things are worth being rigid about—for example, you should never be flexible when it comes to your values and vision. But for most issues, leaders are called to be adaptable, because those who cannot change their mind usually cannot change much else.

13. Shortsightedness. The best leaders think long term, with big plans and even bigger dreams. They do what they can today to make the future—distant as well as near—successful.

Most of us in leadership struggle at some time with one or more of these issues. It’s best to keep a close watch, though, because even the smallest beginnings of these habits can be deadly.

Lead from within: Don’t allow negative qualities to kill your good intentions and your ability to lead.

Continue Reading

The Best Free Leadership Advice You’ll Ever Get

Posted on 20. Sep, 2016 by .

26

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-4-20-49-pmIf you’re like most leaders, you’re always looking for ways to improve your leadership.

People are constantly asking me what they can do to make their leadership exceptional. They usually expect the answer to involve costly coaching sessions, or expensive training programs. But the best advice I can give is a simple technique that will improve your leadership immediately without costing a penny.

Here it is: Get out of the office.

The leader who is always in the office behind closed doors is not the kind of leader people want to follow.

Get up and get out.

Talk to your team, connect with your advisors, speak to your people.

While you’re there, make sure you try out these leadership practices:

Smile with sincerity. Smiling is a powerful tool. It helps people relax around you; it draws people closer and allows you to connect easily with others.

Engage wholeheartedly. A recent study found that 70 percent of employees are miserable at work and most people feel their boss or leader doesn’t engage with them. You can do better. Connect with your team and find ways to let your people know they are important to you.

Listen carefully. Keep your ears open. Too often leaders think they have to do all the talking, but the best thing you can do is smile and genuinely listen. People have a lot on their minds, and they need someone who is available to listen to what they have to say.

Question with curiosity. The best leaders are always asking questions—not only to elicit information but also to help others better understand the issues.

Answer earnestly. Most people on your team probably have questions they want to ask, but they may feel too intimidated to ask or they’re concerned about disturbing you. Make it easy for people to find you and speak to you—keep yourself available and accessible. You may want to schedule a listening session or another time when people are specifically encouraged to ask what is on their mind so they can be as productive and effective as possible.

Get feedback. Most leaders don’t really want honest feedback, so they don’t ask for it—and as a result they receive it only in rare cases when it’s forced on them. The best leaders know that feedback is the most reliable path to improvement, and it’s an important part of their efforts to be better and lead better. But it’s not all about criticism and improvement—feedback is also the best way to discover your strengths.

Give feedback. Leaders need an open channel of communication with their people. Learning to give feedback well opens the dialogue and leads to more candor in both directions, enhancing credibility and competencies on both sides.

Show that you care. There is this big misconception that leadership is all about power and influence, and that showing care and compassion is a sign of weak leadership. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The best leaders are remembered not for their power but for how they made people feel. Let people know you care, be there for them, and show that you appreciate and value them.

It’s easy to get bogged down in everyday responsibilities and accountability, but in the end it’s the small, simple things that end up mattering the most.

Lead from within: When was the last time you left your office and engaged with those you value the most?

Additional Reading:

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Continue Reading

How to Tell If Your Leadership is Failing

Posted on 13. Sep, 2016 by .

6

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.

Additional Reading:

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Continue Reading