It’s important to realize that just because someone holds a position of leadership, doesn’t necessarily mean they should lead.
Leadership is complex.
For some leaders see it principally as the power to direct other people; for others, it’s about inspiring people so they feel they can do the impossible; and for some it’s centered on being a visionary.
But there are some leaders, that don’t try, don’t care, don’t see and don’t lead.
The dumbest thing you can do as a leader is to take your position for granted.
However you approach your leadership, recognize its complexity and resist the temptation to dumb it down
We must always remember, leadership is a privilege.
Here are six ways to keep your leadership smart and to stop dumbing it down.
Read every day. Don’t allow your leadership to become empty-minded or fall into a rut. Make a habit of daily reading that challenges you and has an impact on how you think, both creatively and logically.
Learn something new. There’s always something new to learn if you’re paying attention. Get to know the people around you and give yourself the benefit of their expertise.
Keep developing new skills. No matter how talented you are, your talent will fail you if you’re not skilled. Skill is achievement practiced, so work hard, and dedicate time for yourself to improve every single day.
Cultivate being a better listener. Everything around you holds answers if you learn to listen. When you speak you are only repeating what you already know, but if you listen you can learn something new.
Track your objectivity. Work to recognize and neutralize any bias you might have. We all have something we have to fight in this area, and it isn’t an easy task. But the reward is a level of credibility and respect that makes it a fight worth waging.
Work on developing foresight. If you want to see the future, look at the past. It will give you the insight you need to create the foresight for the future. Be a student of history—of the world, of your country and state, of your field, of your organization and your competitors.
Learn how to manage conflict. One study found that 10 percent of most conflicts are due to difference in opinion and 90 percent are due to someone using the wrong tone of voice. If you want to be an effective leader, conflict management is essential.
You can either play dumb or be smart. Fight to be wiser, smarter, better.
Lead From Within: Leadership is an opportunity to truly make an impact—not to dumb things down but to bring things up.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- The Test Every Great Leader Must Pass
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- Leadership: Claim Your Calling
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.