Every so often you come across a leader who almost captivates you. Amidst a sea of other leaders, they just simply draw your attention in an almost magnetic way.
They are different, and you know it in a second… You feel better in their presence… safer somehow, even if you have never met them before. They elevate anyone else in their broadcast range.
They lead. Not as a job, but as an example. Not to draw praise to themselves, but to recognize others. When they walk into a room their entrance doesn’t shout “here I am!” but instead “there you are”… and delivers for everyone around them.
How did they become this way? Certainly not by learning how to boss other people around better than the next guy. Not by being bitchy and making other’s performances seem smaller… and definitely not by having the most money and toys in a narcissistic “better than you” way… They did it by doing some pretty hard work.
1. They’ve accepted themselves.
Getting to a place in your life where you forgive your mistakes, are humble but proud of your accomplishments, are a willing student of others, aware of your own values and trust in your intentions gives you the ability to just be yourself. You no longer worry if you will say or do the wrong thing, because you work with the truth and this allows you to feel at ease.
2. They educate themselves.
You can’t “take responsibility” for things unless you have an awareness of your involvement or lack of one. To “hold yourself accountable” without educating yourself is almost a martyr-like way of pretending you are being a leader. Making it your responsibility first to continue to seek out education so that you are equipped to be involved in the handling of tasks/challenges gives you some credibility when you “take responsibility” for successes or failures.
3. They make decisions quickly.
Losing time is painful for everyone. Delaying progress due to indecision is like holding people captive. Trusting that all of the information you have is enough to execute and decide, along with quickly checking your resources allows for progress to be continuous. Even if the decision needs to be corrected or changed in the future – getting to that new platform of knowledge would never have happened without the decisiveness to drive action in the first place.
4. They encourage.
And they mean it. They recognize and give out genuine praise to others every chance they can. They do it with the intention of having the recognition “land” on the individual deserving of it – not to demonstrate how supportive they are in a self serving way. They are not threatened by other’s performance, they in fact grow taller along side of it.
5. They question and instigate innovation.
Their belief in your ability to improve your performance is incessant. They see your potential as the truth and inspire you to have the courage to experiment, create and have confidence in yourself. Assisting others to find their own unique ability to deliver strengthens their team’s – encouraging brilliance elevates every player.
6. They keep the conversation alive.
Equally important to the “how” in every task is the “why”, for them and for everyone else. And this conversation goes both ways. They have an equal desire to ensure everyone on their team understands the “why’s” behind their direction, as well as they want to understand the “why’s” that their team feels when making suggestions for improvements or defining challenges along the way.
The truth of everything is allowed to simply be so that performance can exist. Where integrity shines as the playbook, all of the “strategy” falls away. People can simply connect and feel at ease, and if they want to stay part of this team, they too must bring their best every day.
People want to be a part of a team like that.
A true leader understands this above all else. The value that their team delivers first, is by valuing those doing the delivering.