While my clients may do extremely diverse things for a living - I work with TV producers, writers and directors to network marketers, designers and app developers - one thing that they all have in common is that they’re creative.
And over the years I've noticed that no matter what their specialty is - they're all working on being better leaders in their businesses so for the next two weeks I’ll be sharing personal stories, common myths and tips on how you can strengthen your leadership skills.
Common Myths About Leadership:
The best leaders are born
Not true. No babies are born leaders.
Sure, factors like environment, support systems, peers and personal confidence can all play a role in one’s leadership skills but that doesn’t mean someone who has none of the above has no chance at being an effective leader.
Leadership, just like creativity, can be learned. It’s a skill and like all skills, it takes practice and continued effort.
On that same note - leadership isn’t just handed out to anyone in an authoritative role.
Leadership is only for people in charge
Just because someone’s title is CEO, manager or boss, doesn’t mean they’re an effective leader. I’m sure we’ve all had that boss that we didn’t entirely respect or listen to and often questioned how they got put in charge because their leadership skills or style left much to be desired.
And on the flip side, just because you may not be the boss doesn’t mean you should be leaving your leadership skills on the table.
Whether you’re an employee, a stay at home mom or even a student, you get to display and practice your leadership skills every single day.
I mean, you’re not letting someone else lead your life now are you?! ;p (Stay tuned for 5 ways you can be a better leader below.)
Leadership is just another word for bossy
Ahhh...one of my favorites. So many of clients are intimidated to take on full-scale leadership roles out of fear of looking bitchy or bossy.
My response to that - it’s up to you.
There are plenty of effective ways to lead that don’t come off bossy or bitchy but if this is really why you’re hesitant to flexing your leadership skills, perhaps it’s time to revisit why you care about what people think so much.
Just sayin’! ‘P
Curious how your leadership skills measure up?
Here's 5 traits of successful leaders. Which ones do you identify with and which ones could use a little work?
Successful leaders keep their word
Top notch leaders know that when they say they’re going to do something, they do it and not just because people are expecting it, but because they expect themselves to keep their word. Integrity is important to them regardless of who’s looking or listening.
Successful Leaders Are Empathetic
They know that people are not ‘one-size-fits-all’ and they adjust accordingly. Everyone is in a different situation, has different skill sets and needs.
Sure it’s easier to just use blanket statements and rules when dealing with people but effective leaders know that the easier route isn’t always the best option in supporting others.
And in regards to leading from the back…
Successful Leaders Don't Need to Be Front & Center
True leaders don’t need the recognition or the public power that leadership can sometimes come with. Instead, the idea of their team or those around them shining is enough motivation for them to continue leading.
In fact one of my favorite books on this is Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. It uses examples like how in the military the senior members eat last, to show the different types of leadership and how these “leading from the back” techniques can do wonders for employee morale and overall bottom lines in a corporate environment.
Successful leaders encourage participation
Ever notice how the most quiet ones in the meeting are often the ones with the answers?
Much like leading from the back, strong leaders encourage participation from everyone because they know that sometimes the loudest in the room aren’t necessarily the ones with the solutions.
successful leaders show up daily
Even when they’re tired, over-worked or under-appreciated, successful leaders show up whether they feel like it or not.
Sure, they know how to take a break but they also know that being a leader takes practice and repetition of the traits above even when they don’t feel like it.
Ok, Your Turn:
Ask yourself -
What are the areas in your life that you feel like a total leader and where could you use a little more badassery:
Then, pick one of the 5 traits that tie into the area of your life you’re looking to uplevel and focus on that in the following week.
Maybe it’s showing up every day in the area of health for yourself.
Or it’s making sure that everyone’s opinions are heard in this week’s meeting at work.
Whatever it is you choose, try to give a little bit of time each day to that area of your life, even if it’s just 5 minutes.
Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek -https://www.amazon.com/Leaders-Eat-Last-Together-Others/dp/1511321083