Your success as a leader will be significantly enhanced if you do one thing better - create opportunity.
Don Cloud's insight:
From the article: "I had a conversation with my five-year-old son, Ian. He had been selected as the 'leader for the day' at his pre-school. I gave him a big high five and said, 'What did you get to do as class leader, little buddy?' His reply? 'I got to open doors for people.'"
What makes a great leader? You are probably thinking it’s something buzzword-worthy like confidence. Or maybe vision. Or emotional intelligence—you hear about that one all the time. For sure, those are all good qualities for a leader to have, but the answer is actually trustworthiness. Technically, it’s not just being trustworthy that is key, but being seen as trustworthy.
Almost everyone seems to think that being vulnerable is a bad thing – it implies that you’re weak or defenseless. In fact, when someone is willing to admit they’re vulnerable, it demonstrates a level of trust and respect with the person or people they’re opening up to. Great leaders recognize the importance of bringing vulnerability to work because it is the foundation for open and nonjudgmental communications. The boldest act of a leader is to be publicly vulnerable.
Our humanity is the source of our strength. Just as fear does not define weakness, but rather it is courage in the face of fear that defines true strength. Similarly, being vulnerable does not define weakness, but rather embracing one's vulnerability defines the strength of a leader.
Technology changes quickly. Companies implode and people switch jobs every few years.
If 30% of information in some fields becomes obsolete in a year, how long does expertise last? says Liz Wiseman in her forthcoming book, Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work.
It’s not that expertise isn’t helpful, but success comes from constantly approaching work as a “perpetual rookie,” Wiseman writes, someone who is “living and working perpetually on a learning curve.” People who can do that will thrive. Here’s how to recognize someone who’s always in back-to-school mode:
"Being a good leader often means approaching situations with a rookie mindset."
Without this "rookie" mindset, a leader will gravitate towards him/her knowing the answer or relying too heavily on "experts" who supposedly know the answers. And this will inevitably lead to groupthink and static thinking.
Instead, ask thoughtful questions and inspire the same of those around you -- this is the only path to critical thinking and innovation ... and to create the organizational culture that naturally thinks and operates in this way.
Leadership begins with opening the door to on ongoing dialogue with your team, and your asking thoughtful questions is a great way to open that door. Don't forget to have the courage to listen.
More importantly, ask yourself how do you as the leader encourage others to have the courage to ask questions and to listen? If you don't have a good answer to this question yet, then it's time to start asking more questions.
As you gain experience, you may start to feel like you've seen it all. But as former Cabinet secretary John W. Gardner said in his most famous speech, to stay motivated, ambitious, and effective, you need to continue learning.
Don Cloud's insight:
Leadership and lifelong learning go hand-in-hand. The moment a leader stops learning is the moment that he/she is no longer relevant, no longer useful to his/her organization or people, and not long for remaining the organization’s leader.
“When you trust people to help you, they often do,” Amanda Palmer asserted in her beautiful meditation on the art of asking without shame. But what does it really mean to “trust,” and perhaps more importantly, how can we live with the potential heartbreak that lurks in the gap between “often” and “always”? That’s precisely what psychologist David DeSteno, director of Northeastern University’s Social Emotions Lab, explores in The Truth About Trust: How It Determines Success in Life, Love, Learning, and More (public library).
DeSteno, who has previously studied the osmosis of good and evil in all of us and the psychology of compassion and resilience, argues that matters of trust occupy an enormous amount of our mental energies and influence, directly or indirectly, practically every aspect of our everyday lives. But trust is a wholly different animal from the majority of our mental concerns.
Do you know how people currently experience leadership in your organisation? Is your organisation on the path to creating a step change in...
Don Cloud's insight:
Step one to solving a leadership problem is seeing and defining the problem. Does your organization have a leadership gap? If so, where is the gap, and how can you fix it? This article provides a useful framework of questions to be asking about your organization and its leaders.
A common form of complexity is the sophistication of fear. Long words when short ones will do. Fancy clothes to keep the riffraff out and to give us a costume to hide behind. Most of all, the sneer of, "you...
The goal of most executive coaching and leadership development is behavior change—help the individual identify and change the behaviors that are getting in the way of, and reinforce the behaviors associated with, effective leadership. But what about the beliefs and values that drive behavior?
When I was graduating from college, I didn’t intend to start a Haiti-based non-profit. I knew I wanted to live in Haiti, help people, and work hard. So when a stranger offered a donation to establish a new program in an underserved rural village, I jumped at it.
Becoming a "Fearless Leader" (see article) is only the first step. It's the next step that is absolutely critical -- and that is for this "Fearless Leader" to grow other leaders and their people to do the very same thing ... in order to relinquish their fears and unbridle their talents towards the greater purpose that brought you all together.
So the more important question is, how are you growing "Fearless Leaders" in your organization?
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