Saturday, July 30, 2016

Leaders, You Teach in Everything You Do

So much is written about leadership! Qualities of leaders. Traits of leaders. It's all interesting, to be sure. But, at the end of the day, you may be thinking: If you want to be a leader, what should you do?

Here is an important principle of leadership for starters:

Everything you do teaches.

This leadership principle says, Teaching is more than just words. Your actions speak just as loudly. If you want to "lead by your example," then watch what you do.

In view of this principle, an effective leader is highly mindful of his or her own behavior, actions, and choices.

Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or a manager, everything you do, everything you say, has the potential for leaving an impression on a child, on a student, on an employee. These impressions will influence what people do as a result.

If a manager wants improved communication, he needs to communicate effectively.

If a manager wants improved engagement, she needs to be engaged in her work.

Whatever you do (or don't do) speaks volumes . . . and teaches.

So here are three things that leaders do...that you can start doing today.

Ask for input - Leaders know that power is not in position. Rather, power is in posture. And the most powerful posture is humility. An open and receptive posture that invites and welcomes many voices and perspectives. "What are your thoughts?" is a positive power play with real potential. So, leaders actively seek the ideas of their team members. "What do you guys think we should do?" is not a sign of weakness on the part of the leader. Quite the contrary. It's brilliance. Leaders ask for help. Leaders listen. And, in so doing, they engage and empower others.

Seek wisdom before taking action - Leaders take action based on what they believe is wise, that is, the right course for the right reasons. Where do they find this wisdom? While leaders often have good ideas, even the smartest know that they don't have all the ideas. There may be even better ideas out there among their constituents. The leader that seeks the wisdom of the people in the system is indeed a wise one.

Learn and change - Leaders are agents of change. And all change starts with the man or woman in the mirror. The Self. In the face of today's complex workplace challenges, the wise leader would take a long and honest look in the mirror. And resolve to make the necessary changes in himself.


Terrence Seamon helps managers become leaders. Follow him on twitter @tseamon, and on facebook Facilitation Solutions.

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