I’m not sure November 8th can get here fast enough. Speaking of leadership, it’s hard for me to believe that we couldn’t come up with any other options for leader of the Free World. The past few months the mud slinging, bullying and lying cause a level of angst and frustration that have me envying the Amish right now with their lack of technology and bubble like world. It’s mind boggling to me that out of the millions of peeps in this country, this is what it boils down to. Holy to the moly I’m in a shake my head mode, but I believe our selections are reflective of where we are as a country and I’ll just leave it at that. Blah.
We will either have the Republican or Democratic nominee as our next Leader. In the past few months as early November is nipping at our heels we have had some embarrassing and crazy train examples of leadership. But if we had to break it down, what does it mean to be a leader? Every day whether it be socially, in the work place, in our homes and beyond how would you define leadership?
Qualities of a Leader
I’ve broken down four key characteristics of what a strong, positive leader looks like. Now the question is, if you are a leader, do you embody this? Or if you are one who is directed and looks for leadership, do you gravitate to an individual who embodies the proper leadership skills?
What strong leadership looks like and how to achieve it
- Character– One of the best definitions I’ve heard for character is the person you are when no one is looking. How do you act and what you do when there’s nothing to gain. Is your personality and decision making process different between the public and private you? Lead by example. Words are empty when there is a disconnect between them and actions. No one wants to follow a faker. The most inspiring, mind blowing speech is hot air when there’s no follow up, no authentic form of action to reinforce the cheer that was just given. You want to knock someone’s socks off? Challenge yourself to listen to the words that come out of your mouth to colleagues, friends, family members. Consider if your instruction/encouragement are things you apply to your own life. It’s super easy to chat, much more of a challenge to lead in a way that connects the dots.
- Human- Be human. If you think no one knows you’re not perfect….ummm, word of advice, no one does. You screw up, make bad calls and drop the ball and that’s because your human. There’s nothing as refreshing as someone who can verbalize that it was a “my bad” moment or one that you use as a teachable moment. No one wants a perfect leader because that means they will always fall short of expectations that are unrealistic and unattainable. Be approachable, be fallible and be human.
- Inner Circle- When I was a teenager my parents used to say, “you are the company that you keep.” I had no idea what that meant. But it’s true to the core. Who do you surround yourself with? Who do you seek wisdom and insight from? If you glean wisdom from minds who will never disagree and will always give a nod, you’re layering yourself with fluff. And fluff will never be anything more than exactly that. A real leader desperately needs someone who will call them on their crap. They need someone who will have their back when the chips are down. They need people who provide insight that is authentic, sometimes uplifting and sometimes jarring. You want to kick butt? Find those two or three people who do not seek to gain from you, but add to the team by being part of the team.
- Empower – Sometimes we can have days that knock the wind out of you. You haven’t had time to breathe, you can’t seem to catch up and you’re working your butt off in all aspects of life. Words of encouragement go SO FAR! We’re more accustomed to getting knocked down than lifted up and that’s a bummer. You want to add a kick to someone’s step at home or at work? Let two people in your life know you appreciate them. That could be a simple, “you rock” or “I appreciate all you do around here.” Words go so far. As humans we are wired to desire some form of validation of our actions, our efforts. Running on an empty tank can be frustrating and trying. Uplift others. You don’t have to go all Hallmark after school special. Just say a few string of words to let someone know their efforts are not in vain.
Being someone of integrity, character and leadership are qualities we desperately need in the world today. We need strong leaders, positive associates and trustworthy wing men. As we roll into another week kick around how you are leading or supporting the people in your life and what areas can be strengthened.
Never stop learning and challenging yourself. Have a great week!
– Peace, love & goodness!