As a leadership coach, consultant and trainer, I have the great opportunity to spend my time immersed in leadership. I think about it all the time. I notice leadership everywhere – good and bad. I engage in discussion about it – at work with clients, on social media with leadership experts, in my community and in the media.
In my exchanges with people, I often find that they are looking for the quick solutions or for the easiest path to success. Often clients will ask me about “the one thing” I would suggest to them to improve their leadership and help them grow. And while it is tempting to narrow it all down to one thing (as I have in past blogs), the truth as we all know is that it often comes down to several “musts”.
Must #1: Accurate Self-Awareness.
Do you know your strengths? Weaknesses? Do you know how others perceive you (whether intentional on your part or not?) Do you know when and how to ask for help? Do you know if people would want to help you? Do you open doors, bring down walls, draw people in? Do you inspire people? Do you bring people together? This is the foundation of Emotional Intelligence and it is the most common competence on which I work with clients in my coaching practice.
Our Interpersonal Leadership Styles assessment is one of the most accurate and powerful EQ tools I can recommend to gain this self-awareness, and also one of the most effective tools to aid you in learning to become more adept at motivating and engaging others.
Must #2: Passion to Improve and Grow.
“You don’t know what you don’t know… and that’s a lot of unknowns.”
Certainly celebrate accomplishments, milestones and lessons learned, but never, never, never stop your pursuit of further growth. The world changes at a rapid pace these days – new and different people enter your sphere of influence, technology innovations abound, research unveils critical data, and you draw upon life experiences. All of these create an environment for learning, growth and improvement. Surround yourself. Desire to be a better leader and leverage these opportunities to become better. Never stop. It is a big world out there, and you will never understand it all… but you can try, and you will grow as you do!
Must #3: Humility
Great leaders understand there is always someone smarter, faster, bigger, better, etc. Humility is the combined attitude of gratitude and being in service.
Leaders have willing followers. They care about their followers. They serve their followers.
Are other people better for having shared experiences, conversations and interactions with you? Do you consider how you can add value in every exchange? Do you desire (and celebrate) others’ success as much as your own? Is the greater good your priority?
If your world revolves around you, that leaves everyone else out there somewhere else in space. Bring them into your world and figure out how, together, you can make a difference.
These three “Musts” may not be the only keys to success, but I know that you cannot be a great leader without them! Regardless of your position, title or experience, you need these “musts” to excel.