1. Lead one person at a time. You may be responsible for a large organization but to make an impact think 1 to 1. Your vision, message, and actions can be tuned to the needs and goals of the individual people who will make the shared vision possible. Great speakers are advised to speak to an audience of one. The best leaders recognize that each person makes a difference.
People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. —John Maxwell
2. Start with the people closest to you. Build a great core leadership team with shared values, the right skills, a common vision and a commitment to each other and you’ve done the most important work. Now teach them to build the same kind of teams within their organization and then replicate this at every level to multiply your leadership influence and impact.
The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. -Ken Blanchard
3. Get out of your own head – The universe is not limited to the size of your skull. Open your mind to possibilities beyond your first impression or automated response. Engage in conversations that force you to consider other points of view and really listen. Choose what to believe then choose your response. Leaders who operate this way increase the potential for creativity, collaboration, and innovation.
Beliefs are choices. First, you choose your beliefs. Then your beliefs affect your choices.
― Roy T. Bennett
4. Letting go is hard but do it anyway. – To start something you usually need to stop something. That pretty much applies to life in general. Leaders often struggle with the idea of quitting on anything or anyone, so they stick with a problem employee too long or hold on to a plan that’s not working. There are probably things you know you need to stop, you just haven’t given yourself permission. When you finally do, people will most likely wonder what took you so long.
If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it. – WC Fields
5. Your message matters. Sometimes leaders underestimate the influence their words, actions and attitudes have on other people. Maybe you’ve given in to the temptation to blow off steam in front of your team or recently let your language become laced with cynicism or negativity. You’re just human, right? Well, yes, and humans rub off on each other, especially those in positions of authority. You’re always sending a message, make it the right one.
Your life is your message to the world. Make sure it is inspiring. – Unknown
Wet your appetite?
I decided to share these recent thoughts in small servings rather than make each one its own full-course, blog post. Want to dig into one of these further or have a suggestion to improve on the recipe? Just let me know in the comments below.