Thursday, May 14, 2015
Wanna get it right? #Leadership
There are many things that strong leaders believe, think and do. Below you find some of them that I found to be true in my 25 year workshop and coaching practice in Europe and the U.S. With huge gratitude for the many hundreds of clients who taught me what strong leadership looks like.
1. Strong leaders don’t feel the need to have all the answers, to know it all, to be the smartest in the room. They do not feel the need to be the super hero. They DO collect the smartest people for their teams, they DO ask all the right (and often less obvious) questions and they DO honor people who are smart and choose smart, and they are great at connecting dots where others can not. Strong leaders know they can’t do it alone.
2. Strong leaders are excellent active listeners, focusing in the here-and-now on what is being said and what is being communicated in other ways than with words. And if they DO talk, they are brief, clear, consistent, truthful. If they DO talk they make abundant use of stories to share their vision and experiences and to engage their people and connect with their hearts.
3. Strong leaders act with integrity and demonstrate that it is safe to share not just success stories but also misjudgments, failure, and doubts. They keep important conversations in the room. Because they can be trusted and are perceived to be honest and fair, they make hallway and water cooler conversations redundant.
4. Strong leaders welcome dissidents, devils advocates, “against the grain” thinkers, and people who challenge them otherwise, because they know they need this kind of thinking and these types of conversations to prevent self-deception, confirmation bias, tunnel vision and all that other horrible stuff that prevents new ideas, unusual solutions, and fresh perspectives to emerge. They know they or their ideas don’t need to be liked all the time as long as they are respected and seen as acting with integrity.
5. Strong leaders know how to combine confidence and presence with humility and gratitude, which for many is a difficult balancing act. The Harvard Business Review Daily Stat on March 6, 2015 reported the following: “Highly regarded CEOs are nearly 6 times more likely than less highly regarded chief executives to be described as “humble” (34% versus 6%), according to a survey of more than 1,750 executives in 19 markets worldwide. Yet only about a quarter of the survey’s respondents say the description fits their own CEOs. The research, sponsored by public relations firm Weber Shandwick, also shows that nearly half of a company’s corporate reputation and market value is attributable to its CEO’s reputation.” Leslie Gaines-Ross writes on HBR.org
In what areas can you strengthen your leadership?