Please check out Dr. Tumlin’s book. There is no better advice in life or business than this book. Should be a mandatory read.
Authentic leadership evasively hides, getting harder and harder to find everyday. So many so-called leaders just manage day-to-day expecting great results to fall into their laps. If you “lead” in any fashion you need to evaluate your interaction and influence. You alone possess the power to make people feel worth while in their jobs. Even if you do not have direct oversight, your daily interaction will exert influence in your co-workers.
Awareness of your presence and impact is necessary. (me)
Can you change processes or procedures that have become so integrated in the daily grind they are never evaluated? It becomes easy and somewhat habitual to go to work and do the same thing over and over. Read the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business You will discover we are controlled by our daily habits and environment. Small changes reinforce huge shifts in our lives and the lives of our co-workers and friends.
Next question, what have you done recently to improve your professional abilities? Are you really done learning your job? A true professional practices and works to get better at their craft every day. Just like the center on a football team (American NFL) who will snap the ball over and over and over again each and every day; you too should consider perfecting the small skills that make you a professional. Take a class, attend a seminar, read a book, teach a class, or just practice. No one knows it all or performs flawlessly without practice.
The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor.
The only way to get better is to objectively look at your performance and seek outside evaluation for how you’re doing. We use 360 degree surveys that are unfiltered, raw unloading of the department’s observations as they see them. These evaluations are truly anonymous and sometimes brutal in content. Really good stuff. The results then can be categorized to look for trends and even be used to personally self-evaluate how you are perceived. CAUTION: Use these with care. Learn how to take raw feedback..
If you are not passionate about your work, read the book Turning Pro and evaluate your path. If you are just in a rut, look for ways to break the habits around you that are pulling you down. If you are passionate, then look for ways to communicate that passion to those around you so that they understand. Everyone hears the message differently thus personalities abound with diverse opinions. Craft your passion into a message that is personal to each one of your co-workers. Talk their language and see if your passion is contagious.
Change is not as difficult as we all think. It is as easy as changing simple mundane habits and embracing our passion. Also remember to be personal with those around you as the message you speak may be in a foreign tongue if not delivered in their native personality.
Parting Shot: Be vain, look into the mirror often enough to know how others see you.
We all follow someone, our God, our families even movie stars, sports figures and sometimes politicians. Well maybe not politicians, but we do find inspiration in others. Sometimes we don’t realize the influence our bosses have over us until years later. The flip side is that we also have people around us that we are influencing as well. You may not even know the impact you have on someone watching you.
“If you believe lack of authority prevents you from leading effectively, it is time to rethink your understanding of leadership.”— Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson
Leading From the Second Chair
Being a good follower and developing your ability and knowledge of your craft/role/position allows you to become respected as someone who knows their business. This is the first step in leadership, knowledge. People are impressed with those who hold knowledge and will seek to emulate them or compete with them. Either way, there is direct influence happening based on your presence of apparent knowledge.
The exposures you have to those who guide your path each day will culminate over time. This culmination will build some inherent traits, some good some bad, that shape your influence actions. Even if you can’t stand your boss, he will cast influence. After behaving in a manner for some time, a comfort level will develop. This behavior may not be your conscious decision, but anytime a person is stressed or threatened, there is a propensity to revert to a known, familiar action. This action really defines a large area of leadership. So what is the answer? Walk the walk…The more you act dependable, accountable, and compassionate the more it will become you.
“Learning the secrets and skill of great No.2s remains the surest path to becoming No. 1.”— David Heenan and Warren Bennis
I remember as a young officer feeling like time was standing still on my ladder climb. I just knew I could do it better than the guy above me. The grind of waiting and working was really a seasoning of sorts. I learned all the nuances of the day-to-day and some of those “rare” instances take time to experience. I spent seven years at a rank before promoting and as I look back now and I can see those years were necessary and priceless. I was good at my position, but learned to be better at following the position above me. It took many years for me to actually realize these benefits. When you must mentor those up and comers, the time starts to take on new meaning.
“Followers are more important to leaders than leaders are to followers.”
You must be very clear in your thoughts of who you want to be, and then work on presenting this image with your actions. Credentials and knowledge are the tickets to play, actually gaining membership into the realm of leadership will be gained with your actions, legacy and those most valuable of all, your followers. Be a good follower to set the example and you’ll be the leader you aspire to be.
Parting Shot: Leadership is a gift from those who follow…..
Please click the link below and watch the ultimate followership youtube video…..
Followership instructional video…
I always thought if I read and became the master of all the tenants of leadership, I would be a good leader of an organization. Sounds reasonable to me right? Maybe,…. not.
I had an awakening a short while ago and started to understand something about leadership. I came to the realization that a great organization is not guided by a good leader, as much as it is by the culture that is “curated” by the leader. I know it has been written in every book, blog and billboard that culture eat’s strategy for breakfast. However, what about all those leadership skills and the library of books, presentations I’ve listened to that tells me how to be? Well, that’s the focus for me a short while back.
A good leader must be proficient in all the ways of leadership; Drucker, Bennis, Collins, Maxwell, etc.. but the reality is they aren’t telling us anything new. Leadership philosophy goes back to the beginning of time and is really reflected in Greek Mythology with Prometheus, father of mankind, who was hated by Zeus because of Prometheus’s foresight. There are many examples if you accurately define “leadership”. Rallying troops, building a community, spearheading a project with a groundswell of followers and on and on.
What is leadership? “The action of leading a group of people or organization”?
the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group: He managed
to maintain his leadership of the party despite heavy opposition. Synonyms:
administration,management, directorship, control, governorship,stewardship, hegemony.
ability to lead: As early as sixth grade she displayed remarkable leadership potential.
Synonyms: authoritativeness, influence,command, effectiveness; sway, clout.
The definition of leadership is best defined by his followers (me and probably some butterfly sage)
I get it, and so do you, but it’s not that easy to figure out why some “leaders” are more successful than others. Some have a style that is conducive to a product or process that may not work in a different organization trying the same approach. You still need to be very familiar with and proficient in the leadership styles and doctrines because they all come into play for great leaders. Leadership will emerge in every organization, unfortunately it will emerge in the presence of the organizational leader (so anointed) and rise to undermine or redirect the flow to their vision if they are not lead as well. This means you will need to bring many leadership skills to bear in the crusade to building an organization that will embrace a direction. All of the leadership skills that are documented can be learned and practiced, but until you can orchestrate them all in a symphony that is worth listening to, they are just what to “do” rather than how to “be”. (Those who have read this blog before know the “how to be rather than how to do” mantra.)
How is this accomplished?
- Great leaders have passion. Enthusiasm must show, and BS will be seen from a mile away.
- Great leaders have vision. You must be able to explicitly see the goal.
- Great leaders are good story tellers. Communicating the vision must be engaging and rememberable. (read up on storytelling as a leadership skill)
- Great leaders propagate the species. Teach leadership, grow leaders in your organization, and plant the seeds of your vision as you do. (this is the big secret)
All this to say, It’s about creating a culture that embraces your philosophies and insights and takes them in a common direction. A great leader can be obscure and really unknown if he/she has the ability to plant the seeds of a vision with the leaders that will naturally emerge in an organization. Build the culture with empowering the right people, drafting the right policies, and being cognizant of the environment that will naturally impact both. The most valuable leadership skill of all, is taking care of the human processes.