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Leadership Is Not About You
There is no ‘i’ in 'team'. There is no 'i’ in 'leader' either.
Many leadership development programmes focus on honing ‘your’ leadership style, ‘your’ leadership skills and strengths, and ‘your’ leadership purpose.
These things are critical.
But the focus on them often far outweighs the importance of understanding the needs of those you are leading.
Exemplary leadership starts with you.
But it is not about you.
Focussing on being a great leader and investing in yourself is clearly necessary.
Doing so to the exclusion of learning about the needs of others is questionable.
To help you reflect on the needs of those who you are leading and how you strike the best balance between ‘we’ and ‘me’ - here are this weeks thought provokers.
Meantime, if you haven’t already - hit the button below:
Wise words: Spoken by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
And as with the adage there is no ‘i’ in team, there is no 'i’ in leader either.
What comes to mind regarding your leadership, when you reflect on these words?
Reflect: In an increasingly frantic, noisy, and busy world, there are more demands competing for your time than ever. The antidote, the self-care industry proclaims, is to spend more time on mindfulness, finding your purpose; and spending time strengthening you.
But the line between being self aware and self-absorbed is arguably a fine one.
Interestingly, practices such as meditation weren’t originally intended to focus on the ‘self’.; their Eastern origins intended to promote collective community; and "all for one, one for all" interdependence. In the Western world, where individualism is often prioritised over the collective, that has changed.
Think about your own world and operating environment.
Is it principally driving you to focus on yourself as an individual or on the collective?
How does that influence how you think, act and feel?
How does it impact on how you lead, and how people respond to your leadership?
Empathise: Much of the literature on leadership is written from the perspective of you, as the leader. And if you’re a fast-paced leader, focussed on action, pausing to think about the impact on others might not always come naturally.
“The biggest deficit that we have in our society and in the world right now is an empathy deficit. We are in great need of people being able to stand in somebody else’s shoes and see the world through their eyes”.
Think about the week that’s currently underway.
What does it look like through your team’s eyes?
What are they thinking and feeling?
What do they need more of from you to help them be happier and more productive, right now?
Leading others: To help your team and business perform at their best, you need to understand what they need from you to do that. And adapt your style accordingly.
Think about your team and their natural individual styles:
What do you observe about how they think?
What level of detail do they need from you when delegating/setting direction/communicating?
What does a great one-to-one look like from their perspective?
Read: Jonathan Steiman, in his piece for Inc.com describes a neat framework in the form of an acronym that leaders can use to hone in on what their team needs.
How do you invest your time, communication and leadership across the four areas he suggests?
Last Weeks Issue: The Role Model Leader
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