Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Principles for Leadership

Guest blog from Kayte Connelly, Best Principled Solutions LLC.

“The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

Does this sound like your workplace? Does your boss believe they are a leader because they are IN CHARGE? Do you wake up every morning dreading going into work?

There are many perverted myths about leadership and what it entails to be a great leader. Some believe that it pertains to your title; others believe only “special” people can be leaders. Actually, evidence abounds that individuals from all walks of life can and are attaining leadership. We need only to look outward to identify the principles of those great leaders and to look inward to determine the hows and whys of emulating their behaviors.

Each day, you are given the gift of that day and you make choices about how to use that gift. You are the only person that can control what you will accomplish and how you treat people during the course of that day. You are given the opportunity to lead yourself into doom and gloom or success. What do you do with it?

There are thousands of articles written about management and few about true leadership. What is it that separates a leader from the pack of managers and how can you become better at it?

First rule: You cannot lead others until you can lead yourself. You must become self-aware before you can support others into leadership. A true leader does four things. They do manage; they coach or counsel; they train or provide resources for their staff; and they actually lead. Of the four, the most important aspect of their position or their influence and what separates them from managers is their ability to lead.

Commonly, in dictionaries we find leadership defined as any attempt made to directly influence the attitudes, beliefs or behavior of another person. Dwight D. Eisenhower described leadership as: “… the art of getting someone else to do something that you want done because he wants to do it.”

According to T. Falcon Napier, President and Founder of the Institute for Productive Tension, there are five key skills for true leadership. “A true leader:

• Formulates and articulates a compelling vision

• Awakens and sustains desire in the hearts of others

• Creates and maintains a feeling of pride in others

• Focuses others on a clearly defined destination

• Identifies and develops more true leaders.”

Further, he elaborates that “A leader is a leader NOT because of who he/she IS, but because of who others BECOME when they are in the leader’s presence.” Do you see anywhere in those descriptions where it says you must have such and such an education? Graduated from only this type of school? Worked in this field or that particular vocation? Do leaders only come from this section of town or a particular country?

Can you get the sense that leaders are more concerned about the personal side of things, the transformational side? How can I support others to become their best selves while working with me?

At the recent 2013 PA Conference for Women, Sally Krawchek, named the “last honest analyst” by Fortune Magazine, strongly urged women to recognize the moment; that “you are the only one that can make the decision that your life, your workplace, or your relationships are no longer acceptable.” And when you make that decision, “what will you do about it?”

This same advice goes across the board for men as well. If you realize that you want to be in a place where you are respected and respect others; you are inspired and inspired others into action; you encourage people pridefully by not shaming them into action, how are you going to get there?

Becoming a better leader is ongoing. There is not a magic potion; a one course fits all; or a trail of bread crumbs coming out of a forest leading you to greatness. Leaders are often the last person in the room to identify themselves as such. They do not wear a banner that formally states, “I AM a leader.” It is an honor bestowed on them by others.

Your first course of action to transforming yourself while transforming others is to adopt these 10 Most-Powerful 2-Letter Words: IF IT IS TO BE … IT IS UP TO ME! Whether informally through a mentor, a sponsor or your personal advisory board, or more formally by hiring a professional coach, a guide, an outside party that will support you in your journey to leadership, Y-O-U are the only person who can make change happen. Great leaders do not blame others.

IF IT IS TO BE…IT IS UP TO ME! Stop the beatings. Start today! Do not delay!!

Kayte Connelly, Best Principled Solutions LLC, is an award-winning author, leadership coach, and organizational development consultant specializing in personal, professional and community leadership. She facilitates corporate retreats and conversations with dissimilar parties and helps individuals and organizations identify and eliminate what stands between themselves and their goals. We provide enriched customized services that are designed to create and sustain generations of leaders for our community and elsewhere, based on research and global development. Please “like” us at www.facebook.com/BestPrincipledSolutions.

Call 484.769.2327 for more information on how your company could become more collaborative, flexible, imaginative, and innovative and/or to discover your leadership “edge.”

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