Thursday, August 07, 2008

Permission to Succeed

As a leader and influencer of people, do you generally believe that others want to be as successful as you? You may think that, but quite the opposite is true. As leaders we are responsible for helping others believe that they can succeed and for showing them that you really want them to be successful. So, just how do you go about doing that?

Here are two easy ways to express to others that you want them to succeed:

1. EXPECT IT. People around you, whether you are their leader or not, are influenced by your attitude and, hopefully, enthusiasm. Enthusiasm and energy are contagious. If you are positive, encouraging, enthusiastic and energetic, those around you will be motivated and encouraged. However, if you do not demonstrate any of these behavior traits, then whatever it is that you have will be contagious as well. Take a quick inventory of your attitude. What are others seeing? If you really want an honest appraisal, ask those that you work and live with. What do attitudes and behaviors do they see?

2. VERBALIZE IT. Those you lead will need to be told, FREQUENTLY, what you see in them and what you believe they are capable of doing. They need to hear you say that you want them to succeed. Encourage and support them, tell them that you KNOW they are going to be successful beyond their wildest imagination! Send encouraging notes and become their own personal cheerleader for success. Send a message of positive reinforcement as often as you can.

Once folks recognize that trust that you truly want them to succeed and that you are committed to helping them do so, they will begin to believe what you are telling them and start on their road to success. Nothing is more rewarding for leaders than to see those that they influence reach for the stars!

Copyright Michele A. Webb, 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What is Your Leadership Character?

Take a few moments to consider the basic issues of leadership. An important question to ask yourself is, "Am I a serving leader, or a self-serving leader?" If you can answer this question with absolute honesty, you will have gone to the very core, or center, of your intentions and motivations as a leader.

You can tell the difference between a leader who serves another vs. a self-serving leader by observing how they handle feedback and criticism. If the leader is focused on his/her own needs (ie, self-serving) and career, they will be more worried about their own jobs, pay check or other problems instead of listening to what you are saying to them. They may even be worried that by helping you, or talking with you, that they could be in jeopardy of losing their jobs.

The leader who is more interested in serving their own needs will spend the majority of their time protecting their job and status. Imagine how a leader like this would respond to any sort of feedback you might give them. Of course, they will respond very negatively! Why? Because they may think that your feedback means that you are rejecting them or their leadership and influence.

A leader who is truly interested in serving your needs, or the needs of others will look at the act of leadership as a service. Service leaders not only welcome, but will usually seek out feedback as a useful source of information and a tool they can use to improve upon their service.

"Effective leadership starts on the inside." Ken Blanchard

If you are a "leader in training" or an aspiring leader of any sort, I recommend you take a few moments to think about your own leadership character. Use it as a tool and spring board to change up your own professional development and training. Use the serving leadership principles right away and I guarantee you will see positive results!