Leadership is not magnetic personality that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’—that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.
-Peter F. Drucker, Business Leadership Expert
Most of the time we relate to the term LEADERSHIP from the point-of-view of a positional or responsibility work title. Here we will address Leadership as your personal magical amalgamation of attributes you either consciously or unconsciously tap into to create a life filled with satisfaction and meaning.
Many refute they even have any Leadership characteristics. If you feel this way, I bet you are seeing yourself inaccurately. Why? Everyone has Leadership characteristics intended to support you in developing a fulfilling life for yourself.
Why is a discussion on the personal side of Leadership relevant? Without question to be competitive, innovative and profitable today, our organizations require Leadership at every level. And in our current environment of uncertainty, everyone is called to be a leader in their sphere of influence, whether they hold a formal organizational role or not.
There is an interesting equation involved here. As you take on Leadership authority in your life, you gain the mental muscle to take on the awesome responsibility of Leadership no matter the hierarchical position you hold within your company.
How do you measure up in Leadership?
Do you ever find yourself in the midst of a group of friends encouraging harmony? Or perhaps you enjoy helping one of your friends feel included when they are on the outside. Or are you naturally gifted at effectively organizing projects and events? Or perhaps you encourage your friends to respond to a difficult situation better than they could ever have imagined for themselves. These actions and more are you demonstrating your natural Leadership characteristics. Most of us automatically use Leadership qualities in areas that are important to us—often without realizing we are doing so.
What is a “just right” Leadership focus?
Check for yourself. “Just right” Leadership is you choosing not to sit on the sidelines of life rather showing up as the ringmaster, center stage orchestrating your life. The reality is whether you realize it or not every day with every decision you make you are determining the character and the quality of your life one year or five years or twenty years down the road from today. Stop right now and ask yourself: Is this the person I want to be and is what I am doing right now setting the foundation for creating the life I want for myself?
What are some simple shifts you can make to engage your Leadership?
- Listen To Your Internal Wisdom: Don’t deny it. You know you hear that small voice whispering to you. Yet, most of the time you are prone to ignore the voice and only listen to the thoughts coming from the logical side of your brain. If you are looking to achieve excellence in your life, be certain you are integrating both. Begin by trusting wisdom exists within nudging you to become more of who you are intended to be—your best and brightest. As the leader of your life, it is your job to use the insights emerging from your internal wisdom as well as your conscious mind to guide your life.
- Hunger: As Tony Robbins chatted about on CBS This Morning, leaders are “hungry.” And he’s right. You can observe Leadership’s hunger in your actions as you probe unfamiliar territories, acquire new knowledge, take on additional responsibilities because you know the only way to guarantee your future is to prepare for it. You see, a rewarding and passionate life is about the journey and it is also about being hungry enough to ready yourself to achieve your envisioned destination.
- Internal Accountability: Internal Accountability is not simply goal setting it is a life setting activity. It is the quality of Leadership that knows the most important development you can do is for yourself. It is where you take action because you know if you don’t pay attention to your growth now, you will limit your “Tomorrow.” This attitude has you creating a great life as well as a satisfying career because your Leadership eyes are focused on the future not simply on the current moment in time. You limit your growth when you focus on what you already know as Leadership is about consciously stretching. Unless you are intentionally doing so, you are only living a fraction of the life you could be.
- Courage in the Face of Challenges: Everything we have highlighted so far relies on courage. Leadership is about breaking away from the crowd to become who you are intended to be. It is not easy, and yet it is certainly a whole lot more satisfying than living as a victim of everyone else’s whims and choices for your life.
Can you overdo Leadership?
Unfortunately, yes. Leadership in your life can become a “take me as I am” attitude that stifles your capacity for true, interdependent relationships. When you suck up all the air in the space to meet your needs, you are no longer living the spirit of Leadership rather you have become autocratic as well as downright rigid. Ironic, is it not? As you build your character of Leadership, you can take it too far and discover you have constructed your life on a flimsy foundation. You have set the wheels in motion for being unsatisfied, unloved and unrewarded. So, Leadership is one of those characteristics where too little—leaves you unsatisfied; too much—leaves you unsatisfied; just enough—has you living a satisfied life.
Do you know your strengths?
I have been receiving emails and calls sharing that these Character Strengths tips have been helpful. In fact, they look forward to monthly learning additional information regarding a new strength. Have these emails added value to your day?
Keep your eyes open in 2016 for your next email focusing on yet another strength from the VIA Survey. I have something else up my sleeve for December. I will return to sharing practical tips on how to effectively introduce a strength-based mindset into your job in 2016.
Want to learn more? Let’s connect! It would be my pleasure to support you in beginning to live a life that is engaging, exciting and satisfying to YOU.
To hear a tip on Leadership at work, listen to management theorist and author Simon Sinek discuss what makes a great leader. Sinek suggests it’s someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety—especially in an uneven economy—means taking on a big responsibility.
Have you taken the opportunity to discover your character strengths as yet? If you have not, go here to take the free 15-minute VIA Survey and receive your profile.