“As we live out of such a mind, we become generous, with no sense of tolerance. We become patient, with no sense of putting up with anything. We become compassionate, with no sense of separation. And we become wise, with no sense of having to straighten anyone out.”
― Steve Hagen
Leadership means something different to just about everyone you meet. Some people have the title of leader and believe they are. Some don’t have a title to lead, they just do. John Maxwell, a leadership master, has written over 70 books on leadership, and yet we are still debating what leadership is and what a leader is.
So, what can be done to lead better, to lead effectively and lead others near and far from you? Let’s look at five ways to lead better.
1. Let go. Leadership is about letting go of control. It is about letting others contribute. As a leader ask others what they are thinking and instead of judging their thoughts give their thoughts life. How would you take that idea and make it bigger? Value the contributions of others.
2. Listen more. Listen always. Be the first to listen and the last to speak. What do you really hear? What is being said that isn’t being spoken? What is on the hearts of the people? Listen to what is being said between the words.
3. Be vulnerable. The last thing that some leaders want to reveal is their own weaknesses as they are hiding behind their own insecurities as a leader. They believe if people really knew who they are they wouldn’t be in the position they are in. The lack of vulnerability disables the full contribution of the followers. They will do as commanded, but rarely do more than that.
4. Be open. Sometimes leaders feel that they have to be “right” all of the time. Being right shuts down the contributions others can make. Why would you contribute if you knew your ideas wouldn’t be valued? Leaders who have to be right disable the contributions of others.
5. Invite others in. Sometimes leaders believe things just have to get done and they get it done. Visions are cast in close quarters and given to the followers. Decisions are made, directives delivered and pronouncements made. The more a leader does things in isolation the less the leader is leading. Let others give voice to ideas, visions and direction to initiatives and embrace the rich variety of creative energy that can be obtained from inviting others in.
What can you do to be a better leader?