Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Leadership starts with you, it’s down to you and it is up to you...

If your team, organisation or business is not high-performing then remember that – it is down to you!
It’s no good blaming everyone else, everything else.  It is time to stop and think about how you’ve caused this to happen – because until you do, nothing will change.
So accepting this ‘place’ right now and taking some time with yourself is a great place to start. You must take responsibility and accountability for transforming yourself and your team now. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Are you ready to look deep inside?  You will need to be able to access your true leadership personality. The one that will make the difference and change the future.
We learn how to lead from other leaders – so start with thinking about your greatest leader – the one that made the biggest difference to your career or life so far.  Who were they?  What did they teach you?  What did you learn about leadership?  Also think of one of the worse leaders or teachers you’ve ever had and what did you learn from them?  What did they teach you?
Write down and get very clear on what you have learned about leadership from all of your experiences.
My greatest leaders were my parents.  My mother was the eternal optimist, always wanting to try new things, experiment, highly creating, energetic and intuitive.  My father was a problem solver, always calm and considered.  He was adept at analysing and solving the problem.  Without upsetting anyone he was firm but fair and challenging in his questions.  A great debater.  Our parents are often our greatest leaders – what did yours teach you?
Aim to be the best version of yourself you can be.  Improve your self-awareness.  Great leaders know themselves inside and out.  They know their triggers/suppressors - what are yours?  They know and understand why they feel the way they feel – do you?
They are seen as confident but not over confident.  You will not inspire confidence unless you are confident.  They are confident because they know what they are great at. What their core strengths are – what are yours?  Every leader will have different strengths and that’s ok, that’s what makes you unique.  There is no one perfect model for being a great leader – everyone is different – but great leaders do have a few common strengths – they are all trustworthy, honest and inspirational.  They are integral, they do motivate and they do listen, hear and understand you.
They use their strengths.
Using your strengths is vital to being a great Leader
Take one of your strengths – mine is I am very courageous and determined – nothing will stop me and no one will stop me.  Now feel what it feels like to use that strength.  This is the ‘Strengths surge’.  When I feel that determined strength my breathing is low and deep, I feel very strong inside – all the way through me – my brain is very focused.  Then I get started on what I am going to do – what about you – what is your Strengths Surge and what does it do for you?
Being honest with yourself and taking responsibility for yourself and your results – what could stop you?  How could you stop yourself?  Every human being is plagued by self doubt at some level and in some way, shape or form at some time in their career.  Great leaders don’t let that stop them – they know how to turn that into success.  Self limiting beliefs drive self limiting behaviours – how do you stop your own success?
I know there is a part of me that will try and stop me ‘you won’t be able to do that’, ‘they won’t be interested in that’, ‘they will have heard it all before etc’.
It’s the ability to be able to ‘switch off’ the negative self-talk and turn it into something more positive and achievable that makes the difference  between a great leader and one that is not as good.  Take the time to analyse your self-talk and turn it around before it stops you.
Transform yourself – be the best version of you, you can be - then you can transform your team.