Leadership is a Practice

Leadership is a practice not a position - Bobbie GoheenOften people believe leadership is the ability to inspire others…and that is true, it is part of it. And there are many other key components of leadership which make it a lifelong practice.

Here a few areas which provide the areas of practice:

* Goal Alignment – Your objectives and your team’s objectives are in alignment with the company’s overall mission

* Self-Discipline – maintain a clear list of priorities–never more than a few, and always tackled one at a time–as well as “stop doing” and “never start” lists

* Self- Management – tracks where your own time goes and never waste others’ time by triggering the “recurrent crisis” through lack of foresight, overstaffing projects, holding too many meetings or sending out information that is either irrelevant or hard to understand

* Forward Focused – Favors the future over the past and focus on opportunities, not problems.* Clarity and Alignment – staff and promote by, first, gaining clarity around “What are we trying to do?” and then matching people’s strengths with those key activities

* Diversity of Thought – Invites dissent and confident that important decisions “should be controversial” and “acclamation means that nobody has done the homework.”

* Courage to Change – Remember that every decision you make is “like surgery. It is an intervention into a system and therefore carries with it the risk of shock.”

* Steps Up – Doesn’t blame others when things go wrong. * Altruistic Application – Understands the critical question is not, “How can I achieve?” but “What can I contribute?”

* Earned Leadership – Routinely demonstrates “leadership is not characterized by the title. An executive leads by example.”

* Fresh Thought – Innovate to develop new pathways for success for yourself and your team.

* Talent Wins – While structures and systems are important to growth, leadership is more focused on the people who making good things happen and are building the change.

* Trust Management – Building trust for yourself and others.

* Courage – Having a long range view.

* Vision – The ability to see a vision, gain perspective from others and sell the vision to create a better future.

* Motivation – Engage others to challenge the status quo.* Expansiveness – Connects with others to learn and grow

* Truth – Speaks their truth with courage and a commitment to connection and clarity

* Integrity – being transparent and authentic in all your interactions

* Seek – Seek first to understand, then to be understood

* Patience – to stay committed to your cause and vision , knowing when to stay the course and when to abandon the cause.

* Holds the Tension – taking the time to step out of the heat or emotion, and hold the tension to define a decision or conclusion

* Believes – a leader instills confidence and “followership” by having a clear vision, showing empathy, and being an energetic coach which unlocks the positive potential of others

* Opportunistic – It’s not about knowing everything, it is about being open to the”best way” vs the “right way” and being open to new options that appear which could be even better.

* Effective Assessment – the ability to look at situations and define the highest priorities to achieve the vision and results

* Optimism – Building a culture of optimism is critical to achieving the vision. There will always be ups and downs, and the ability to create a positive cadence of forward momentum takes teams forward to build strong results.

* Smarter Team – You never want to be the smartest person in the room- and if you are, you’re in the wrong place. The best leader knows this and seeks to surround themselves with masters of their crafts. The leader’s job, then, is to”play the orchestra.”

* Adaptable – leaders need to keep an open mind while being flexible and adjust when necessary

* Better Because of You – effective leaders have the ability to provide people with feedback to make people stronger and even more effective. They look for ways to help, not tear others down in the process.

* Not Afraid of Love – leaders love what they do and their passion ignites others. They continue to grow and take on new challenges because they love the ability to achieve, thrive and grow.

* Empower Others – leaders provide a path for others to achieve on their own by providing clear goals, clear assessment of the challenges, the time line necessary, and parameters to be managed

* Resourceful – leaders always find a way, impossible and we can’t are not the language of a leader. Leaders know there is always a way and they find it. It may not be the original plan and it is a way.

* Focus – leaders know the discipline of success is focus and they practice mitigating distraction to achieve the goals.

These are but a few of the practices of a highly effective leader. While some of these may be hard work they consistently yield strong results.