Please know that you are a leader. You may not have the title. It may not look like a typical leadership role, yet you are leading many others through your words and actions each day.
As a leader, it’s vital for you to know that your attitude – your persona as in aura – matters. You are more transparent than you realize. Many things influence your attitude, like sleep or lack thereof.
Leaders enter the work place each morning with one of
1) Anxiety ridden from what kept them awake last night or,
2) Enthusiasm for what pulled them out of bed this morning.
Everyone from the top down quickly knows as a leader walks through the door which outlook he or she has, and this energy bleeds swiftly throughout the organization.
What kept you awake last night is typically not joyous. Rather, your tossing and turning encompassed fear, anxiety, dread, blame, and ‘what ifs.’ Your leadership follows suit.
The ‘pull’ that draws you out of bed in the morning is the anticipation of new opportunities that await you and your team…new directions, risks, potential game changers. Your leadership follows suit.
Think of the best boss you’ve ever had. On a scale of one to ten with ten being highest, how would you rate him or her? Now, think of the worst boss you’ve had and rate them.
What contributed to each rating? Likely it was whether this boss guided you through fear or opportunity.
• Leaders who lead through fear – ‘you’d better do this or else’ – create resentful, disloyal, unmotivated employees.
• Leaders who lead through opportunity for growth and expansion of skills create loyal, energized, motivated employees.
Employees want to feel great about their contribution. They crave a leader who sees beyond current challenges to new opportunities. They crave leaders who see beyond the employee’s insecurities or self-imposed limitations and into what’s the next step for them to grow.
Clients who have been riddled with anxiety at night think I’m a bit crazy when suggesting that they turn it around. It’s a far stretch for them to imagine jumping out of bed with enthusiasm. Yet in time, with diligence, that is what they achieve.
If you agree that leading through opportunity rather than fear is for you, consider my Top ‘7’ Tips to get you there.
Dissect. Break your challenge down to individual pieces. Separating each out gives you a clear understanding of what you truly want to accomplish rather a singular focus on the problem itself.
Prioritize. Before stepping into action, look at the individual pieces of your challenge. What’s most important? What are the dominos that need to fall into place?
Eliminate. Separated out, what is no longer important? For example, you may have a cultural problem with poor staff attitude. In separating it out, you now see that if one individual is eliminated, the problem goes away.
Visualize. Go beyond the steps to get there. Jump to the end. Visualize that your challenge has disappeared. Now what? What has changed? Who has benefited? Get clear on that vision prior to moving forward. Take time with this step.
Evaluate. Look at your team’s individual skills. What opportunities have arisen for one or more to help out, grow, and expand? For example, assign a short term project; team unrelated individuals together; enroll them in a class or hire a coach.
Brainstorm. Invite an individual or individuals on your team to help you solve the challenge. Enjoy their creative thinking. Allow them to step forward and take on more responsibility. My experience is that they’re ready. All you have to do is ask.
Celebrate and Create. Too often challenges are solved without recognition. Celebrate all accomplishments, all growth.
Create an atmosphere of spending 20% of your focus on the challenge and 80% on creating, executing, and celebrating the resulting opportunities. In short, create a culture focused on opportunity, not challenges. You are aware of your challenge, of course, but that’s not your focus.
Now go back to the above question. You’ve rated your past bosses. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10. Where are you on the fear/opportunity approach of leadership? What will you change?
Sleep well tonight and enjoy the opportunities that await you tomorrow.
Master Executive and Leadership Coach Ann Golden Eglé, MCC, has steered highly-successful individuals to greater results since 1998. President of Golden Visions & Associates, LLC, Ann can be reached at 541-385-8887 or subscribe to her newsletter at www.GVAsuccess.com