In my last blog, I asked if you were a manager or a leader. Today, I want to share thoughts on how to become a better leader. I believe the biggest difference between managers and leaders is the focus areas. Managers tend to focus on tasks, processes, and budgets. These are critical skills but so are leadership skills. Leaders focus on people and how they are contributing. This is often messy, confusing and challenging work. But the reward is great. As you become a better leader, you gain followers who are loyal to you, your cause and your organization.
If you want to be a leader you are going need to focus on developing the talent that works with you. To begin, think about these four areas and the questions I pose with each.
What would your followers say you stand for? What adjectives would they use to describe you as a leader? I challenge you to go ask 3-5 people this question. As a follow-up, ask them what one thing you could change to make you a better leader. Feedback is a gift – just not one that is easily received. Thank them for the feedback and then decide what you are going to do with your gift.
What attitude do you bring to your organization every day? Do you help make the organization a better place because you are there or do you find yourself being critical and negative more often than others? Who would you prefer to work with–a person who tries to find solutions or someone who complains? Thus, practice a new type of CYA – Choose Your Attitude. Make a pledge to choose an attitude for yourself every day before going to work. Today, my attitude is “curious”.
How much time do you spend each week recognizing and developing your team? Do the people who work for you know that you care of about their ideas, their development and the work they do?
What would happen if you started investing more time growing the talent on your team?
”We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an event, but a habit.”
If you want to be a great leader, you are going to have to develop new behaviors like choosing your attitude, recognizing your team and helping each person expand their potential. Good luck and let me know how you are doing on your journey!