As a coach whose specialty is partnering with parents in executive and leadership roles, I’m often asked if I’ll take on clients who don’t consider themselves “leaders”.
Well… I’m here to tell you that EVERYONE is a leader in some way. Even if you don’t have a formal leadership title (like some of my executive clients), I guarantee you: SOMEONE relies on you and learns from you.
That makes you a leader!
A common theme I see among clients is that they’ve felt thrust into various leadership roles without having been “trained” by a stellar leader before them.
In both my 1:1 conversations and my workshops, we’ll spend time examining what makes a great leader, and how leaders from all walks of life can learn and grow, no matter their title or tenure.
Since you are definitely a leader, and since I have nearly 20 years of education and experience in this area, I’d like to share just a few ways you can maximize your leadership potential.
- See EVERYTHING as an opportunity. You probably associate opportunity with good fortune. I hear you — “But how can stumbling in some way, be it costly financial errors, poor hires or an ineffective strategy be seen as an opportunity?” Great leaders look at what most people see as “failures” and they see opportunities to learn and grow. In this sense, there is no failure. There is only success or learning how to do it better the next time.
- Take risks. When you stagnate, you stick. Bravery, boldness, or taking calculated risks will more often than not lead to greater growth than you can imagine. Why is this so hard to believe? Well, as I’ve shared before, our brains are designed to play it safe and keep you inside your comfort zone. Where your comfort zone ends is where your real journey begins. Be the change maker you know you can be.
- Search out people willing and unafraid to give you unvarnished feedback. Leaders tend to be surrounded by like-minded collaborators and confidants; or, they’re surrounded by subordinates. Neither group is likely to give you the kind of raw and hard-to-hear feedback that fuels true growth. So if you really want to know what’s going on, find the people around you who have no filter and no fear.
- Listen more than you speak. Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean you should be the one doing all the talking. You can’t learn and grow if your mouth is always moving. Get the pulse on the ground of your business by asking questions. Don’t just listen to those around you, either. Listen to podcasts and read articles. Understand, deeply, what’s happening outside of your personal and professional bubble. You may not agree with what you hear or see, but by cultivating a sense of radical curiosity, you’ll find the possibilities available to you expand, and your decision fatigue decreases.
So…which one of these 4 leadership qualities can you dip your toe into this week?
What’s one small change you can make to move closer to maximizing your leadership potential?
What would you add to this list?
Let me know what you come up with!