No matter your position in life, opportunity for leadership abounds. My favorite definition of leadership is influence, regardless of position. A boss gives orders. And how I see it, we are all tidal waves of influence, we just don’t get to choose what lands for others. You are powerful, and your influence is incalculable. How are you measuring up?
Take the Quiz
- Do you lead by example? Leading by example is passive, but important, teaching. Patience, empathy, and diplomacy are often taught this way. Bosses are merely skilled at managing; being the expert and doling out instructions.
- Are you aware of your impact? Do you actively seek input and feedback? At times are you are a negative nelly, debbie downer, party pooper, angry annie, gossiping gwen or rude jude? Leaders recognize their impact and intentionally adapt. Bosses have the viewpoint that others must adapt to them.
- Do you listen, even when your viewpoint differs? Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Effective leaders recognize how powerful listening is. In groups, people should equally share the floor. Bosses fall prey to the belief that leadership means that your voice overshadows all.
- Do you intentionally build trust? Leaders spend time building relationships. They pay attention to others’ needs, suggestions, and likes. They care. Bosses tend to not give enough attention here, and their attempts to inspire and motivate are futile.
- Do you clearly state goals? When working in a group, leaders have qualitative measures that let the collective know if they’ve reached their goal. Peter Drucker, one of the most well-known management theorists, proclaims that “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Then celebrate your successes! Bosses consistently expect more without clarity or celebration.
- Are you assertive? Leaders know the difference between being aggressive and assertive. They speak up, even when it’s uncomfortable, and they lead from their values. They are tactful. Bosses tend to choose what’s easier or their “nature,” whether it’s more passive or aggressive.
- Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Leaders appreciate others and tell them. They search for strengths and communicate how much they value them. Not only do people feel a boost from the recognition, but leaders support a culture of positive-contribution acknowledgment. Bosses think compliments are too “fluffy.”
- Do you make learning a part of your daily practice? Leaders constantly learn. Failures are learning opportunities. Leaders are fiercely curious. As Eric Butterworth shares, “Don’t go through life, grow through life.” Bosses are “too busy” to learn. And bosses will get a “perfect score” on this quiz, as they often lack self-awareness and don’t recognize that there is always room for improvement.
- Do you follow through on your agreements? Stephen Covey’s number one habit in his acclaimed aforementioned book is to be proactive. Leaders identify problems before they become emergencies. They do what they say they will do. They don’t commit if they can’t fully commit. Bosses forget that talk is cheap, blame others, and let follow-up & proactive problem-solving fall off their radar.
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Want to copy this into your organization’s newsletter to facilitate discussion? We’d be happy to share. Shoot us an email so we can set that up for you! julie@LancasterLeadership.com
Want more about intentional leadership? Read this article Creating Culture, by Flagstaff’s Chief of Police.