You want the truth? I was a tyrant!
There are NO “ifs, ands, or buts” about it, I was a terrible and ineffective leader in the beginning.
In every professional leadership position I held from ages 19 to 24, I had a very authoritative approach…bossy, intolerant, shortsighted, and unfair. It was my way or the highway. After all, I was the boss. Right?
The truth was I had no idea how to lead. And despite the leadership opportunities I had had, no one really taught me how to lead and who I was as a leader.
My parents tried to prepare me for leadership by taking me to management seminars when I was just 13 years old. Every teenage girl’s dream! And yet, I did learn how to be organized and manage my time, but I learned nothing about leadership.
And when I was 20, my mother took me to a Tony Robbins one day Mastery Workshop. It was compelling and inspiring, but it did not teach me how to lead or who I was as a leader.
After years of leadership failures…I mean lessons, I realized I needed a serious course correction. My only regret is that I hadn’t had the opportunity earlier in my career to get on track to better understand leadership and who I was as a leader. Today, I lead with confidence and pride, and more importantly, I am more effective as a leader than I could have ever imagined.
Over the last 15 years, I have fine tuned my leadership through lots of experience, education, and training. This is what I’ve learned:
- Leadership isn’t about the leader, it’s about the followers.
- Leadership isn’t a title or position, it’s a mindset, heartset, and skillset.
- Like a fine wine, it takes a delicate process and time to develop your leadership.
- Leaders are driven by their own values and beliefs.
- The stuff they tell you is extra or call soft skills, is actually the fundamentals.
Are you the leader you want to be?
To help you become a more effective leader, I’ve put all of my lessons and training together to create the 5 Steps to Real Leadership. Each step is designed to help you:
- Establish your credibility,
- Gain buy-in and earn trust with your team,
- Learn to communicate effectively and resolve conflict,
- Build strong and inclusive teams and organizations,
- Use coaching and mentoring to empower others, and
- Learn to evaluate yourself and others for continuous growth and development.
These are the 5 Steps to Real Leadership:
Step One: Identify
Identify your beliefs and values and how they inform your approach to leadership. Understanding what drives you is the first step to becoming a more effective leader.
Step Two: Imagine
“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” -William Arthur Ward
Create a shared vision with your your team, and convert your vision into tangible goals and plans.
Step Three: Inspire
Learn to listen more than you speak, and communicate clearly and consistently. In my early years, I talked too much and failed to inspire others to follow to me. When you listen you learn about about people, what they want, and what they need. It’ll equip you with essential information while also providing support and encouragement for your team.
Step Four: Innovate
Traditional thoughts of leadership teach us that creating a culture that fosters learning, inclusion, diversity, coaching, and mentoring is something you do if the budget allows or when you find yourself in trouble. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
You can coach and mentor your own team, or pair people up to mentor one another to create teams and organizations that recognize and leverage their individual differences. Don’t wait for a budget approval to elevate engagement and performance, do it now with the resources that are all around you.
Step Five: Impact
Take time to reflect and self-evaluate, you can always adjust your approach, learn new skills, and be more effective. You also want to ensure that you are consistently evaluating your team and providing them with the resources they need to grow and develop their own talent.
It’s never too early or too late to become the leader you want to be.
And if you want to go deeper into the 5 Steps to Real Leadership you can do it with me LIVE or ONLINE. Workshops designed exclusively for leaders who want to make a difference and become radically effective.