What a whirlwind!
The Millennial Train Project (MTP) rolled into town last week, and we had an amazing time.The MTP is a non-profit organization that leads crowd-funded transcontinental train journeys for diverse groups of young innovators to explore America’s new frontiers, grow as leaders, and advance projects that benefit, serve, and inspire others.
As their local host, I brought together MTP participants with local Millennials leaders who are stepping up in Albuquerque. I was inspired by everyone’s commitment to their communities, our country, and positive social change.
It was so energizing!
And if that wasn’t enough, I got to hang out on the train for a while and got to know them better and learn more about their projects. They also picked my brain a bit about New Mexico, and of course, leadership.
One the MTP participants asked:
What is the one thing about leadership we need to know?
A wonderful question!
Here is what I told him:
Leadership isn’t about you. It’s about the people you lead.
As a young leader I struggled with leadership, mostly because I had bought into the leader “archetype”. You know you’ve seen it on TV and in the movies replicated over and over; a domineering and powerful person, who gets things done at all costs, even at the expense of those who work for them.
The archetype failed me, and I failed as a leader.
I had to learn to lead like me.
Forget what you have been told about what leadership “should” look like and define your own approach to leadership.
Have you ever noticed on TV and in the movies, how much people hate their boss? It’s not by accident that the most common archetype of leadership is also shown to be the least effective in building trust and confidence in those they lead.
Effective leaders do not lead with fear and intimidation; they foster trust, respect, and confidence with their teams so people follow them because they want to, not because they have to.
You have your own personality, character, values, and strengths that should inform your leadership. Introverts and Extroverts are very different and as a result lead differently. The idea that only vocal and dominant personalities can be effective leaders is a myth. Some of the most effective leaders are those who understand the power of being understated. So don’t try to mimic some archetype, just be yourself.
There is no single way to lead because people are so different, and what works with one person or one team, may not work with another. So leaders have to be flexible in their style and approach. You have to know yourself well enough to be able to adjust and adapt your style to meet the needs of your followers.
Each of these reasons requires self-awareness! If you are looking to improve or grow as a leader, start with yourself and where you are.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do you believe is the role of a leader?
- What are the strengths and values you bring to that role?
- What is the impact you want to have on others as a leader?
Taking the time to reflect and answer these questions can make a huge difference in the way that you lead.
The answers may surprise you. But most important they will give you clarity and direction in your approach to leadership, and help you feel more confident as a leader.
Want more? Sign-up for the FREE Leadership ID eWorkshop and have a more in-depth discovery of your Leadership Identity.
Want even more? Join me and other Millennial leaders in Albuquerque to develop your leadership brilliance in a multiple day workshop. Get the details at www.leadershipabq.com