Many of my clients are working on navigating the waters of becoming true leaders. Leadership looks differently for everyone, so if you find yourself challenged by inspiring the best performance possible from your team, the first question that is invaluable to ask yourself is, what kind of leader do you aspire to be?
Often this involves reflecting on what kind of leadership you have experienced yourself, and what kind of leader you don't want to be...
If all you can come up with is negative examples, remember, we all learn by emulating, so think about what it would look like NOT to be like them, and how to be and what to do instead.
There has been a lot of research around leadership styles, and what has emerged is that the most successful leaders today employ a more feminine or compassionate style, that involves showing strength by being vulnerable, transparent and supportive. I remember asking one of my mentors what would make me the right leader for my clients and her response was, "you have to really really love your clients."
So to be a true leader in my field, I have to really really love the ones I am leading. In my humble opinion, this is true for all leadership. Yes, you may love your bottom line first, but if you really love it, you must love the ones who are instrumental in helping you achieve it.
Also, the same practices that make you a good leader, make you successful in all your other relationships (from the model "Seven Practices of Facilitative Leadership" by Interaction Associates):
- share an inspiring vision
- focus on results, process and relationship
- seek maximum appropriate involvement
- design pathways to action
- facilitate agreement
- coach for performance
- celebrate accomplishment
What would it be like coming home to your significant others and to follow the above path to share something that is really important to you and engage their participation in this loving and collaborative manner?