Thanksgiving is that special time of year where we are reminded to count our blessings. It might be cliche, but I still say it’s important. Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged in leadership because everyone is quick to point out what is going wrong, not what is going right. An attitude of thankfulness can help shift your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right.
So with that being said, here are a few things that I am thankful for this year:
My Team – without them, I wouldn’t be a leader. I’m so thankful that they are crazy enough to be on my team. We’ve sure had some awesome times this year. I couldn’t do what I do without them. They are the BEST!
My Colleagues – I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by some pretty amazing people who offer constant encouragement and support. Thanks, guys!
My Family – behind every great leader is an even greater team… and I believe that the “greatest team” one can have is their family. Never forget them.
“Eureka” Moments – the team and I have planned several major events this year. And with each big event comes big problems that require creative solutions. On a few occasions we’ve been able to come up with that one brilliant idea. And for that, I am thankful.
My Job – it gets stressful and crazy, but at the end of the day, I absolutely love what I do. I choose to love the good, bad, and the ugly… I’m grateful for it all!
YOU – if it weren’t for you, the reader, this blog wouldn’t be too exciting. Thanks for reading and I hope something I’ve said has encouraged you to be a more effective leader!
“The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Theodore M. Hesburgh
One of the fundamental responsibilities of a leader is to have and constantly communicate the VISION. A vision has two primary functions for your team. Vision serves as a compass and as fuel for you and your team.
COMPASS: Vision determines values. Values are the fundamental beliefs and standards that drive behavior and decision-making. Leaders must always make sure that the team’s priorities and decisions are aligned with the vision. Multiple visions lead to division. Upholding the vision as the number one priority will keep you and your team on course. Vision is what directs the team. No vision, no direction.
FUEL: I’ve worked on leadership committees for many large events over the past few years. Most of these events are staffed by volunteers–sometimes as many as a couple hundred. Some events had a clear vision and objective. Some events didn’t. I’ve noticed a direct connection between clarity of vision and the response from the volunteers. The events with a clear vision that was effectively communicated to the volunteer team produced incredible results. The volunteers rallied around the vision, worked harder, were more enthusiastic about the event, and complained less. Vision is what kept the team going. “A vision that creates opportunity for OTHERS, will never lack the involvement of OTHERS. Vision is contagious!” – Brian Houston
A final thought… “Vision fades. So leaders must continually remind, refresh, and restate it–monthly in my experience.” – Rick Warren As a leader, you have the responsibility to keep the vision alive. Habitually talk about it with your team. Remind them “why” we do what we do.
“Where there is no vision the people perish.” – Proverbs 29:18
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs
When’s the last time you came up with a new way of doing things? Claiming that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the number one killer to creativity and progress. Resist the urge to just coast in leadership. Never say “this is the way we’ve always done it.” As a leader, you should evaluate your team’s operations on a regular basis. Even if everything is running smooth, challenge your team to come up with new methods of doing things. Ask “what if….” You might be surprised at the endless possibilities of answers.
According to study by IBM, “creativity is now the most important leadership quality for success in business.” Remember, creativity is not restricted to artists and designers. Leaders in all professions need an element of creativity to lead more effectively and take their team to the next level.
So, never get too comfortable. Always embrace fresh ideas. Do something no one has ever done before. If your team is constantly innovating, when a problem does arise, you’ll already have creative power flowing to solve the issue. Challenge your team to come up with the craziest solution possible. Even if the idea is totally unpractical, that idea has the potential to become the stepping stone to a brilliant practical idea. The point is to take the limits off and to get creative. And the more you do it, the better you’ll get.
The greatest leaders are those who challenged the status quo, took a risk, and thought outside of the box. Take a lesson from Steve Jobs. Push the limits. Be creative. Innovate.
Just as every individual has a unique personality, every leader has a different leadership style that he or she functions best in. Today we’ll explore the 6 most popular leadership styles according to research by internationally-known psychologist and author, Dr. Daniel Goleman.
COMMANDING: “Just do it. Now.” This militaristic leadership style maintains tight control on the team. The commanding leader demands immediate obedience. While too much of this style can have a negative impact on the atmosphere, it can be helpful during a crisis.
VISIONARY: “We’ll do it together. Come.”Thisstyle inspires a team to rally around a vision or dream. The visionary is a catalyst for change. This leader gives direction to help a team move towards a common goal.
AFFILIATIVE: “My team comes first.” This leader fosters harmony and boosts moral. The affiliative leader places emphasis on people and on building healthy relationships in the team. This style can calm conflict and can motivate people during stressful situations.
DEMOCRATIC: “What do you think?”This style places emphasis on collaboration. This leader values people’s input, is a great listener, and a team player.
PACESETTING: “This is how we’re going to do it.”This leader has a high standard for performance. Sometimes the pacesetting leader can be impatient or micromanage, but he often achieves challenging and exciting goals.
COACHING: “Let me help. Try this.” This leader is able to develop people for the future. The coach can identify strengths and weaknesses in the team and can help each person grow.
Every leader will naturally function in one of the six styles, however, the most effective leaders are able to switch between the different styles depending on the circumstance. Sometimes you’ll need to be a coach to your team. Other times you’ll have to set the pace. Adjust your leadership style to fit the situation.
So, what’s your natural leadership style? For a short test, click here.