How do you define leadership? Ask this question to any audience and you will likely get multiple responses. I believe this question is simply answered in an equation – Humility + Vulnerability = Leadership.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that simply having the title of “manager” does not make you a leader. A title alone doesn’t get people to follow you. You create influence and lead others by doing the little things right every day-especially when you think that no one is watching.
True leaders who create influence have others watching them at all times. If you are a leader, people want to emulate what you do and understand what makes you successful. You create influence and lead others
by accepting your mistakes and quickly owning up to them.
“You create influence and lead others through being authentic and genuine through every communication channel with others, either via written or verbal communication.”
You create influence and lead others through providing positive energy, which is easily displayed in your tone and how you treat people.
Think about what I just said. How many managers or leaders have you had who possessed none of these skills? I would be willing to bet that you wanted out of your job due to the negative energy this so-called leader gave off. Even think back to a sport you played, with a teammate who held a leadership position? Did they possess the positive qualities or the negative ones? Hopefully, your mind is starting to take you through past experiences you’ve had when dealing with others in leadership. In every situation, either you were leading or not leading a team. Or, you were following or not following others.
I want to take you through some instances where I had to focus in and sharpen my leadership skills, which allowed me to come out on the successful end of the spectrum. As I look back over my experiences, I was blessed to have had the opportunity to play college football at Central Washington University, where I was both Quarterback and Captain of our team. If you’re going to play QB, you must possess a positive attitude, figure out ways to motivate others and get them to rally out through ups and downs. I still remember how playing QB allowed me to develop leadership skills that I would later use throughout my business career.
I am also blessed to have worked at Kforce for nearly 17 years, and have been in leadership roles where I‘ve always had to look for ways to positively influence others. This is another example when previous experience has helped me influence others in getting them to achieve things that didn’t seem possible.
Currently, I serve on the board of the The First Tee (1st Tee of Seattle), which is a non-profit that teaches youth life skills through the game of golf. Are you starting to see the corollaries and similarities in each experience I’ve had? I was taught by my mentors that great leaders will draw upon past experiences in order to put themselves in successful situations.
Playing football taught me that you are only as good as the last play. I take that same attitude and approach in my business life while leading others and remind myself that no one will ever stay the same. You either get better or you get worse, and good leaders help to instill this approach in anything that the team takes on.
Please leave a comment or share your thoughts and most importantly….thank you for reading!