Do any of these scenarios seem familiar?
People get hired for their technical expertise, they produce the results and then one day they are “rewarded” by being asked to lead a team.
After some initial success as a people leader and a few promotions they seem to have plateaued and are facing increasing pressure to perform.
You would think companies would invest in leadership development or coaching a lot sooner for these managers, but the reality is, that unless you are actively focused on your Professional Development, and in this case as a LEADER, you might wait a long time for that company leadership program to come round again.
For too many leaders that I've worked with, the first time they've ever been on a leadership program is with me, and that could be years after being promoted.
Let’s be real here. It’s never a good time to go on training because there's always some crisis that needs fixing, and normally by you. So in the absence of any formal training you try your best with the resources you have. Those resources are typically skills or ideas that you may have picked up randomly or you draw from your experience as a follower and guess from there.
That strategy may work if you had a great leader yourself, however consider what might happen if you had a leader that was in the same predicament as you?
[bctt tweet="And so lets start with this week’s big idea…your Leadership Brand."]
Your leadership brand is too important to leave to chance, yet most people do. Understanding yourself allows you to be more mindful and therefore self regulated in situations where you engage with people that are not like you. Especially when it comes to their personality preference and priorities. If you are leading an army of one or a bigger team, the ability to influence starts with authenticity and rapport.
Here are three questions that will help you with this first big idea.
- Who are you?
I find the most authentic leaders have a clearly articulated Leadership Purpose, which they communicate to their teams.
Answer this question…
“If your position was up for elections, would anyone vote for you”?
When leaders are being authentic and they have connected with us at an emotional level, we give them our trust. Think about relationships you have with people you trust compared to the ones you have with people you don’t trust.
Take the time to sit down and articulate your purpose as a leader, tell them about the leaders that have shaped your leadership vision, tell them what they can expect from you and what you expect in return. Then tell them your goals for the team and what you want the team to be known for. Set a clear direction for them and inspire them to achieve your vision.
- Why do you do what you do?I like using the Everything DiSC profile because it answers so many of those “why do you do what you do” questions. The good news, is that once you have a profile of yourself, you will begin to understand why your team members “do what they do”. Speaking to them in their preferred language is vital for creating real rapport. If you want to become a master influencer, you need to be flexible in your communication.
[bctt tweet="“In any system, the person with the most flexibility controls the system”" via="no"]
- What’s your EQ?
IQ and technical skills are entry-level requirements for leadership roles, but if you want to maximise your performance and your team members’ performance, there are a group of five EQ skills that you may want to master.
According to Daniel Goleman those EQ skills are:
These abilities can be strengthened through practice with an accredited EQ coach. (Contact us to find out more about this tool)
Being clear about your Leadership Purpose, understanding yourself and others’ Personality Preferences and improving your EQ scores in those five critical areas are a great foundation for establishing Trust in you as a leader.
To sustain this trust you will need to do more than just connect with people, you’ll have to deliver too. Next week I’ll share the leadership strategies and skills you’ll need to be the best leader you can be.
Lead with Purpose!