Our behaviours determine a fairly large proportion of what happens in our lives – our success and our failures – in business and in our personal lives. What we chose to focus on or not focus on has a tremendous impact in every facet of our lives. Organisations have never been under more pressure to achieve the growth and achieve the results they have forecast, year in, year out, often in difficult and turbulent economic times. The pressure on the leadership of these organisations is enormous, with their reputation and often their jobs on the line. It’s easy for leadership to become so focused on the results, that they don’t stop and actually take stock to identify the behaviours that are critical for success. Their lack of planning leads to putting out many spot fires and making adhoc decisions, which takes their focus away from what they really need to be doing to achieve results. This all sounds obvious, but it’s harder in practise. It takes discipline!
Effective leaders understand the need for discipline and focus on those behaviours that drive results, rather than focusing only on the results.
Leadership is a great responsibility. Great leaders face the truth head on and possess a good deal of self-honesty of where they need to improve. (You can’t improve others until you improve yourself!)
What do you need to do better?
Where do you as the leader need to improve your behaviour?
Where do you need self-improvement as the leader?
Do you really allow yourself to be led by someone more experienced than yourself to challenge your behaviours and thinking, i.e. a mentor?
Do you know how to follow someone who is more experienced than you?
Are you really listening?
How good are your:
· People skills?
· Communication skills?
· Relationship skills?
· Listening skills?
· Phone skills?
· Posture skills?
Who are you accountable to as the leader of your organisation or your team?
The leader always has a vision. Vision creates energy and enthusiasm and an effective leader has the ability to communicate their vision to the people they lead so they are aligned and embrace the vision.
Have you clearly communicated your vision to your key people?
Have they taken ownership of it?
Continual success and effectiveness cannot be achieved without discipline. A leader who has disciplined behaviours is leading by example. A mate of mine is really serious about improving his cycling. To keep himself accountable, he enters races. I know he’s determined to achieve success as he trains most days, riding 35km to work into town and then mountain bikes on the weekend. He also eats a really healthy diet and gets to bed early. Now that’s discipline and focus on the behaviours that will achieve results!
What do you need to be more disciplined about?
What example do the people you lead see?
Many of the successful business people, entrepreneurs and professional athletes whom I associate with in my business have strongly communicated to me that their success is due to their ability to focus.
What do you need to focus on more deliberately?
A leaders ability to stay focused is a leadership strength and focused thinking will give you internal motivation to drive you towards your goals and vision. Being focused gives you the authority to lead and it becomes very evident to the people you have around you that you are “the leader”.
Most people can’t stay focused. Staying focused will give you clarity and help you to move on to the next level in business and in life.
What distractions do you need to remove from your life to increase your focus?
Do you really question your leadership effectiveness?
Focused thinking will give you options.
The truth about leadership is that there needs to be a discipline and focus on the right behaviours – accepting the responsibility of leadership, having a vision and using that vision to inspire those you lead to follow you, having the discipline to drive the vision and knowing what you must focus on to make the vision a reality. Only then will the results you truly want to achieve happen.