Continuing on from my last article, I wanted to challenge myself and others to ask ourselves the tough questions concerning our leadership. It’s when we ask the tough questions, face our fears and do the “hard yards” that our leadership flourishes. It’s when we hide from the truth that we put a lid on ourselves and put a lid on our organisation.
Effective and strong leaders are disciplined. Momentum in your organisation will not be achieved without discipline and focus on the behaviours, strategies and tasks that need to be done to achieve the vision. This leads to excellence and effectiveness.
Discipline and focus are leadership strengths – the ability to not get distracted.
Are you leading by example?
How do you lead by example?
What do you need to be more disciplined about?
What is distracting you?
What do you need to focus on more deliberately?
Focused thinking will drive you from the inside towards your vision.
Being focused gives you the right to lead because the people you surround yourself with can see the focus you have as the leader.
In 1996, Steve Jobs returned to Apple when the company was in dire straits. He reduced the number of projects from 350 to 10. He was completely focused on developing the next big thing. As history now tells us, Apple released the iMac, The iPod, iTunes and the iPhone. Apples stock rose more than 9,000 percent. (Source) Focus on the things that will drive your success and those alone, is a key leadership strategy.
How focused are you?
Does your team catch your focus?
Most people can’t stay focused. Being focused is the only way you can grow and move on to the next level of business and your personal life.
What distractions do you need to remove to stay focused?
Do you make time to get focused?
Do you really question your effectiveness?
A leader needs to be wise, to always demonstrate wisdom. In my experience, one of the most effective ways to gain wisdom and insight is to allow yourself to be led by someone that will challenge you independently and speak into your life. This person must have a successful track record when it comes to both business and their personal life and show real wisdom.
My most effective Leadership strategy is for me to be mentored. In August 2013, I lost my mentor Jim of 22 years with his passing, which was a significant loss in my life.
12 months ago I reached out to a new mentor to lead me and to stimulate and agitate me to continue to grow as a leader and for me to become more effective in all areas of my business and personal life.
I don’t know everything – who does? I will continue to invest in this strategy because the value is immeasurable because it keeps leading me for growth.
History is full of examples of great leaders being led – Robert Friedland to Steve Jobs, Socrates to Plato, Mahatma Ganghi to Martin Luther King, Don Graham to Mark Zuckerberg. Great leaders know the value of having someone independent to their business to guide and encourage them in their endeavours. They don’t view it as something for the weak, but something of great worth for the strong and courageous.
Who leads you?
Do you really allow yourself to be led?
Do you know how to follow?
Are you really listening?
Who keeps you accountable as the leader?
Do you demonstrate integrity?
Do you take responsibility for your mistakes or do you continually shift blame and responsibility to others?
Do you have wisdom?
The leader is a winner, they are successful. Leaders win because they have a hunger to face the truth head on and grow themselves in leadership; they have humility and are prepared to listen.
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill
Are you listening?
Who are you listening to?
Do you have the hunger to face the truth head on and grow yourself and your team in leadership?
Developing yourself as a leader allows people who you are leading to grow to a higher level because as the leader you’ve gone somewhere the people you lead haven’t, and therefore you know how to get them there. Success and growth attracts followers.
Are you capping the growth of the people you have around you or are you promoting growth?
Leaders that succeed have the self-discipline to develop themselves. Discipline means apart from anything else, having routines, doing the same things all the time – not the things that unsuccessful people do, but the things unsuccessful people won’t do. It also means doing things when you don’t want to do them.
For example, it could be as simple as wanting to be organised so you lead from a position of clarity and not one of chaos, as all effective leaders are organised. This could translate into a daily action of ensuring all emails are filed correctly and you tidy the office at the end of each day. Or say Cold Calling made you want to run and hide but you know it’s an important skill as a leader in your industry to have, you’d make the daily decision to do some Cold Calls as a priority for each day.
What do you need to develop?
What principles are you sold out to, to grow you as a leader?
What are you really doing to develop your leadership ability – are you changing on the inside?
Are your goals in developing your leadership (or other) abilities reflected in your daily routine?
To grow yourself as a leader you need to be prepared to face the truth head on which takes humility.
“The humble man makes room for progress, the proud man believes he’s already there”. (Unknown source).
Are you prepared to ask yourself the tough questions to grow your leadership?