The Best Leaders Tip #12 – Lead holistically

This is my final of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


BE A GROWN-UP

Best Leader Tip #12        Lead holistically.  The academic field of leadership is evolving to this, more holistic view of leadership. – where although we understand and acknowledge the various types and styles of leadership and when to use them, we lead as whole people, embracing our teams with all their differences, demonstrating values-based behaviors, setting a clear vision and motivating our people to achieve it, communicating authentically and powerfully, and making sure our organizations are aligned with their entire systems.  This is also known as integrative leadership

To me, this sums up all the steps to being the best leader.

The Best Leaders Tip #11 – There is no direct line between working around the clock and success

This is my 11th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


BE A GROWN-UP

Best Leader Tip #11        Take care of yourself.  The most effective leaders know that there is no straight line between success and working around the clock.  Not having a social life, never exercising, eating poorly, and letting your body and mind get out of balance, however, IS a direct path to feeling bad and even illness.  Take care of yourself while you work hard.  Be super organized with your time and you’ll find room for all your priorities, which must include your physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health.

The Best Leaders Tip #10 – Be a Grown Up: Don’t gossip

This is my 10th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


BE A GROWN-UP

Best Leader Tip #10        Guard the reputations of others as if they were your own.  Gossip has ruined many solid professional reputations.  Get to know people one on one, and believe your own experience rather than coffee-room whispers.  Forming relationships based on trust and mutual respect allows you to more easily approach people directly if you have questions about them or their work, and to hold the necessary difficult conversations. If you don’t do it for others, do it for yourself:  gossipers create untrustworthy reputations for themselves in the long run.

The Best Leaders Tip #9 – Embrace the breadth and depth of diversity

This is my 9th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.

BE A GROWN-UP

Best Leader Tip #9          Embrace diversity in all its definitions.  Although it’s tempting to hang out only with your friends at work (the ones you hire, the ones you know, those with whom you have a lot in common), resist.  Cliques make you narrow and exclusive, and not in a good way.   Instead, be welcoming and expansive.  Seek out and be involved with new hires, and those who are different from you in background, age, professional status, education, mindset, culture, and personality.  You’ll be richer, more well-rounded in your perspective, a more effective professional, and a more mature person.

The Best Leaders Tip #8 – Get Smart: There is no one best leadership style

This is my 8th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


GET SMART

Best Leader Tip #8          Be flexible.  There are situational, transformational, transactional leaders.  There are servant leaders, authoritarians, democratic leaders, laissez-faire, visionary, charismatics, paternalistic, collaborative, consensus-driven, participative, coaching, commanding, pace-setting… We know about most of these, and many of us have identified with one or more of these styles. While scholars differ in how they type leadership practices and behaviors, they agree that the most effective leaders know how to effectively use multiple styles to meet various needs at different times in their organizations. (Read about types of leaders here).

There are many types of leaders, and many tools to help us understand our own styles based on personality and temperament.  I believe these are helpful only to a point, because the best leaders know how they must adapt their leadership styles to be effective in specific situations.  So we have to become proficient in many leadership behaviors, no matter what our natural styles or preferences might be. Read more about leadership theories here.

For example, leading in a crisis requires a more commanding or directive style, and during a strategy or brainstorming session, a collaborative or more hands-off style works better.  Leading through long-term strategy shift, a merger or acquisition, scandal, or economic hardship also require different skills and behaviors.  The best leaders know these differences and when to use them.  Read more here.

Read a New York Times article about leadership styles here.

The Best Leaders Tip #7 – Be a good leader, not just good at your job

This is my 7th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


GET SMART

Best Leader Tip #7          Be a good leader, not just good at your job.  People get promoted much of the time because they’re proficient at the core business of their organizations.  CPAs become CFOs, engineers become project managers, journalists become executive producers.  Organizations need to do a better job at making sure the core requirements of these promotions include expertise related not just to technique, but also to people.  This includes getting educated and experienced in areas like interpersonal communication, motivating teams, creating and communication an organizational vision, providing formal and informal feedback, holding effective meetings, predicting and managing change, and so much more.  conducting evaluations, giving and receiving feedback, and self-awareness, which is the foundation of all of this. (For one example, click here for a New York Times article about 360-degree evaluations.)

The Best Leaders Tip #6 – Get Smart: Effective listening is not passive

This is my 6th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


GET SMART

Best Leader Tip #6          Listening isn’t passive.  Effective listening is active, in which the listener participates by asking questions, summarizing what they’ve heard, and clarifying.  At the same time, they refrain from assuming, interrupting, cutting the speaker off, arguing, and making it about them.  How do you know if you’re listening enough?  After your next meeting, ask yourself what specific points of information you gained. If it’s fewer than three items, chances are you’ve spent most of that meeting talking, not listening.  A bonus:  Listening shows you’re interested in people.  And the best leaders are all about their people.

The Best Leaders Tip #5 -Get Smart: Listen more than you talk!

This is my 5th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.

GET SMART

Best Leader Tip #5          To be smart, you must listen more than you talk.  However, somewhere along the line and especially in our Western culture, talking a lot, being outgoing, loud, and demanding attention became synonymous with leadership.   We talk about qualities like listening, collaboration, and inclusion, but these are not yet seen as the dominant leader traits.  (Maybe because they are less obvious.) No matter what is popular. Listening provides information and insight.  Information is power.  You can’t listen if you’re talking.  So, as they say, close your mouth and open your ears – and your eyes – so you can take in all the important nonverbal communication cues, as well.

The Best Leaders Tip #4 – Be Brave: be humble

This is my 4th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


Best Leader Tip #4          Be humble.  You don’t know everything, and people know you don’t, so stop trying to pretend you do.  It’s really okay – people will still admire and respect you.  Humility requires bravery – a sense of self confidence that empowers you to know that asking for advice, input and feedback doesn’t diminish nor belittle you in any way.  So go ahead – hire people who are smarter and more experienced than you in the areas in which you are not as strong.  Take their advice.  The best leaders also know they are not perfect, and when they make mistakes, own them rather than blame others or circumstances.  Apologize and make it right with those who are impacted.  Read more.

 

The Best Leaders Tip #3 – Be Brave: leadership takes courage

This is my 3rd of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


BE BRAVE

Best Leader Tip #3          More than luck, training, education, or will, leadership takes courage. To be a leader, you need to be braver than you feel, more confident than think you should be.  This includes having the courage to do the right thing and put other people first –  even when it’s unpopular or you think might harm your chances for advancement.  The best leaders speak up and act when they see people (employees, clients, stockholder, customers, the media) being treated unfairly or unethically.  It takes courage to stand up and take a leadership role when others might not volunteer to give it to you.  They don’t hide behind the situation, nor blame others for “having no choice” about their actions.  A leader has strong shoulders on which they are willing to carry the burden of responsibility, accountability, and having the “buck” stop with them.  Read more.

%d bloggers like this: