“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch
Having just come back from a powerful summit in California earlier this month, clearly there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to becoming an effective leader. Within this group of high powered and focused women, they came in all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicity. Being a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, I know that Gallup has done lots of research looking at what constitutes effective leadership. Gallup has learned that leading from one’s strengths and uniqueness, yields better results than trying to be a carbon copy of other leaders. Effective leaders are change agents because they understand and embrace their strengths. While also acknowledging and managing their weaknesses with the support of their team, organization and community. Leaders like this are comfortable in their own skin.
Gallup’s quest to understand leadership caused them to analyze data gathered from thousands of leaders as well as their “followers.” They found that the most effective leaders exhibit three key qualities:
Focusing on strengths. Effective leaders consistently focus on the strengths of their team members. This can help each team member feel empowered to do their best work and contribute to achieving the team’s goals. By focusing on strengths, this leads to higher employee engagement and well-being. Which ultimately positively impacts the organization’s bottom line.
Forming well-rounded teams. Effective leaders recognize that they can’t excel at everything. To overcome this challenge, they surround themselves with people who have complementary strengths, qualities, and skill sets. This results in well-rounded, high-performing teams, not well-rounded individuals. That is a powerful distinction.
Understanding their followers’ needs. Effective leaders understand and honor four basic needs that their followers have: trust, compassion, stability, and hope. People are motivated to work with leaders they can depend on, and who genuinely care about them, provide a solid foundation and inspire hope for the future. What we focus on expands.
In addition to what Gallup highlights I believe that self-awareness is a key factor that enhances a leader’s effectiveness. It has been said that feedback is mastery which fosters deeper self-awareness.
Below are 4 tips on how to work on Leadership Skills that can enhance your leadership ability:
1. Be True 2 You: One of the most important steps you can take to be an effective leader is to become more aware of your strengths, weaknesses, values, behaviors, and the impact you have on other people. Self-reflection is a good place to start becoming more self-aware, but it’s not enough. Actively seeking feedback from your direct report, colleagues and mentors is also an important aspect of self-awareness.
2. Demonstrate integrity and trustworthiness: We cannot change whether someone will trust us or not. Yet by being trustworthy, we can make an impact. This is an important quality in leaders, to maintain the highest levels of integrity and remain open and honest in our interactions. High levels of trust within a team will increase engagement sixfold. Can you think of leaders you find easy to trust? What makes them trustworthy? What can you learn from them?
3. Invest time in coaching and developing others: Effective leaders take a genuine interest in the growth and development of the people they work with. Make a point to learn about the goals and aspirations of your team members, then play an active role in helping them grow and develop. This will help you better understand their needs and work with them more effectively.
4. Learn how to have difficult conversations: As a leader, you will inevitably find yourself in situations where you need to share difficult news with someone. Or you need to disagree with someone without offending them. Being able to have difficult conversations while maintaining, better yet, building trust is an vital aspect of effective leadership. I call this leading with grace. Please click on this link for your complimentary Grace Cards™ (I call them the Three Graces). coach2strengths.com/connectcallwithbetsy
Enjoy the light later into the evening, the warmth and signs of green all around us. Springs IS in the air. Be encouraged and be well.