Five Practices To Strengthen Your Leadership Status

One thing I know for sure about leaders- if they believe they know everything about their field or career and there isn’t anything else that can help them grow, they are sunk. When leaders allow their experience and expertise to prevent them from learning new concepts or processes, they will begin a downward spiral in their organizations and careers.

What I have also observed is that age and background has nothing to do with our desire to learn new skills or have new experiences. Some of the youngest leaders I work with are sometime more closed minded to new approaches than seasoned leaders. And sometimes leaders who have been on a team for a long time are unwilling to try new tactics. It’s more about how leaders envision their growth.

When leaders move from “know-it-alls” to “life-long learners” they strengthen their leadership status.

Here are five practices to strengthen your leadership status:

 1. DUMP A KNOW-IT-ALL MANTRA

The first way we can reposition our leadership is by admitting to ourselves we aren’t the smartest person on the team or in the room. Additionally we probably can’t write the most comprehensive book on our subject expertise because ideas are constantly changing and evolving. Stop right now thinking you are the “best” and “no one can do it better” than you.

2. BE DELIBERATE IN ASKING FOR DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

Once we acknowledge that we can learn from others we need to make that happen.

3. DELVE INTO A NEW LEADERSHIP BOOK

Never stop reading and discovering new concepts, trends and thinking. When leaders read with an eye to learning something new, they will not only add fresh new skills to their leadership toolbox, but will also strengthen their leadership status. When we bring new strategies and ideas to our teams, we are showing our ability to be more agile and take risks. Have you read “Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success” by Carol S. Dweck? Create leadership book clubs with colleagues.

4. INCORPORATE NEW IDEAS IN PROJECTS

To show others on our teams that we value their opinions and suggestions, make sure to include their input in future project directions. Additionally, don’t forget to give the individual credit for their ideas. There is no better way to strengthen our leadership than by strengthening the leadership of others.

  • Establish brainstorming meetings
  • Send follow-up emails on what was shared and voted on
  • Keep asking for more insights
  • Ask who on the team would like to help execute the new plan

5. BRING THIS NEW THINKING TO YOUR PERSONAL LIFE

As with all work related learning, it can be transferred into our personal lives. Stay open to suggestions from friends and family and people we volunteer with. When we help others feel worthy we are growing our leadership at the same time.

How have you strengthened your leadership status?

 

6 thoughts on “Five Practices To Strengthen Your Leadership Status

  1. I LOVE all your suggestions, but the one that really resonated with me was: talk to others to get a different perspective. We need to do this in SO many areas of our life, but as leaders, it is essential to understand where people are coming from…especially if you are in disagreement. They might just be wrong, but then again, you might be the one who is wrong. Or more likely, you’ll find you’ve come to a conclusion a while back and haven’t “updated” your information. What has worked in the past might work again, but it might not, either. And you won’t know unless you take the time to ask others around you….

  2. Listening to the thought processes of others is critical for leaders to see problems from different vantage points. When I coach leaders and hear why they may be feeling a certain way and then I listen to why their colleagues are feeling differently, it provides an in depth understanding. Leaders cannot be influential if they are unable to be empathetic and see the challenges from another’s view.

    Thanks LaRae!

  3. Great post Terri!

    When we were in Saudi, I served as a liaison between residents and compound management. People in our compound were from culturally and historically opposing viewpoints and suddenly in the same living spaces. As a result there were constant opportunities to help people work through conflicts. In one case, I was involved in a situation, that appeared to be a repeat of something we had worked through just a few months earlier. This situation involved many of the same people, who had demonstrated huge prejudices and an inability to see people of a particular race as human the last time. Their behavior was hateful, divisive and unacceptable in our multi-cultural compound.

    Now they were complaining about the same issue again – but pointing at someone else. My immediate reaction was to see their prejudice.

    A very peaceful resident, pulled me aside and pointed out something I had not noticed. As I researched her insights I discovered that this time the prejudice and negative behavior was indeed originating from the person they were pointing to.

    It was a huge reminder how important it is to have other perspectives!

  4. Your story demonstrates how different perspectives can lead to conflict if there isn’t a culture of listening and hearing what others are saying. I have seen team members become very frustrated when their ideas are not even considered. Leaders need to commit to staying open rather than judging when opposing ideas are shared. It’s kind of like a brainstorming session where all suggestions are thrown out and accepted initially and judgements are left out.

    Thanks Chery for sharing your powerful story about the lessons you learned in being part of such a different culture in Saudi.

  5. Great blog Terri! It is an excellent reminder for all of us to always keep an open mind to learn and grow. Sometimes when we are doing things for so long we can miss opportunities / ways to do things simpler, smarter or more innovative! I am definitely sharing!

  6. A terrific addition, Cynthia! We can sometimes just keep running our personal and professional lives in the same way we always have without ever adding new perspectives or responsibilities. To grow and try new approaches we might want to take a course or read a new book or just reach out to a colleague or coach. As long as we don’t allow fear of the unknown keep us down.

    Thanks Cynthia!

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