Although I have been a leadership trainer and consultant for many years, I never wanted to be a leadership blogger. It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing, but rather I was uncertain about adding a blog to my weekly commitments. I feared that if I was unable to keep my word to my readers that I would not be credible. Also, I wondered whether I could offer topics that appealed to leaders of all backgrounds and interests. But as I delved into leadership blogging something very fascinating began to happen. I realized that when I shared my stories of leading, other leaders reached out to share theirs with me. I didn’t have to model my blog after anyone else’s, but just write about what I saw through my workshops and presentations. The truth was that I just had to lead my way.
Here are five truths about leading your way:
1. SHOWCASE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF
There is no sense in trying to look or act like someone else- just be you. I was so concerned that I may be different from other bloggers but soon realized that all I needed to do was share my unique leadership stories. As long as I maintained my authenticity, my leadership blogs resonated with others. Look at your authentic self and use it as a compass to lead.
2. ALLOW YOUR STRENGTHS TO SHINE
We all have gifts and talents but may have a hard time honing in on them. Yet those strengths are what make us unique leaders. I knew that if I wrote from my heart about what I loved doing I would hit a cord with other leaders. Here are some questions to help you discover your unique strengths:
- What do others ask me to help them with?
- Where have I gotten the most positive feedback?
- What excites me the most about leading?
3. DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF HARSHLY
Whatever you finally decide to pursue in your leadership path, try not to be too critical. Just because someone says something negative or doesn’t respond in the way you had hoped, don’t beat yourself up. A wise leader once shared with me that he was amazed at why some of his blogs were so popular while others were not. He didn’t always agree with his audience but learned not to take the “lack of response” personally. That always stuck with me.
4. LOOK FOR WAYS TO ENGAGE WITH OTHER LEADERS
A huge part of leading your way is finding commonality with other leaders. In your workplace or with your clients, do you work hard to discover ways to connect? Leading your way means understanding what makes you tick and what makes those around us tick. It is being both self-aware of what energizes us and recognizing how other leaders are energized too.
- Ask other leaders about their challenges and then share yours
- Offer to help when someone is struggling
- Be a strategic listener
- Lead with your heart
5. EMPOWER YOUR CREATIVE JUICES TO FLOW
The final truth about leading your way is allowing your creativity and energy to flow. Decide what direction you want to follow and run down that road. Stay with your choice whether it be tackling different responsibilities or pursuing a new job or career. Lead with gusto and don’t look back. You deserve to lead your way!
What are your truths in leading your way? What has worked for you?