Category Archives: Leadership Development

Seven Critical Leadership Rituals

Rituals are important to the survival of any organization as they contribute to the unique culture of a workplace. Rituals can mean honoring our co-workers’ birthdays with cards that everyone signs and a special birthday cake or making Wednesday “Bagel Day” for the firm. Some teams embrace the ritual of a monthly Happy Hour to connect with everyone in a less formal setting while other teams support a “Field Day” filled with outdoor activities to get to know one another better. Whatever the ritual, to feel part of our work worlds we honor those routines and behaviors.

Rituals are also the key to influential leadership as they set the tone of how we want to lead and how we want others to see us. Although we each put our own unique mark on leading, there are some critical leadership rituals that can help us be more impactful.

Here are seven critical leadership rituals that can help us be more influential:

1. KNOW YOUR CORE VALUES

Just like any journey or adventure we may take, we need to have a compass to steer our leadership direction. That begins with a clear understanding of what drives us. Our core values need to be front and center of every action and decision we make. To identify those values think about what feels right, what makes you happy and what is your leadership purpose. This is not fluff. This is your reality.

2. DISPLAY AUTHENTICITY

To be authentic is to lead with truth and integrity. When leaders try to copy someone else’s technique and spirit they will always fall short. But when leaders allow their “realness” to show, they will attract others and be heard. Think of how we can sense a fake and then make sure to honor your best self and share it with others.

3. RECOGNIZE BOTH GIFTS AND BLIND SPOTS

All leaders have talents and strengths that when cultivated will help them lead in more effective ways. We also have areas we need to grow and nourish. How can we identify both?

4. VALUE THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU

Leaders recognize that they can’t accomplish great things without the help of others and that means being appreciative and showing kindness.

  • Give others the credit they deserve
  • Be generous with “thank you” shout-outs
  • Lend a helping hand to team members who are stuck meeting a deadline
  • Go to “Happy Hours” and participate in “Field Days”

5. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SHOW VULNERABILITY

An important ritual to commit to is showing others our mistakes and missteps. When leaders share stories of failure or frustration, they build connections with people. We each need to do it in our own way, but make sure to allow others to see that we are multi-sided. Displaying vulnerability is a true leadership strength.

6. STEP OUTSIDE THE COMFORT ZONE

Although it may feel uncomfortable, it is essential for leaders to take risks and welcome new perspectives. Leaders will never grow or evolve unless they take unfamiliar leaps. Here is a great talk at a TEDx by  Brandeis University professor  Andy Molinsky about how to get outside your comfort zone.

7. COMMUNICATE WITH RESPECT

Without being a strong assertive communicator we can’t be influential leaders. Communicating assertively involves speaking openly, directly but with respect to others’ points of view. Try these rituals:

  • Listen to hear the entire message
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Try not to judge or assume
  • Ask questions with care and compassion
  • Be in the moment

What leadership rituals work for you?

 

Six Leadership Hacks To Manage Your Workload

In one of my leadership programs this past week, I met a very devoted leader who was overwhelmed with her workload. As she shared her story and challenges with us her face and entire body grew tense and rigid. She was visibly upset, shaking her head as she rolled out her struggles with us.

“I can’t seem to get a hold of all the work that keeps coming my way. Not only is the amount of work beyond doable, but also the people delegating it to me, don’t have a clue about what else I have been asked to complete. As a result I am continually missing deadlines and everyone seems to be… Continue reading | 2 Comments

Five Drivers Of A Powerful Leadership Story

This week I had the opportunity to speak with an extraordinary young leader who shared their passionate journey of how they arrived at their current job and career. The leader began their education and first job in a very artsy industry but ended up in a start-up. There were also a few crazy sales jobs in between that helped them to develop marketing skills that eventually led them to their present dynamic position. The trials and challenges brought us laughter and connection. Some of the leader’s choices worked out better than others, but in each situation, the individual was always willing to grow and try new things.

The most intriguing part of the time… Continue reading | 8 Comments

While Your Dream Job Is Still Evolving

Let’s face it; many of us are continually in search for that perfect job or career. We aren’t totally unhappy where we are now, but we also aren’t feeling completely fulfilled in our professional choices. We listen enviously as some of our colleagues and friends share their work stories with passion and excitement. We wonder if we will ever find that magical place. Some of these leaders are new to their careers while others have been in their jobs for many years. It doesn’t matter how long we have been in our jobs if something is missing or just doesn’t meet the expectations we might have.

These past few weeks I have heard many… Continue reading | 6 Comments

Six Benefits of Making Relationships A Priority

Working with a senior leadership team this week was an eye opening experience. Although the organization is fairly technical in nature and usually focuses on end results, we began an important discussion on how to create stronger work connections. It seemed that although employees were performing well, there was not a great deal of camaraderie. In fact, what was happening was that the team leaders were only socializing with themselves and spent little time getting to know their team members. As a result, deeper work relationships were not being formed. Younger and newer team members were feeling unappreciated.

Why should senior leaders care about new workers coming up through the ranks? Why is it necessary