Category Archives: Core Values

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?

 

Why Leading With Kindheartedness Makes Sense

I have seen all shapes and types of leaders in my workshops. There is never a program I present that I don’t learn something new from a participant. But of all the qualities that contribute to strong and impactful leadership, the one that stands out and makes the greatest impression for me is kindheartedness.

What is kindheartedness?

A few definitions are:

  • Having or showing a sympathetic nature
  • Friendly or generous by nature
  • Arising from a kind heart
  • Sharing the feelings of others

All these descriptions point to a leader who brings caring and concern for others while helping them to grow their leadership knowledge and skills. I… Continue reading | 6 Comments

Four Ways To Lead MLK (Martin Luther King Jr.) Style

pic for MLK

Each year we honor the great leader, Martin Luther King Jr. for his courage and contributions to humanity. He had a vision about equality and care for one another that still rings true today. Leaders can learn so much by looking at the empowering actions and communication of MLK as they strive to model their unique leadership after him.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Four ways to lead MLK style:

1. IDENTIFY YOUR VISION AND FIGHT FOR IT

Five Signs You Are A Leader With Integrity

pic for lead with integrity

One of the most critical qualities leaders say they must possess is integrity. When asking leaders what is important for great leadership, there isn’t a time that integrity doesn’t pop-up. It also doesn’t matter what type of job or industry that leaders work, integrity tops almost every list.

How would you define integrity? Here are two definitions:

  •  the quality of being honest and fair
  •  the state of being complete or whole

Most of us are more familiar with the first definition even though each of us may have a different understanding of what it means to be honest and fair. But being complete and whole is not… Continue reading | 8 Comments

What Does Your Leadership Model Look Like?

pic for leadership model

I’m a big believer in visuals and images. When leaders make commitments to themselves and their teams about the importance of strong leadership, words may not be enough. Although words can be a good way to begin a conversation or reflection about leadership, words don’t always display your entire leadership story. For example, if one of your critical leadership values is “building relationships”, it may be unclear what that means. But what if you constructed a bridge connecting team members or drew a picture of people connected to a web of yarn? Might that visual help you clarify and describe more completely how relationships are built?

[Tweet “Visuals can help our… Continue reading | 8 Comments