Category Archives: Gifts and Strengths

Five Truths About Leading Your Way

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?

(Credit image: Flickr CC-Richard Foster)

 

 

An Unlikely Opportunity Can Be A Gift For Leaders

Most careers are not linear. They don’t begin at an ideal starting point and progress until they land at a dreamy ending. Chances are we will come to many crossroads in our careers that will force us to make an imperfect decision. We may not have all the facts or know how a new position will be viewed in our organizations. We may be moved to an unfamiliar department or asked to work with an undesirable boss or co-worker. It may be necessary to take on additional responsibilities that will totally topple our daily apple cart. Or we may just have to take on tasks that we feel are out of our job requirements and… Continue reading | 4 Comments

Five Ways Leaders Shake Off Imposter Syndrome

It’s the worst feeling in the world thinking that we are not really capable or talented or intelligent. Even though we may be successful in our professions and colleagues or clients may be thrilled with our performance, we don’t believe it. Instead of acknowledging our contributions or value, we make excuses for why we reached certain goals or milestones. We are unable to accept our worth and accomplishments.

This is known as imposter syndrome and is not that uncommon. In fact, this week an Oscar winner, Viola Davis shared her deep frustrations in dealing with this very feeling. Here she was attaining the highest recognition of her outstanding acting abilities and she felt a… Continue reading | 4 Comments

Five Critical Leadership Skills To Grow

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We begin our careers loading up on every technical skill we can. We want to master every part of our job and be comfortable carrying out each task with agility. That’s our goal as we strive to be the best leader we can and add value to our teams. Yet at some point we notice that although we may be capable of successfully completing any project, we are facing some different kind of challenges in persuading others.

This realization for some leaders that something has changed is expressed so often in many of my leadership workshops. An energizing discussion often emerges.

“Why won’t my team members listen to what I have to say?”… Continue reading | 8 Comments

Leading Without Comparing

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One of the toughest challenges for leaders is not looking over their shoulders to see what everyone else is doing. There seem to be so many overachievers on our teams and in our work worlds who can respond more quickly or communicate more loudly than we will ever be able to do. It can really grate on our nerves to constantly be worrying that a colleague or co-worker will come up with a better solution for an internal or external customer. But aren’t we all supposed to be in this together? So why does it feel like we are judging our success on how others perform?

Why can’t we lead without comparing? We can if