It’s about who you ARE as a leader and how that translates into your everyday actions. To be successful leaders, in a climate of continual change and challenge we must grow bigger minds.
I caught up with Lesley Fraser (Leadership Coach Extraordinaire!) who believes her role is to help develop her clients’ fearless leadership – leadership that has integrity, direction and purpose and a clear focus on working on the right things. She believes that leaders need
- Self awareness
- The ability to think ‘outside the box’
- Collaboration skills
- Network thinking
So how do you grow your leadership mindset? Think about the glass half full image. When you start out as a leader you fill your glass with leadership skills and knowledge and put that to work, then, as you become more comfortable and confident you grow the size of your glass by expanding your leadership mindset: understanding who you are as a leader, being very self aware and being authentic.
Lesley uses one model that focuses on three aspects of leadership mindset: Personal, People and Business. She challenges you to ask yourself these questions:
- Who am I being as a leader? Am I authentic in my leadership? Do I role model best practice day to day?
- How am I ensuring the people within the business are able to become their best and are best able to deliver the results?
- How am I ensuring we are all working on the right thing at the right time?
- How do I know that our systems and processes support operational excellence?
- How do I really know what is going on within the business? What measures do we use to understand our business? Who do we need to connect with?
Leadership is also about connecting strongly to the WHY. Most leaders and people within organisations can articulate WHAT they do and some can articulate HOW they do it, very few can articulate WHY they do what they do. It is the WHY that connects us to the business’s direction and priorities. This is always important and is vital in times of change.
One of the challenges for leaders is being skilled at using a range of leadership styles depending on the situation. Lesley identifies six key leadership styles, ranging from visionary to commanding and everything in between, all of them appropriate in different situations.
We generally have a default style, one we fall back into especially in times of pressure or stress. What’s your default style? And more importantly is it getting you the results you want? The style you are using may or may not be the most appropriate use at the time, and this is where your self awareness as a leader is so important. The style you use can have a significant effect on the outcome: the best leaders understand this and are skilled at flexing between styles.
Self awareness and a willingness to consciously develop your leadership is the key: but when and how do you actually do that? Chances are your day is full on from start to finish and you don’t get enough time for that strategic big-picture thinking about your business, let alone about your leadership. But here’s the reality: as a business owner you ARE your business. Your business reflects your leadership and if you are not paying attention to the impact of your leadership you are missing a huge opportunity for your business’s success.
Some questions to think about
- How do you lead people effectively?
- How do you communicate?
- How do you get cooperation and buy-in to direction and change?
- How do you ensure your business’s values are consistently evident in your team and in you as a leader?
- How do you hold yourself and others accountable?
- What can you do to enable your people to do their best work?
- What change do you want to see in yourself as a leader?
Are you using the best leadership styles, or do you think you need to hone these skills?If so, give us a call. Our goal here at Legacy is to partner with you and other industry experts to provide you the best solutions.
This post is by Jolene Hannah from Legacy and Lesley Fraser. Lesley is a leadership coach who motivates people to be engaged in the process and to develop and grow leadership. She is an uncompromising friend to business owners helping them in achieve their best. For more information about Lesley visit her website.