Mindstate Motivation Blog

Simple Ideas to See Leadership in Uncomplicated Ways

Think back to your high school civics class or maybe it was a political science class in college.  The teacher/professor is doing what great teachers/professors do.

They not only manage the learning process of the related concepts they make you think about the concepts.

They help you understand the relevance of the concepts to you and your world.  In doing so, somewhere along the way they would ask you the dreaded question!

How would you describe what leadership is?  Everybody in the room holds their breath hoping they’re not the one called on to the answer the question!

Remember that feeling of terror?

The simple answer why most of us feel that way in that situation is because the concept of leadership can be nebulous.  As a consequence, describing it can seem to be very complex and therefore, embarrassing if we can’t come up with a brilliant summary of the term.

Here’s the more important threat, if you can’t grasp the concept of leadership with some degree of clarity.

If you can’t describe leadership, you can’t be a leader! 

However, in one way or another you frequently have to lead.  It may only be as it relates to leading yourself out of some crisis or it could be the challenge of leading a large group of people.

It doesn’t make any difference!  In either case, you have to lead but you can’t if you don’t know what it is.

There is a solution to that conundrum!

businesswoman-617134_1920Rather than struggling to understand the overall concept of leadership, break it down into its key characteristics and you’ve got it!

What’s important is you are able to identify and understand some of the key characteristics so you can use them when you are challenged to lead someone or something.

At the heart of great leadership, is the heart of the leader.

A leader with a heart of stone will ultimately run up against a brick wall with her/his people on the other side of it.

Leaders cannot lead their people when they protect themselves with a wall of resistance.  Great leaders have a heart so powerful their people will run through brick walls to help the leader achieve his/her vision for the organization.

Key Characteristic:  A leader needs an open, compassionate but disciplined heart.

A great leader sets fair but high expectations on a personal level as well as for the people being led.

Expectation is an interesting word when you really think about it.  By definition the word projects out into the future.

The importance of the concept behind the word for a leader is, if s/he is not expecting great things from all concerned than great things will never be achieved.

Key Characteristic:  The leader must set the course toward future expectations by demonstrating powerful belief and commitment to those expectations.

A great leader touches the heart of his/her people not torment their minds.

By “torment their minds,” I mean being a leader who drives people nuts with intrigue, mistrust, insensitivity, abuse and on and on.

A mind that is tormented by past experiences is a mind that cannot produce great things in the future.

Why?  Because the heart of tormented people is dedicated to their suffering rather than to the joy of future achievement.

Key Characteristic:  A great leader must touch the magic in people’s hearts which will stimulate the genius of creativity in their minds.

Effective, efficient leaders help everyone stay focused on the ultimate objectives not the busy work that may or may not achieve those objectives.

People who don’t clearly understand the expected and desired outcome of their activities can’t be expected to do the right activities; in the right way; and at the right time.

Key Characteristic:  Leaders set clear objectives and hold people accountable for doing the necessary activities to achieve those objectives.

If a leader relies only on her/his words, the message may not ring with authenticity.

Think about your own experiences with leaders with whom you have had a relationship in your life.  It is safe to say some, if not many, said words that were hollow.

Yes, the words were there but their emptiness resonated because the actions of the leader did not reinforce them.  Or, at least as bad, the attitude projected by the leader did not support the words being said.

Words not supported by congruent actions and attitude generate negative consequences.

Key Characteristic:  Great leaders speak words of clear meaning; act in support of the meaning to their words; and with an attitude of support and encouragement.

Have you ever caught a leader doing one thing in public but out of the public eye doing exactly the opposite?

Unless you have had nothing but great leaders throughout your life your answer to that question probably will be, yes.

It all comes back to the concepts of authenticity and trust and their critical importance to great leadership.  Great leaders never compromise their integrity or they lose the commitment of their people.

Key Characteristic:  Leaders can’t lead with duplicity…they must lead with unquestioned integrity.

Great leadership is all about raising people to the level of their true potential.

You see the philosophy behind that statement played out very clearly in the world of sports.  One team totally exceeds expectations while another team of even higher potential wallows in mediocrity.

What’s the difference?  It’s a lot of things but the most important thing is the effectiveness of team leadership.

All sports are a microcosm of the world at large.  Their lessons are the same lessons that can be applied in the broader world.

People (players) rise or fall to the level of the support and expectations of their leaders.

Key Characteristic:  Great leaders are dedicated to helping each of their people become all they can be.

Stephen R. Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and other outstanding personal development publications made a powerful observation related to great leadership.

He said:  “Effective leadership is putting first things first.  Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”

Key Characteristic:  Great leaders impeccably prioritize and exercise the discipline to meet those priorities.

Oh, one other key characteristic…great leaders act on what they learn!

garylogonewbrownsmallWhat is the most important thing you have learned from this post?  What are you going to do to implement that thing?

Please share your thoughts by commenting below.  

Share this information with others by following the social media links at the top or bottom of this post.  Thank you.   

Crop of GNCC ShotMindstate mentor, author, trainer and speaker, Gary Greenfield (@LifeRider) provides self-employed people inspirational insight and concise business ideas to help improve mindstate and minimize stress. He believes a mindstate that is positive and stress that is minimized helps self-employed people better profit through performance.


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