Mindstate Motivation Blog

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Six Powerful Steps to Actually Being a Wonderful Leader

“You do not lead people by beating them over the head.  That’s assault not leadership.”—General Dwight Eisenhower.

My own take on “Ike’s” comment on leadership is: Leadership is not about being out in front of the group with a great big title.  It’s about being right in the middle of the group with a disciplined yet great, big heart.

Are you frustrated with where you see yourself as a leader?

Considering the above observations, do a quick personal assessment of where your leadership skills are in relationship by answering the following questions.  Doing the assessment will help you put better focus on the discussion of the six powerful steps to becoming a wonderful leader that follows.

The self-assessment questions are:

  • Do you have the skills for inspirational leadership?
  • Is the environment your leadership style creates one that is positive and hopeful?
  • As a leader, are you truly connected to what your people are thinking and feeling?
  • Is yours a compassionate style of leadership?
  • What about you as a leader helps you to continuously be aware of your impact on your people and their productivity?

With the assessment completed, you can now search through the following information for answers to areas of leadership in which you would like to improve.

The six steps to assure you and they don’t lose because you didn’t lead are embodied in the acronym, LEADER.  The primary purpose of this article is to give a summary of the meaning behind the letters in the acronym not go into details of how to do each one.  I’ll save that for a later article.

The “L” in the acronym represents Look/Listen.  This step has to do with objectively looking at and listening to yourself and each of your people.  The purpose of the step is to develop congruence between what you see and hear on both levels and what you actually do.  It is only through having congruence between what you see, hear and do that you can build trusting relationships.  In short, winning leaders can be trusted.

“E” represents Empathy.  The Cheyenne Native Americans have a proverb that speaks to the critical nature of this step very powerfully.arapaho-883808_1920

“Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins.” 

In other words, with empathy comes the clarity for you to care with congruence and objectivity so you can lead with a more collaborative focus.

The third letter, “A,” in the acronym represents Assess/Add.  The step has to do with an ability to remain calm, deliberate, and balanced in analyzing situations and people so you can add appropriate clarity going forward.

It’s like the baseball legend, Yogi Berra, is reputed to have said:  “If you don’t know where you’re going you may end up somewhere else.”  So, the power in this step is the effectiveness of any strategies for productive change will only be as good as the breadth and depth of information on which decisions are based and actions are taken.

I don’t know who first coined the following philosophy but it certainly has direct applicability to the next step in the LEADER model.  The philosophy is:  “Wishing consumes as much energy as planning.”  And, so it is with the “D” in the model which represents Develop.  This fourth letter in the acronym has to do with putting in place clear expectations and collaborative action plans to satisfy those expectations.

People want to know what they are expected to do.  Clear expectations are motivational to people.  Not only that, but people want to know why the expectations are what they are…why accomplishing the expectations is important.  They want to understand the importance both on a global and personal level.  The “why” gives them the emotion behind the logic of the expectations. Put another way, a significant percentage of goals are never achieved because there is no emotion tied to the achievement of the goal.  Logic alone will not drive people to perform to their best.

Then, comes the second “E” which represents Evaluate.  This step in leading effectively has to do with where you, the organization, and its people are relative to the expectations, action plan steps and ultimate goals.

Oliver Wendall Holmes makes the point about the importance of this step better than I can in my own words.  He said:Countryside as Seen from a Moving Train Europe

“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run-over if you just sit there.” 

This step is all about determining where you and/or your people are on the track to success; determining what has been done to get there; confirming what steps need to be accomplished to reach the ultimate goal; and, continuously reconfirming that appropriate action is being taken.

Assuming all the previous steps have been effectively managed and accomplished the final step in the LEADER model brings us to the letter “R.”  “R” stands for Reward.  A truly winning leader will always be willing to pause and recognize or celebrate people’s successes.  Let’s face it, providing appropriate recognition for a job well done instills passion in the recipient of the recognition.

With passion comes purpose; with purpose comes productive performance; and, with productive performance comes profit.

Sounds like a winning proposition to me but it takes a winning LEADER.

garylogonewbrownsmallWhich of the six steps is the one you will act on first?

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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Rebecca Staton-Reinstein

July 18, 2016 5:21 pm Reply

Great message, Gary, and right on target…like your quotes and using the traits for each letter of Leader. I hope every leader reads this and absorbs these lessons.

    Gary Greenfield

    July 20, 2016 2:19 pm Reply

    I appreciate your thoughts, Rebecca…especially, given your depth of understanding as to what it takes to be a great leader.