Start Up Leadership #1
Right now breathes the most connected generation that has ever lived in human history. Ironically, although highly interconnected, it is also a lonely generation. With a low tolerance for intolerance, high cynicism and fading attention span; this generation is different.
The word "leadership" evokes a wide range of imagery and connotations. Most of the best that I can share on leadership is due to the many mistakes I have made. (To be fair, I can't remember too many lessons from my successes). In this series of articles, I wish to unpack simple thoughts that have practical application in regards to 'Start Up Leadership'. To lead effectively requires disciplined intent. If you're prepared to become a better leader let's start with the following;
Lead By Example - Are YOU leading YOU?
Seems an unusual concept but before you have any expectations regarding leading anyone else, does your leadership begin with you?
If you want to be an effective ‘next generation leader’ then you are going to need to set the tone and lead by example.
“Everything rises and falls on leadership” - John Maxwell
Rather than looking at the people you are leading and wondering why they aren’t committed, engaged, optimistic or encouraging; you may want to look in the mirror and ask if you are displaying those same characteristics. Setting the example, is the most significant thought I can communicate on leadership.
You want your staff to arrive to work on time?
Better question; do you arrive on time CONSISTENTLY?
Are you disappointed that no one acknowledges the good work you are doing?
Better question; do acknowledge other people CONSISTENTLY?
Why aren’t people more friendly?
Better question; are you friendly CONSISTENTLY?
The ‘whys’ of an organisation are all ultimately answered by the leader themselves. Narcissistic, critical, boring, tired, slack… unfortunately as time goes along you may need to examine the example that you are setting, that is being replicated by the people who follow you.
So are YOU effectively leading YOU?
Are you making sure that you lead yourself to do what you would hope others would follow and also do? If you have multiple priorities and can’t dedicate yourself fully to leading your organisation, charity, church or family - you may find that the people following you will in kind also be the same. It may just be the height of narcissism and an over inflated ego to assume that people will do what you say rather than what you actually do.
The thought I want to communicate is: Lead by example. People will follow what they see, feel and experience. What you say will count for little.
Look out for regular articles on being a better 'Start Up Leader'. Feel free to share this article!