As you survey the world, who stands out as a leader that you would like to follow? It is time to redefine the word ‘leadership.’ I was reflecting on the type of leader I would want to follow and three characteristics emerged.
An Inspiring Vision: What or who is inspiring you right now? I gain inspiration from so many sources including people, environments and experiences. I would want to follow a leader that provides an inspiring vision. One that aligned with my values and my own cause. A great leader starts with a vision and communicates that vision again and again. An exceptional leader is able to invite and place their people into that vision. In other words, they know their people well enough to share how their strengths and interests will help the team reach the vision.
A Demonstration Of Care: If I know that my leader cares about me as a person, then I am more likely to engage and follow. A demonstration of care is about intentionality. Leaders can demonstrate care by asking and truly listening. I am sure that you can recount the times when someone asked you a question about what you thought, but did not care about your answer. Additionally, you can recall a time when you not only felt heard, but your input was acted on. This makes a huge difference.
Model Differentiation: A differentiated leader is able to understand their own stress, anxiety and other emotions. They see that the tone they set is the culture. If my leader brings all their anxiety and stress to the table and passes that on to the team, I become anxious myself. The same is true if the leader is able to set an example of self – leadership. These leaders take care of themselves and prioritize their own stress management and learning.
The world and the world of work needs you to rethink your leadership. The days of the autocrat are numbered and the days of vision, care and differentiation have arrived. What is a next step that you need to take in one of these three areas?