Anamcgary's Blog

Leadership thoughts from PeopleFirst HR


Leave a comment

“Leadership” Is not in a Title

I have worked with many new managers that feel their new titles should earn them respect from their staff.  They couldn’t be more wrong.  Too many leaders still believe that they are owed and/or command some level of (unearned) respect just because of their position in an organization.

In our environment today, leaders must change their state of mind and become more responsible with their actions and accountable for the effect their influence has on their employees and, the organization.

Leaders need to become more mindful of how they are leading mindful of how they are leading others and how they are being perceived.

I am always respectful of someone’s position of authority and responsibility. However, it doesn’t mean that I necessarily respect “the person” behind the title. Respect, trust and loyalty are earned over time. Ultimately, it is the quality, consistency and presence of one’s character that makes me respect a leader.

When you think of great leaders who are honored and respected, they weren’t always necessarily well-liked. But they were respected for how they led and made those around them better. Over time this earned respect in a positive manner and secured their place in history (e.g. Ronald Reagan, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs)

Today’s uncertain workplace requires leaders to pay close attention to others. Leaders must be active and attentive listeners, practice patience, appreciate the unique talents and capabilities of their colleagues, and be noticeably grateful for the effort and performance of their teams. People are carefully observing their leaders, looking for reasons not to trust them (because they have been burned so many times in the past), but ultimately wanting their leaders to be worthy of their respect and loyalty. Unfortunately, leaders often make this task difficult as many of them are not naturally wired to lead, or emotionally intelligent enough to be aware of the consequences of their insensitive leadership style and demeanor.

Actions are stronger than words, and this is personified by the respected leader.  These leaders set the tone and are huge role models. The tangible and measurable results of their consistent work ethic influence new best practices and cultivate innovation. Ultimately, their leadership defines the performance culture for the organization. They set the standard and leave behind an indelible impact.

Are you that leader?

 

Advertisements


1 Comment

Taking Responsibility

Like discipline, responsibility is one of those words you have probably heard so many times from authority figures that you’ve developed a bit of an allergy to it. Still, it’s one of the most important things associated with growth and maturity and more important taking responsibility makes you feel good about your life. Without it as a foundation nothing else really works.  When you blame others for your circumstances, you give up your power to change your circumstances.

Not taking responsibility may be less demanding, less painful and means less time spent in the unknown. It’s more comfortable. You can just sit back and blame the problems in your life on someone else. But there is always a price to pay. When you don’t take responsibility for your life and your choices you give away your personal power.

One of the biggest reasons people’s self-confidence suffers is they don’t take responsibility for the choices they make in their lives. Instead someone else is blamed for the bad things that happen and a victim mentality is created and empowered.  This of course damages vital parts in your life, including ambitions, goals and achievements as well as relationships.

By taking responsibility for our lives we not only gain control of what happens. It also becomes natural to feel like you deserve more in life as your confidence builds and as you do the right thing more consistently. You really begin to feel better about yourself.

It is often said that your thoughts become your actions. But without taking responsibility for your life those thoughts often just stay on that mental stage and aren’t translated into action.  Most often than not, the only person standing in your way is you.  You start to self-sabotage or hold yourself back in subtle or not so subtle ways and that alone keeps you from achieving the success you dream of.

Taking responsibility for your life is that extra ingredient that makes taking action more of a natural thing. You don’t get stuck in just thinking, thinking and wishing so much. You become proactive instead of passive. You may be able to do a little about that by affirmations and other positive techniques. But the biggest impact by far comes from taking responsibility for yourself and your life. By doing the right thing.

So how do you take responsibility?

Well, it’s simply choice that you have to make. One of my favorite quotes from Charles R. Swindoll says it all.

“We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”