Very often we are asked about the leadership qualities of our teams and of those who are earmarked to be fast tracked in the organization because of the leadership skills they bring to the table. Little do we realize that these skills can be honed with appropriate coaching and practice. We have innumerable examples of team members who may have joined the organization with limited skills but have built up significant capabilities largely due to effective coaching provided by their supervisors and leaders who have helped them self- realize their self- leadership potential. The key is also the ability of existing leaders to develop the necessary coaching skills to build awareness of self-leadership in their teams.
So how can the ‘leader’ in you emerge ??
It is important for you to be aware of what awakens you and brings you alive and then syncing your thoughts, emotions and actions with that to build positive energy to drive leadership success. It is often about self-leadership that will define that ‘aha’ moment in your journey to become a leader and further transition yourself from ‘good to great’ leadership.
So, what can you do to build your self-leadership and therefore ‘emerge’ from the shadows and ‘inspire’ those around you ??
- Have the courage to take responsibility for one’s actions, thoughts, expressions and other visible behaviour while encouraging & inspiring others to do the same instead of taking on their ownership. For instance if they are part of your team and you end up covering for them, you would struggle to develop as a leader yourself while diminishing their leadership potential. By letting them take ownership you develop leadership skills within your team as well.
- As quoted in ‘Things a little bird told me by Biz Stone’ – “if opportunity is just a set of circumstances, why are we waiting around for the stars to align”. Clearly all of us have plenty of opportunities around us at our workplace that can help us make a significant impact and difference. Here is a case of self-leadership for us to leverage that and develop ourselves in the bargain. It is about ‘what can bring you alive’!
- Self- leadership is about bringing ‘focus’ and not saying yes to everything that is thrown at us. However once we say ‘yes’, it is important to give those tasks and actions complete attention to drive success. It is best to over-achieve on the few we focus than do a bits and pieces job across a wide range of activities
- You have to be truly emotionally invested in your work to ensure that failure doesn’t happen while success is never guaranteed. This is a key ingredient to building oneself as a leader. This emotional investment has a positive rub-off on one’s team and colleagues as well and can start fast tracking a ‘forward moving revolution’ in the organization
- Being truthful to yourself and others builds your authenticity and is exhibited through what you think, what and how you say and what you do. This builds credibility and trust that are key to developing self-leadership skills. It will also mean accepting mistakes and realizing the challenges in front of us which in turn will help us recognize what it takes for us to build on for correcting them and working towards success. This is also reflective of the level of one’s self esteem and the ability to sense and ‘live in the moment’.
- Build on your passion outside the workplace, be it a hobby or an interest, and work towards excellence in it. This improves one’s self- awareness, empathy, personal presence and various other qualities that are key ingredients to self-leadership. In turn it will help build positive energy and drive your motivation at the workplace and with your team members
Self-leadership is an enjoyable journey that grows with practice but has to be self-sustained to develop oneself as a true leader. It can be accelerated with appropriate coaching and mentoring which is important for organizations to provide.
Imagine the power of the organization whose team members ‘emerge as leaders and inspire' those around them !!