If you’re reading this and thinking “ah, finally, I get to perfect my leadership and be done with it”, well, then keep reading.
Even if you’re the President of a large country, a popular CEO, or just the leader of your own business, or voices in your head for that matter, chances are you are not ever going to be the perfect leader or perfect your leadership. But the fact that this title caught your eye, tells me something about our own need for perfection, so let’s see if we can get close, which is really the best you can do… 🙂
Pillar #1: Do the Best You Can Daily
Do your best to be the real you. Do your best to mitigate and cope with stress in such a way that you are not showing all kinds of negative, knee jerk reactions to people all day long. Do your best to leave that broom you may have ridden to work in its proper parking space outside the building. Do your best to understand accurately the perceptions you see. Do your best to build relationships that let you see those you lead in a way that is real, authentic, and true to their nature, versus what you might want them to be. Do your very best every day.
Pillar #2: Engage in Active Learning
Leading well merely means you have enough knowledge, skills, resources, and sense to be at least one step ahead of the development of those you lead. If you stay consistently behind them, a new leader will emerge and the effect of that will become problematic and negatively Contagious, frankly. Learn all you can about your industry so you can share that knowledge. Learn all you can about those you lead so you can transfer knowledge and skill faster in a language they understand. Learn all you can about trends and cycles that may be coming so you can proactively prepare – again preventing a knee jerk fire drill mode that may not come across reflecting you in your best light.
Pillar #3: Remain Coachable
The most powerful leaders learn from many sources, including those they lead. If you’re belief is that you’re way is the best way without ever questioning the path you’re on, that is okay fora time. What is not okay, is forging a path with blinders on and ignoring the road signs, the detours, the flashing red neon arrows from those you lead – including customers, employees, and even the voices in your own head. In Contagious Leadership, we talk about how those who work the problems every day are closer to thie issues than you are and should be sought out for guidance or help on a regular basis. Are you coachable even from an employee who might know more about something than you? Who knew? 🙂
Pillar #4: Have Balance
I’ve taught many a Contagious Conference on Balance and one of the first things I say is that seeking perfect balance is a myth and outright lie – much like seeking perfect leadership. However, and it is a BIG however, having some modicum of balance, a semblance of a life, and some outside activities not related to your work, your job, or your business, is critical to survival. You can’t be a creative visionary or contagious leader if you’re always “head down” or “nose to the grindstone”. You’ll literally grind the very creativity out of yourself and all forward progress will begin to grind to a halt when you are forced to take the time to recover from being completely crispy. Have a life and if you don’t have one, go out and get you one.
Leave the pursuit of perfection on the sidewalk of life and jump on the journey of growth. That’s a catchy littly pithy phrase, but here it seems to apply. Stay Contagious!