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Even before I wrote the book Contagious Leadership, to me, the idea of leadership has always been Contagious. It spreads, infects those you lead, rubs off on others, and is a set of skills you hope employee’s catch. However, often leaders spread unintended consequences by ignoring their own leadership health. Leadership health is made up of a number of factors, the top three of which are listed here. How healthy would you say your leadership skills are?
Leaders who build trust have a healthy rapport with those they lead. They are able to be “brave, bold, and honest” in their feedback, their directions and ideas. If drama is the dominant response in your coaching conversations, you don’t have a healthy level of trust. If frustration is what you face daily in motivating the team to follow your lead, your trust is ailing and needs a boost. Take a step back and examine your actions. Are you working to build trust or working with those you don’t trust? The latter is also contagious, but will create an epidemic of poor performance, high attrition, and failing teams. How would you rate your health in the area of building trust?
At lunch with a Corporate President this week, the concept of being coachable came up. Are you? Your leadership health could be based on two simple aspects: their responses and your responses. How they are responding to you is about trust and rapport. How you respond to them is about humility, confidence, and a willingness to listen and learn. Are you coachable in the sense that you can hear the feedback from others? Can you act on someone else’s idea? Can you let them have the credit? Are you willing to change habits that are barriers to your or your team’s success? How would you rate your health in the area of being coachable?
Prestigious universities are beginning to add collaborative skills into their MBA programs for emerging leaders. Why? One reason is that while the Millennials grew up in a collaborative culture, the baby boomers value command and control. That fact complicates teamwork. Do you do it? Lead different team members with varying backgrounds, cultures, personalities, agendas, and skills to create an even better outcome than any one of them could produce alone? Are you leading a team of individual contributors, rewarding stellar star performers, or also inspiring a collaborative true team environment in which you are a part, versus leading from the periphery? How would you rate the health in the area of being collaborative?
Much as you would seek help for your physical health, is it time to get help for your leadership health? If you were to rate each of these three areas on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best, what would your score indicate about your leadership health? Consider this a check-up, but if you find you need further testing and help, we make house calls. Some even refer to Contagious Companies as leader and team insurance!
I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!