Whether it’s perspective, power or potential that has captured your attention, there are two more P words every leader needs that we’ll cover this week. The value of these principles is based on two decades of leadership development. While we could call them different things, in the world of short attention spans, varying personalities, and everyone being so busy, we decided to keep it simple. So, to continue in that line of thinking, the remaining two P words, every leader needs are:
The statistics don’t lie, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail in the first 18 months. Nearly 40 percent of leaders fail in the first 18 months. An average of 33% of the top 2500 companies’ CEO’s have been fired in the last decade. Was it because they didn’t persist or because they persisted in the wrong direction or because they just gave up? Leaders give up where it counts and they also persist where it counts. This may mean they hang on too long in some areas, but they still get credit for being persistent. Are you? Leadership takes tenacity and following a hunch and believing in what you’re doing even when naysayers abound. This doesn’t mean that your persistence will always ensure you stick around at one company or another, but it does speak to your character. If you give up too easily, you lose a piece of you each time you do. If you give up too soon, it usually means that direction wasn’t really what you wanted anyway. What does this mean you do to improve your leadership skills in the area of persistence? Lead yourself to keep going. Take inspiration from the country western song “If You’re Goin’ Through Hell, Keep On Going”. Find something good that comes out of each hurdle and keep your eyes on the prize.
To nearly half a million audience members now I have asked what it takes to be an effective leader. The answers always include vision, communication, confidence, listening, and more and then an occasional, often quite voice will create an uproar in the room. That quiet voice will say “followers”. It is that quiet voice that gets the high five because followers is what leadership is ALL about. You have to have people to lead in order to be considered a leader. With all the skills in the world, if you have no people following your direction, it makes you, well… alone. It sounds simple. It sounds even over simplified or like a phrase that should provoke a resounding “well, duh!” But, it doesn’t. Managers and leaders alike get so caught up in the day to day strife of completing reports, documenting gaps in performance, making maps for moving folks around and conducting operational effectiveness meetings for which people arrive from all over town, that they forget at times, the people all around. A leader who invests in the people they lead is investing in their future productivity. A leader who focuses on the development they need is ensuring that their own career is always moving ahead at full speed. Leadership takes power, persistence, potential, and perspective, but all of those skills exist so that we can do a better job of serving, guiding, directing, motivating, understanding, recognizing, encouraging, developing and leading those people we lead. What does this mean you do to improve your leadership skills in the area of people? Have some. Help them. Make them your focus.
Leadership is about what you need to help them get what they need. The focal point doesn’t shift, only the methodology of delivery. What are you doing in your day to day leadership that embraces these five P’s? (Just in case you missed the first three, they can be found here) I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!