Leadership Lessons You Didn’t Learn in School
Let’s talk about some great leadership lessons that will help you build your business.
I recently read a book by Robert S. Murray, titled “It’s Already Inside”. Robert writes that anyone can nurture their innate leadership abilities to achieve business and life success. This is something you won’t get in school but can be learned from the life lessons of others.
He has some great advice about some things I’ve learned from my own experience and some that are new to me. Some of these include:
1. Practice authentic leadership versus fake leadership –
Authenticity requires honesty, self-awareness, and a selfless perspective.
Authentic leaders lead through the power of personal influence, rather than coercion.
Fakers rely on position, authority, and manipulation – leading to short-term gain and long-term loss.
2. It starts with a vision, but requires action –
Vision provides direction so your start-up won’t just flail about.
As you communicate your vision to your team, you will strengthen your own belief and get buy-in from them.
But above all, leadership requires action. You have to execute to succeed, so trust yourself and start moving forward.
3. Critical thinking is crucial –
When you have critical thinking, you have the ability to think clearly, rationally, reflectively, and independently.
Critical thinking is not just accumulating information, and should not be confused with being critical of other people.
Leaders need to practice critical thinking to be leaders, rather than just blindly following conventional wisdom.
4. Leadership comes with building and nurturing the right team –
Leaders not only have to pick the right team members, but have to continually communicate the vision, tasks required, and provide mentoring and feedback to each member.
Don’t just focus on the product, and assume the team will come along by osmosis.
5. Pretend to be a customer or client of your business –
Successful leaders take the time to step back to look at their business the way customers see it for the first time.
It is very helpful to ask new customers what they see. But it takes humility to swallow your pride and your biases and make the necessary improvements on a regular basis.
6. Coaching and mentoring are key to the leadership role –
A good leader will make sure that each person is getting exactly what they need for the level they are at.
Depending on the individual, the leader may look like a dictator, a high school coach, a mentor, or a country club host.
7. The importance of being a good listener –
More leaders need to practice leadership by walking around and truly listening to the people on their front line, as well as listening to customers and team members.
It’s hard to listen while you are talking. Likewise, many people seem adept at listening without really hearing anything.
8. Time for solutions versus problems –
It’s easy to become so overwhelmed by the day-to-day problems of running a business.
Because of that, you find you have no time to work on solutions or strategies that will give you greater leverage and long-term success.
Ask each member of your team to be the CEO of his own problems, and you will take time for the solutions.
9. Know when to overreact or underreact –
Real leaders stay in control of their emotions and use reactions to highlight a point.
For example, start-up leaders should probably overreact to values violations and under-react to the next crisis.
Always reflect before you react. You won’t learn that in the classroom.
World-class leadership will never be learned totally in the classroom.
It takes hard work, lots of practice, and lots of mistakes. Likewise, it takes focus to become both a student and a teacher.
You will soon be amazed by how things start to fall into place, despite what you don’t know.
That’s the innate leadership coming out. Enjoy it.
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…You might be surprised by what you see. It’s working for me, and thousands of others out there online.
And, if you already have a business you’re happy with, I will still cheer you on!
Let’s have some conversation!
By Lynn Huber
p.s. World-class leadership will never be learned totally in the classroom. It takes hard work, lots of practice, and lots of mistakes.
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