There’s a monologue going on in my head on leadership. It’s inspired by personal experience as well as observations I’ve made as a Change Consultant.
Leadership is a title many accord themselves because they perceive themselves to be so. Indeed there is nothing wrong with this for as a man thinks in his heart, so he behaves in actuality. But experience in coaching, mentoring and leading projects suggests that a leader is affirmed not necessarily by those who appoint him but by those he is appointed to lead.
Results testify for or against the success of a leader.
When leaders struggle to inspire respect and confidence, it may mean a few things:
- Their message/vision is not one the followers identify with – there is nothing wrong with tweaking a message or vision that is not working because the boldness to rectify discourse is what sets great leaders apart from mediocre ones.
- Their delivery of the vision doesn’t sell the value of the results to the people – the people do not see how the vision benefits them in the long-run.
- Their direction may not be clear or clearly communicated. If communication is the issue, learn to speak the language of the people or find someone who does. If the direction is the issue, it may be time to re-visit the road-map.
- Their personal and business principles may be out of sync and it is starkly visible to followers that the leaders is not authentic.
- It may be a case of being the right leader with the wrong followers or the right followers have the wrong leader. Time to re-adjust maybe?
- The followers have little or no respect for the leader as a person and the leader needs to adjust his posture-of-authority vs. his volume-of-authority.
Reading my daily devotional some time back, the writer wrote a poignant message for leaders: “When you sock someone with twenty thousand volts of electricity, they don’t turn to you and ask, “Did you say something?” No, They move!”
Only a leader whose voltage inspires movement is rewarded with loyalty, results and reward. And only after a leader has made an investment in his people will they honour his requests to make withdrawals from the bank of his own past excellence. But to inspire, he must first possess the voltage.
If you’re a leader here are 6 simple questions you may need to ask yourself:
- What is my vision for my organisation or myself?
- What are my personal values and business principles?
- Am I communicating with my people clearly and do they respect me enough to listen?
- Am I inspiring them to be better in their own lives so they can bring their best to mine?
- Is the sound of my voice drowning the power of my influence?
- What is my leadership voltage?
There are other questions you can ask yourself to become a more influential leader. Let’s talk.
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