In a leader’s day to day routine, there are three very specific categories of folks she is leading:
Okay, so that last one may have thrown you, but she spends as much time leading the voices in her own head as she does addressing employee concerns. Promise!
With these three distinct areas requiring effort and focus, it’s important for a leader to develop prioritization, delegation, focus, and clarity. These should not be surprising essential leadership skills or needs, but how you develop them might be a bit of a surprise.
Leadership takes practice, skills, and desire.
Desire: Have you asked yourself if you WANT to lead all those folks? If the answer is no and you have no desire to lead, influence, develop, grow, recognize, motivate, guide, direct, or challenge others then you’re in the wrong position.
Practice: Have you practiced different ways of leading even who you perceive to be your most difficult employee? Practice will make perfect. At a minimum, it will build a rapport or reveal that this person needs to be freed up for new opportunities elsewhere.
Skills: Do you know what skills you are missing or what skills would be most helpful to brush up on or improve? How are your communication skills? Your skills of getting a message out may be great, but how many times do they miss the message? That is your indicator that maybe your skills in being clear are in need of some shoring up. Getting a message out and making sure they understood it, are actually two different skills.
Not only do you lead others that one could say fall into three distinct categories, you also have three distinct areas that require your focus in leadership. How you lead those customers, employees, and your own voices is certainly contagious! But, how you persevere in your efforts to practice, increase your desire, and develop your skills can have an influence and impact that rubs off, sticks around, and develops a life long legacy.
Maybe that’s not circus music I hear, but the beat of my own leadership drum…
Monica Wofford, MBA, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who helps managers who were promoted, actually become prepared to lead.