Here at Motiv8 Development, we focus on developing leaders to achieve their full potential, but what does that mean exactly? The aim of this blog is to unpick what effective leadership consists of and how, with a little bit of courage, we can all develop leadership skills.
We have worked with leaders around the world, coaching them, supporting and encouraging them to be brave, to venture outside their comfort zone. So, how does all of that work? We are not magicians, nor do we have magic potions to offer to leaders to enable them to push their own boundaries of themselves!
We feel that leadership, is about being able to lead yourself first before you can lead others. What do we mean by this? How do you lead yourself? When you look at the word “lead”, there are a number of alternatives, such as trailblazer, precedent, guide, direct, and many others. What these alternatives say is that as a leader, you are going there first so that others may follow, if they chose to do so. Why would anyone choose to follow you? What do you have to offer?
This is where leading of yourself comes in to play. To become an effective leader, we need to be consistently displaying our values and principles. Have you defined your values and principles? These are characteristics which you hold to guide your behaviour and motivations.
Honesty, reliability, kindness and courage are all good examples of personal values which, when consistently demonstrated, encourage others to follow you. Looking at some of these, how have you shown your honesty in the workplace? For example, owning up to mistakes takes courage as well as honesty, but the reward for this is increased respect and support from others. It shows that we can all make mistakes, yet how we deal with the mistakes shows others what we are made of. Learning from our mistakes, and then sharing our learning, shows humility and willingness to change for the future. We all make mistakes, we are human after all, though how we learn from them offers a key example for others to follow.
Maybe a starting point is to work out what your personal values and principles are. Asking yourself a few questions such as;
- What inspires you?
- What is important to you?
- What makes you happy?
The above are just a few questions to get you started, but perhaps by doing this, you will work out your own values, to help you lead yourself before you lead a team. You may find you have a long list, perhaps you can reduce them to a few key ones that really speak to you about who you are and what is important to you and your future.
Look at setting yourself your own goals. Most of us know about SMART goals, this format helps you to be more specific and guide you to being able to ensure that you will know when you have been successful. I once heard someone say “a person with no destination, seldom arrives” and this has stuck with me over the years. To enable us to grow and develop, to reach our full potential, goals can help guide us, provided the goals are revisited as our life develops.
Covid has had a major impact on us all during 2020 and will continue to do so into 2021 so, even more than ever, we need to be looking to lead ourselves to be better able to support others. What are you doing to lead yourself to be the best YOU can be?