What makes for a successful leader? That’s a question which has been debated for decades. But, one thing is certain, successful leaders know how to connect, engage, and partner with others. They are less I-Centric and more WE-Centric.
Successful leaders exhibit these seven behaviors.
#1 – Successful leaders believe in sharing power. They have discovered that developing more leaders in an organization is the product of letting others lead. They reject the idea that sharing power is a sign of weakness.
#2 – Successful leaders share the Vision and ask for input. They cast the Vision and set direction, but also ask others for their ideas regarding strategy and implementation. Leadership is not simply telling others what to do. It’s not barking orders. Successful leaders tap into the hearts, minds, and spirits of those they lead.
#3 – Successful leaders ask for feedback. They also are not afraid to talk about feelings. They fearlessly ask, “How am I doing?” They are transparent and both share and seek feedback from employees. They reject the idea that talking about feelings is being soft and a sign of weakness.
#4 – Successful leaders break down silos and openly deal with conflict. They aren’t afraid to put issues on the table and engage in difficult (important) conversations. They discuss conflicts openly with the goal of finding a way to eliminate them.
“The fear of talking about conflicts is greater than the conflict.” – Judith E. Glaser
#5 – Successful leaders model change. Lesser leaders think it’s their job to get others to change and to “buy-in” to the leader’s vision. Great leaders know that if they themselves change, the organization will change to. The model the way forward.
#6 – Successful leaders admit their mistakes and learn from them. They aren’t afraid to say, “I made a mistake.” Most importantly they see each failure as a “learning moment”. No mistake is wasted.
#7 – Successful leaders share the credit and seek win/wins. They lead in a way that communicates, “we are all in this together.” They acknowledge the contribution of others and celebrate everyone’s success. Rather than setting up a win/lose scenario, they always strive for win/wins.
“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” – Arnold H. Glasow
Take a moment to assess your own leadership. How well do you exhibit these seven behaviors? Do you see room for improvement? Trying to change everything all at once is too much. Just pick one of these behaviors on which to focus for the next 30 days. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make.
I am being mentored by Judith E. Glaser, Author of “Conversational Intelligence.” I’ve been invited to be a researcher in this new discipline and to share it with others. The inspiration for this blog post is her model, “The 7 Mistakes of the I-Centric Leader.”
Conversational Intelligence® is a registered trademark that is owned by Benchmark Communications, Inc. Judith Glaser is the founder and CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc., and the Chairman of The CreatingWE Institute.