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Is Your Leadership Showing?

 

4 Competentcies that good leaders demonstrate.

1. Visibility

We know that leaders need to be seen by followers–from formal presentations and announcements, to a crisis, to simple “managing by walking around.”  The less-obvious occasions, however, are easily overlooked. They can be lost opportunities, or powerful expressions of leadership.

Ask yourself, “How am I visible to others when I don’t feel I need to be?” Put yourself in their shoes.  How visable would you want your boss to be?  In what ways and when?  Followers want to be led, they want to see who is leading them. 

2. Preparation

Many leaders are great at preparing the logistics of leadership (the facts and figures in a plan, or the pitch for a presentation). Too many leaders, however, don’t prepare regularly for the deeper daily requirements of leadership. This is a shame, because most leaders face complex challenges, relentless claims on their time, and increasing pressures to deliver on goals over which they don’t have direct control. Leadership development and a bit of regular preparation goes a long way.

Just as athletic activities involve physical, mental, and emotional energies, leadership is a “whole-body practice” and requires preparation of the whole person. What The next time you are running through your checklist prior to a leadership event, ask yourself, “How have I prepared my whole self for this?”  How do I display that I am prepared for the responsibilities and demands of leadership?”

3. Listening

One reason that modern leadership is hard is because an effective modern leader must listen to others. Though few people manage to do it, this may be one of the easiest competencies to demonstrate–provided you can resist the urge to talk.

Ask yourself, “What one thing can I tell myself as a reminder to listen more?” It’s vitally important that you think up an effective cue. If you can’t come up with one, that in itself could indicate a deeper internal misalignment.

4. Blend

This list started with visibility. When is it time to blend in? When you pull back, it makes it easier for other people to bring you hard problems, bad news, and perspectives that challenge the status quo.

As a leader, it’s not all about you. The clearest way to demonstrate this is to find the right moments to step out of the spotlight so that other people get the attention they need. Ask yourself, “When necessary, how do I lower the volume of my leadership presence?”

Though leadership can be hard to demonstrate at times, regularly questioning how you embody your role will serve your leadership well.