Monday; August 27

In one way or another I have been involved in leadership for the last several decades.  I would like to think that I am getting better at it, but sometimes I wonder if I am making much progress.  The other day I sat down and thought about some of the things that I have learned through the years – in particular those things that tend to diminish my ability to lead.  Here are a few things I need to make sure I am doing:
1).  Listening:  Maybe the thing that is most misunderstood about leadership is that effective leaders tell people what they need do.  In all honesty, my best times in leadership have been when I am willing to listen to people.  Sometimes, what people need the most is just someone to listen to them and acknowledge them for where they are and who they are.
2).  Communicating:   Leaders tend to have more trouble when we don’t say anything than when we are transparent.  People are much more willing to give us the benefit of the doubt (and forgive our mistakes) when we include them in our discussion. 
3).  Building Trust:  It would be nice if we could require that people trust us, but the truth of the matter is that trust is something that must be earned.  Leaders don’t get to determine whether they are trustworthy, that comes from those being led.  We develop trust when we make wise decisions and do what we say we are going to do. 
4.  Practicing Patience:  Leaders are supposed to be out in front – forward-thinking and ready for the future.  There is going be some lag-time between where we are and an acceptance by the rest of the group.  We must never give up our hope and our momentum, but we might need to be willing to wait for others to catch up to us.
          I appreciate leaders and leadership.  Let’s not give up moving forward and doing good things.
          Think About It!

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