What characteristics do heroes and role models have?
Your answers reveal a lot about your core values.
Clearly, leadership has a universal quality; it can be observed from the sandbox to the boardroom. It is not a title or a position. It is more accurately depicted as an action rather than a characteristic – a verb rather than a noun. We see it in men, women and in every race, tribe and nation.
No matter how expansive or how small you perceive your sphere of influence to be, someone is in your shadow. You have the opportunity to lead well. Some of the most profound and destiny-shaping advice is passed on from person to person – generation to generation. Don’t underestimate your influence.
As a business leader, I’m astonished when I consider that just one hundred years ago, women in America were not allowed to vote or own property. They were often leaders but they had very little authority. What a startling thought! Career options were extremely limited. The choices women have today are theoretically unlimited. But for every fence that has come down, there’s another one to climb or dismantle.
We can only do this when we work together. That’s what leaders do – they contribute to the power of the team. I like to write about women in leadership because the challenges women face are deeply personal. But progress won’t really be achieved until men and women address the issues together. Diversity is valuable and leaders recognize and leverage it.
Leadership is not a rank – it’s a responsibility and it leaves a legacy. We each stand on the shoulders of the great leaders who have gone before us. We hold the lamp for the next generation as they step into roles that will shape the future. This sobering reality calls us to lead well.
Seven Guidelines for Leading Well
Our ability to communicate is one pivotal thing that gets us what we need out of life.
“A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
3) Consciously cultivate strength: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
“Take care of yourself: When you don’t sleep, eat crap, don’t exercise, and are living off adrenaline for too long, your performance suffers. Your decisions suffer. Your company suffers. Love those close to you: Failure of your company is not failure in life. Failure in your relationship is.”
— Ev Williams, co-founder of Twitter
4) Combine your career and family life. Undoubtedly, it’s a juggling act that takes strategic planning and carefully thought-out choices. You can have everything you want in life, but, you can’t have it all at once.
“Burnout is about resentment. [Preventing it is] about knowing yourself well enough to know what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful.”
— Marissa Mayer, CEO at Yahoo
5) Surround yourself with people who provoke you to continuous growth.
The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.
6) Always tell the truth. It’s said that if you have integrity, nothing else matters. And if you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.
7) Be a solution focused game-changer. Fresh thinking is part of pioneering.
Too many problem-solving sessions become battlegrounds where decisions are made based on power rather than intelligence. ~ Margaret J. Wheatley
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. Do what you can with what you have from where you are now. Your influence matters.