Before we can effectively lead anyone, we must take an introspective view of ourselves. We must do a check-up from the neck up. We must be certain that the thoughts and attitudes we hold are in alignment with the role we perform.
Check Your Vision
As a leader you need to have vision of what you want your team to accomplish. A vision is more than just a statement; it is a complete picture with all the details of your accomplished goal. During my leadership workshops, the participants do an exercise during which they write a paragraph that describes the vision they hold for their organization. As I watch them complete this exercise, the one thing that strikes me is that most of the participants are not smiling. If the vision they are creating does not inspire them, how can they possibly expect it to inspire others?
When you create a vision, do not be held back by perceived limitations. When your vision is exciting enough, you and your team members can find a way to overcome them. When our country's leaders had a vision of putting a man on the moon there were many apparent limitations, including not having the technology available to make the vision a reality. However, when the vision came alive to the individuals who worked on the NASA team, they discovered the technology that was required to make the vision happen.
Make sure your vision excites you if you want it to excite your team.
Check Your Attitude
As leaders, we must deal with many stresses and challenges on a daily basis. Sometimes they can cause us to feel overwhelmed. If we are not feeling positive we must do whatever is necessary to change our attitude before we meet with our team. Our team looks to us for encouragement. Part of our role as a leader is to help our team members move forward with a positive attitude.
As leaders, we must be diligent about our attitude so we stay motivated. It is the only way we can possibly motivate others.
Check Your Behavior
Everyone looks to the leader to determine what he or she should do. In order to be an effective leader, your behavior must match your message. You must model the behavior you want your team members to follow. If you say one thing and do something different, your team will follow what you do and not what you say.
If you want your group to meet their commitments, make sure you meet yours. If you want your associates to do whatever it takes to get a project done on time, then roll up your sleeves and pitch in to do what you can to help them meet their deadline. Like it or not, your behavior is the benchmark that everyone will look to and use as a guide for their own. Demonstrate what you want them to do by modeling the appropriate behavior for them.
This check-up from the neck up is not a one-time event. Just as we need to take our cars in for periodic check-ups to assure they run effectively, we need to do periodic check-ups to make sure that we are effective in our roles as leaders.
About The Author
Della Menechella is a speaker, author, and trainer who inspires people to achieve greater success from the inside out. She is a contributing author to Thriving in the Midst of Change and the author of the videotape The Twelve Commandments of Goal Setting. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to free Peak Performance Pointers e-zine - send blank e-mail to mailto:email@example.com.