Leadership is not a Title
THE receptionist can have a leadership mindset about his or her roles and responsibilities or they can just wait to be told what to do and when and how. The president can have a leadership mindset or stay in a reactionary mode waiting for things to change or get better. Leadership is about leading not waiting. Yes, leadership can have management responsibilities, but real leadership is about a personal vision to excel regardless of roles or responsibilities. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to leading as a function of your position – whatever it is:
Purpose – The purpose of any organization is to serve others. Yes, if it’s a corporation or business it needs to be profitable, but if in the end it doesn’t effectively serve its members, customers or partners it will eventually fail. The purpose of every employee is to; in some way contribute to this ultimate and higher purpose. If employees put the agendas or motives of their department or themselves above this higher purpose they are doing the organization and the people or organizations it serves a disservice.
Responsibility – You are responsible to people not for them. This simple concept applies to all relationships – customers, employees, friends and family. Essentially it means that you are responsible to offer or give – kindness, understanding, compassion, love, friendship, support, direction, guidance etc., however you are not responsible for what people do, how they react or their decisions or behavior. In a leadership role, again regardless of your position or title, you are responsible for bringing your opinions, suggestions, guidance etc. to the other person, but it is their responsibility to either use or accept these or not. You are not responsible for the actions, behaviors or attitudes of others or the consequences of these.
Co-operation – A co-operative mindset does not mean that you should forfeit your values, beliefs or philosophy, keeping in mind that yours are not better or worse than someone else’s (they are just different) just to create an environment of co-operation, however it does imply that you are willing and open to change or the acceptance of new or different ideas or approaches. Conflict generally occurs when people are stuck in their views or opinions with the irrational belief that they are right and others are wrong.
Connection – Humanity is about relationships. I have previously written about the pitfalls of overuse of technology in other Boosters so I won’t belabor that point again. But, keep in mind that when a human connection is not established and maintained that is grounded in mutual goals, desires, needs and understanding eventually they will fail to meet the expectations of one or all of the participants leading to conflict, disappointment and often failure. When employees in an organization fail to maintain positive connections with the people they work closely with or even people that they are only involved with periodically results will tend to suffer.
Vision – Life is about vision – for oneself, a relationship, a higher purpose or an organization. If people fail to see beyond their present challenges, circumstances, successes or even failures they will tend to remain stuck in mindsets that will limit what can be manifested and developed in the future. The role of every employee is to bring vision to their roles and responsibilities from the Janitor to the CEO.
Compassion – No one is immune in life to troubles, adversity, challenges or failure. Sooner or later we must all face the realities of life with all its successes, achievements and yes disappointments and frustrations. Whether you are the President or the Mail Clerk you have or will have to deal with different circumstances that you don’t like or even wish would not enter your life. What everyone needs during times of adversity or challenge is a caring attitude from others whether people they work with side by side every day or only interact with from time to time. I’m not suggesting that we should all air our dirty linen and personal situations with others, but from time to time just a listening ear would go a long way when someone is in pain or struggle.
Integrity – Words are words and actions are actions. The question in every relationship is always “Can I trust your words?” One of the major issues when it comes to integrity, regardless of the relationship is trust and truth. If either or both are missing in any relationship sooner or later someone is going to be set up. If employees for whatever reason are unable or unwilling to always come from a position of truth and/or trust (not necessarily their opinion or interpretation of an event or circumstance) sooner or later an employee, customer or member will be misled, disappointed or at a minimum frustrated. It is the responsibility of every employee to always come from a position of truth no matter how it might be perceived or heard from people either higher or lower on the food chain.
Communication – Communication is the common denominator that connects all humans regardless of their connections, length or the purpose or parameters of their relationship. Communication is not about sharing information, but in sharing understanding. When we believe that effective communication is when you have given all of the facts or details that another person needs, we are kidding ourselves when it comes to the purpose of real communication. Communication is a complicated issue when it comes to human behavior as there are so many factors that contribute to the integrity of shared messages or information, but in the end it is a two way process. If only one person in an exchange ‘gets it’ then communication has not taken place.
Yes, there are many others, but if you practice these in a timely, effective, consistent and appropriate way, you will be amazed at the results you can achieve when it comes to the relationship between you and your roles and your relationships with others.
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