What is Leadership?
That’s a legitimate question to be asked by anyone interested in the subject…
And perhaps I will venture an answer in a Socratic dialogue type of deeper and probing questions on the subject.
What are the traits of Leadership?
Who are the best practitioners of the Art of Leadership?
What are some tell tale signal of the development of Leadership?
Is it culture or nature?
In other words…
Can it be taught or is it innate to our genes?
What are the requisites for Leadership?
According to Socrates via Plato — the one uncontested trait of Leadership is VISION.
And once you see a Visionary Leader — follow to the End of this Earth…
And for the follower this is a Great Journey because it is the Leader that expends the Energy for the whole Lot of the People and the Journey.
That is why the True Leader does not want followers but seeks fellows. Because fellows are people who are committed to the Vision and the Mission and that makes them Leaders too.
So without much further ado…
Here are some 300 ways to Inspire Leadership Commitment to others so they can become Fellow Leaders — Because those who are committed, always find a way — And those who are not committed always find fault and only seek to find a way out…
Here is the list of 300 ideas condensed in simple prompts. Go at it and feast your soul:
- Be the Gadfly. Be Fearless. Be Mindful. Be Present in the Now. Ask Questions. Invest in yourself and your company, by eliminating Fear, Doubt, & Uncertainty, in yourself and in your Leadership team — through your ability to help develop fearlessness in all others. [ps: Send the persistently fearful, back to their Mothers]
- Observe & Expect a lot from yourself and all others. Don’t settle for average. Mediocrity doesn’t inspire anyone, doesn’t ignite commitment, nor does it lead to extraordinary Success.
- Celebrate personal growth. Be a leader who helps all others aren’t there yet. Allow others to see you also developing yourself and they might follow in your footsteps…
- Help people feel that they matter, that they belong, and that together they can make a huge difference toward changing the World.
- Focus on purpose. High purpose behaviours increase meaning. Meaning invites commitment. Do something that matters every day and that ignites Purpose & Meaning to all others.
- Define success on personal and organizational levels. What does success look like today? It’s impossible to commit when you don’t know where you’re going. Point the way…
- Track progress. Only that which gets measured – gets managed.
- Lean into tough issues with optimism. Don’t pretend things are OK when they aren’t.
- Engage in behaviours that energize people. Don’t take energy for granted. Gain knowledge and understanding of your teammates in order to fuel their energy.
- Get things done and stay the course to True North. Mission drift does happen frequently but Vision drift is deadly and not allowed from ever happening. Don’t do it because people don’t ever commit to drifters.
- Be in the Now. Practice curiosity. Observe, Notice. Learn. Ask Questions. Engage with the Answers. Engage all others in the organization by asking and learning about their present circumstance, their daily routine, their current project activities and also lean into the future aspirations.
- Enjoy and invest in the success of others. Celebrate their Growth…
- Be Optimistic and yet remain honest. Stay Truthful. Avoid internal spin and escape PR control. Talking Points are for politicians — not Organizational Leaders.
- Provide development opportunities for coaching, mentoring, and training.
- Bring about Common Progress. Achieve results through relationships. Don’t treat people like tools. Treat them like people that matter to your Success.
- Find the “pull” and escape the “bull”. Figure out what matters to you and let it pull you forward. Shun the stupidities, fads, and distractions. Choose your battles carefully. One way to find pull is by monitoring where your energy leads you to. Where you are naturally gravitating towards is the correct place to be. Follow your inner Compass.
- Live in the present. Observe. Notice. There is No place like the Now to live in. Learn something new every day. Don’t worry — You’ll never run our of things to learn. Organizations are complex organisms and there is always new and developing knowledge. Embrace rabid curiosity about everything, especially about things you think you understand. Spend a morning each month engaging in Socratic Dialogue with your Leadership team. Start by asking questions and exploring responses, nothing more. Ask the difficult questions. Let it go at that…
- Aim at something Big. Think of vision in terms of the value you bring others. Shoot for the moon to get to the next field. Projects matter, but people’s aims matter more. Leaders don’t wander. Unless they are managing by wandering around, like peripatetic philosophers. Practice by holding weekly walking meetings in the park, in the woods, around the lake.
- Evaluate yourself with greater rigour than you evaluate others. Look in the mirror. Do you like what You see? Be mindful. Do this every day and ask if this is what You want to be doing today. If the answer is “No” for many days in a row — change something. Trust your mirror image but remember you seldom see yourself without the help of others. Love Thyself.
- Love yourself means to forgive yourself. Don’t beat up on other either. Extend second chances to yourself and all others. Leadership without second chances is no leadership whatsoever. Forgive and Forget.
- Develop yourself. The first development is self-development. Second is Live in the Now. Third is to “Be Mindful” and Listen to Socrates who says “Know Thyself” and if you want to know your team — travel with them. Go for a week abroad, go fishing, or go for a weekend in the wild. Camp out, make a fire, and play with the Grizzlies…
- Take care of your body and soul. Food, exercise, and rest matter more than you think. Be in the now, live in the present, exist mindfully.
- Make people feel they are in the “know” by developing domain expertise for each Team member and by practicing transparency. Share goals, vision, mission, and information about your directions. If you want the steersman to guide the ship to a destination — he must know the compass points and the map markings You designate.
- Build transparent relationships that strengthen your soul. Celebrate people and they will celebrate You. Make people feel like Insiders because Outsiders don’t commit.
- Connect with people who are more skilled, talented, and successful than yourself. Find alignment with Mentors from the past, present, and future…
- Become accountable to someone, maybe everyone, certainly your clients, customers, business associates, your team, your people, and your Board — and make all of them and others accountable to You. Mutual accountability is a really useful management technique.
- Reflect on your journey. be present, mindful, and in the Now. Try keeping a journal, write a blog, or maintain an enhanced calendar. They all help you see how you spend your time, which direction you are going, what you are learning, what you achieve, and ultimately who you are becoming…
- Visualize the future, and focus on change by moving toward resistance. Where the organization resists — you persist…
- Go with the grain. Flow with the flow. Think of the journey. Think of the progress, and celebrate the process — not just the arrival.
- Be humble, measure results, and find happiness, by serving what matters, not by seeking indulgence, entitlement, or perks.
- Be the Lightning Rod for Change in the Organization and the World.
- Stand up for what’s right and don’t be afraid to go against the crowds. Occasionally you need to go against the grain…
- Be Upright and a Contrarian if need be, but always decide fast & freely, and don’t be afraid of the consequences.
- Be the Gadfly. Ask Questions. Engage in a Socratic Dialogue with everybody. Never Quit…
Remember old Socrates, and assign him to be your mental Mentor, because Who you are inside is far more important than what you do, or what appears on the outside.
Smart people recognize that.
And then follow you…