Do you dream of advancing as a leader so you can help both yourself and your team achieve more? Do you wonder whether your individuality of leadership style will help or hinder this? If you are starting to feel frustrated or stale in your current position, the answer to these questions is YES!
Each of us has different influences, training, education, and lessons learned. When we’re trying to accomplish a task, we are all individualistic in our thinking first and foremost; but when it comes to leading, the impact you have on the whole picture is most relevant.
Most managers fall into the same pattern of utilizing what they know helps guide them forward. They don’t take the time to learn what drives their team forward. Most managers focus on pushing their teams to complete an assignment or reach a goal - or simply step in and do it themselves just to get it done. If you’re a doing personality type, this is an easy trap to fall into, but it can create a complacent, hamster wheel environment with high staff turnover and limited innovation. It will also lead to burnout and minimal career advancement.
So what is it about this type of hamster-wheel leadership style that results in a flat-lining business that is so addicting and allows time to pass while witnessing high turnover of top performers, or complacency in the corporate culture? #1 it’s the addiction to the “pain check” and #2 it’s because the potential of the whole group is being managed, not lead. When you become conscious of this mismanaged environment and start to feel a calling to be and do better, you are now inching into Conscious Leadership.
Conscious Leaders think about the entirety of the environment they are in, their team, their clients, and their bosses. They see that they live in a system of consistent demands from all sides and think about how to master this. They are in the middle and have to be agile in their responses, as well as lean into empowering others to thrive in their respective roles.
After all, think about the wasted talent in the room when you don’t leverage other people’s expertise. The complacency is created in these environments because of the neglect of helping your team grow. And if you, as a leader, are no longer growing, that stalls the growth of your team which generates a lower return on investment. This defines management and defies the purpose of being a leader.
If I think about my own growth into leadership, at the start I was a solid manager. My get shit down mantra lead me. It’s easy to cross things off the never-ending list and that’s what I did. It landed me jobs and earned my income.
As soon as I shifted my behaviors to be inclusive and empowering – to connect with the personal goals of my team, work on paths to help them accomplish what they wanted or an exit strategy out of each role we played helped them build the career they really wanted – while getting the job done and pushing the business goals forward at the same time, that’s when I started to get recognized as a leader. I started to have behind-closed-doors conversations with my c-suite leaders asking how they could achieve this success too.
First and foremost, I said that I lead others in the way I dream of being led. Maybe it comes from my childhood where my mom would always repeat do unto others as you wish others would do unto you. Translated: set the standard by which you want to be treated and lead by example.
Maybe it also came from the fact that I hit a glass ceiling when working with a manager who had her own limitations in what she could do, resulting in her limiting what I could do. I never wanted to be considered as limiting as that in my role as a leader.
Maybe it was all the practice I had in business school which showed me that when I leverage the team’s skillset and desired outcomes and combine those with my ability to make decisions and delegate, the results were much greater and easier than if I had to do it all alone.
Exposure. Education. Pushing the limits. All three come from one of my core values, which is to lead with integrity. In my executive coaching practice, I share one of the tools I recently put in my new book, Lead with Value: How Leaders Unleash Their Vision, Empower Others, and Evolve Their Business, an exercise that helps leaders identify their top three core values. Mine are: Love, Creativity, and Integrity.
When I allowed myself to truly connect with the core values that light me up, keep me grounded, and charge me forward, the game changed in my leadership advancement. It is not always about the end result, or the win, or the achievement; for me, it is all about fulfillment. Why should we separate our leadership from our values?
After identifying these core values, it becomes so much easier for you to dismiss the debauchery that distracts us, and focus on what is real and clear for you. Then you can invite others to do the same and find that Value Exchange in leadership which wins every single time.
I encourage you to take inventory on the last time you invested in evaluating your leadership style and it’s effectiveness for your personal advancement and the advancement of others around you. Do you have clarity on your leadership vision? The impact you want to have in your business, community? If you can’t state this vision clearly, then what is your team following, and what are your clients getting from this leadership style?
To be a conscious leader, you must look at all parts of the whole, and ask yourself, what do I need to lead this with ease? Who do I need to empower to fill in the gaps and make it even better? Where do I invest to ensure what we set up is sustainable and can scale?
I love this unleashing of consciousness because it means you are going to go deeper in your connection with the work you do daily, and instantly grow from the answers you receive. I am excited to see the ripple effect of your awakening, stay the course.
If this shift of thinking has helped you identify money blockers in your business, I want to hear from you! What breakthrough did you have? Email [email protected] and share it! Who knows, you might get invited to join me on a podcast episode to share your journey with my listeners.