Leadership Moment

Mary Jo Asmus has some good things to say about leadership … She writes …

You walked into your office early today. It looks pretty much the same as you left it. The first thing you do is to fire up your computer, check voicemail, check email and grab a cup of coffee in the company cafeteria. Back at your office, you sit down to type responses to a few email messages, and then get swept up into the routine and craziness of your day. These are some of the “task” habits that we rarely think about; we’re on autopilot.

Habits like these can be good things; we don’t think of them much and they don’t tend to enter our awareness often. They free up the brain for higher order thinking, allowing it to find reserves to make tough decisions, consider critical priorities and focus on solving complex problems.

Exchanging the negative habits for the positive ones

Unlike these task habits, you may have behavioral habits that require your awareness and action in order to help you to become the best leader that you can be. In your day’s interactions, you may also have a number of behavioral habits that prevent you from becoming an exceptional leader. Some common examples:

You allow our phone, email and other distractions to keep you from acting on priorities
You talk too much and don’t listen enough
You bark orders and expect others to follow without question
You are verbally critical of new ideas
You wall yourself off from your staff or peers; they rarely see you
You won’t admit mistakes or apologize when you are wrong

By paying attention to your negative habits, you have started on a program for becoming a better leader. The next step is to actively work to replace those negative behavioral habits with some positive ones.

When you change the negative habits above to more positive ones, you will:

be fully present to the individuals and the needs around you
talk less and listen more, gaining wisdom and the reputation as a leader who cares
become more inclusive, extending the invitation to participate, and releasing the potential of your team
open your mind and your heart to new ideas and find nuggets of usefulness in them
get out and connect with others and develop relationships that are important for your effectiveness
become human. We all make mistakes. Showing your humanity by admitting them and apologizing can help you develop better relationships with your followers

Create an action plan and ask someone – mentor, friend, coach – to hold you accountable; meet with them regularly to discuss your progress and challenges. Intentionally practice these new habits daily until they are automatic and watch your leadership effectiveness increase.


November 28th, 2015

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