INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
The best leaders are deeply introspective, intentionally asking questions of themselves to become even better leaders. So, what’s the single best such question you can ask yourself?
Do I know what I don’t know and let others know?
Great leaders are smart enough to recognize their shortfalls, surround themselves with others who complement their weak spots, and, most important, are transparent with all about what they don’t know. They’re secure enough in themselves to be vulnerable, which draws others to them even more, not less, because they become more human. Your job as a leader is not to have all the answers. It’s to have all the right people, fully empowered, surrounding you, to help you collectively create better answers more consistently.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake to avoid)
Ever worked for a manager that was insecure? No good comes from it – and you certainly don’t want to show up as such yourself. So, stop doing these 3 things if you don’t want to come across as insecure.
1. Not deciding. Consistently putting off decisions puts off the people counting on those decisions. It signals that you’re worried about making the wrong call and smacks of insecurity. And it might literally be the opposite of career enhancing. A 10-year CEO study shows that decisiveness is one of the most common traits of executives that make it to the top spot.
2. Constantly seeking approval. The struggle for approval is an empty victory at best and confidence eroding/soul-crushing at worst. The quest is insatiable and can be spotted a mile away by employees who are instead looking for role-models of self-belief.
3. Not granting autonomy. The biggest reason executives don’t grant autonomy is the desire to maintain control, a form of insecurity. Give more autonomy than you’re comfortable with. As long as you give clear objectives along with the autonomy, your employees will surprise you with what they do with it.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
Want a surefire way to dramatically increase your impact at work?
Reflect upon and answer this question:
What can only I lead?
What are you UNIQUELY suited to lead? What unique contribution can only you make—based on your role in your organization or your specific skills and passions? Know what your “superpowers” are (your extreme strengths), and commit to use them to make things worth happening, happen. I guarantee an immediate uptick in impact.