Leadership isn’t defined by one word, action or event. It’s a series of events, conversations and hard decisions that all add up to how you’re measured as a leader. Where do you stand?
Throughout your career it’s important to be bold, take ownership of your success and drive your agenda. But, there’s a fine line between too much and not enough when it comes to how you approach leadership. If you feel compelled to pound your chest and sing your own praises, you’re missing the mark.
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When you act like a turkey and strut around ruling the roost, you’ll have a hard time gaining support from your team and business partners. Tone down your approach too much and you’ll find yourself stuffed and served at the next holiday gathering. But, since your attitude will dictate the success of you and your team, how do you balance too much turkey with not enough?
Learn To Fly Early
Leadership isn’t a responsibility reserved for executives and managers. Learning to lead indirectly early in your career will set the table for your future growth!
When you take on the role of being an indirect leader, you’ll quickly discover what works and what doesn’t when it comes to motivating others. You’ll likely scrape your knees a few times, but that’s ok. Making mistakes when the stakes are low will help you fine-tune your voice and find your style as a leader. Practice makes perfect.
Find Your Leadership Gobble
In our 1:1 career coaching programs, we help professionals find their leadership gobble, or voice, every single day. Exerting your opinion and ideas will help you drive your overall career forward, but defining your voice is necessary if you want to tap into your leadership abilities.
Finding your voice as a leader requires an open mind and a willingness to change bad habits. It means locating the balance between brute force and complacency as well as your authentic self. People follow those individuals who are sincere and impactful. Turkeys won’t make the cut.
Learn To Be A Candid Turkey
Being candid is not the same as being a jerk. True leaders do not bully, pound their chest or drive teams through fear. Great leaders motivate their team, challenge them to grow and help them succeed.
Sure, pushing people around and forcing your agenda on others will garner success at some level, but not sustainable success. Fear-based leadership forces compliance, but it doesn’t promote business evolution and growth.
Sustainable growth will occur when you learn to motivate and inspire others. Listen to your team, encourage them to develop new ideas and partner with them to get things done. Sitting on a roost and dictating is demotivating and counterproductive to professional growth.
Learn To Put Your Claw Down When Needed
Learning to lead effectively requires balancing too much enforcement with not enough. If you’re a soft leader with no defined boundaries, you aren’t truly leading. Everyone should understand your expectations, their goals, and their performance metrics. If you plan to succeed as a leader, it’s necessary to hold everyone on the team accountable.
While it isn’t something you’ll enjoy, there will be times when you’ll face challenges that require you to make a hard decision or confront a team member who isn’t pulling their weight. Be mindful to not add drama to an issue by squawking uselessly. Instead, be decisive and direct. Put your claw down for the good of the team!
It’s important that your team to understand you’re there for them. If you allow one or two individuals to make excuses and fail, while everyone else picks up their slack, you’ll find yourself with little to no support from your team. Again, accountability doesn’t equal a dictatorship. Most professionals want to do well and work hard to succeed. Allow them the ability to do so, just understand when to step in.