I had an argument with an individual last week. The argument was not important, but it struck me afterwards that his position was, “I am just doing what I think is right!” This comment could be perfectly fine if we are able to listen to opposing views and discuss possible differences in opinion. But when we decide we no longer care what others think, and consider our opinion right without listening… well that leads to conflict.
Major conflicts throughout history were the result of people doing what they thought was right. Family arguments result when people do what they think is right without considering how it impacts others.
I have written a lot about the importance of knowing yourself and knowing your values. It is your guide to living a life of significance. I have also written a lot about the skill of listening. If you care about others you will listen to them. These two things, knowing your values and listening, are not meant to be segregated.
After the argument, I also reflected on multiple occasions in the work environment where people believe they are right and stop listening. This brings to a quick halt the opportunities for improvement, innovation, and change.
The lesson I reflected on this week is that even when you feel you are right, you have to consider the possibility that you are not. Stop and listen. How good are you at temporarily putting aside your opinion, and actively listening?
If you can master a task in less than thirty minutes, at best it will provide very short term satisfaction. But when we spend our time, money, and effort to master a skill over years, the satisfaction that it brings can be life long.
Why can we be so impatient when it comes to achievement? At times I wonder if the pace that we demand achievement has damaged some of our foundational values.Know what you want to achieve.
1. Know your yourself and your achievement goals. Do you have the right goal, and are you equipped to achieve it? Where can you grow yourself and your knowledge to increase your ability to achieve?
2. Invest the time. Make time every day to take one step closer. Twenty minutes a day of effort is over 120 hours a year. If you spent this time dedicated to growing yourself towards your goal, what would be the impact? What if you spent twenty minutes a day for ten years? Do you have the commitment to yourself?
3. Enjoy the process. Be happy about the time you spend growing yourself. Find an alignment that makes it enjoyable, not a chore. Make it fun, and it will become a journey that fills you with satisfaction.
Make a difference in your environment by linking your foundational values with your achievement goals. What are you working on today that brings you satisfaction?
Round three of things you need to know about leadership. Becoming a leader is a journey, and here are another five things you really need to consider in your leadership.
1. Coachable. You are coachable if you remain humble are open to continual learning, and never lose the adventure of discovery.
2. Self-Discipline. Leadership is about taking people to a new place, but also keeping the standards that are put in place. If you want your team to be disciplined and responsible, then you must show the same qualities.
3. Generosity. You must be generous with the one thing that everyone wants… your time.
4. Initiative. As a leader you are expected to create momentum with the group. Get them started. You can only do that if you have the initiative to get yourself started.
5. Focus. With all the chaos and demands of the day, you must have focus on the outcome you desire. You must continually keep the focus on the future you want to create, and not hesitate to move towards it.
I think fifteen things about leadership are enough to keep you thinking. Leadership is a journey. What steps are you taking today?
Leadership is complex. There are many skills that play a part of being a great leader. After last week’s article I know I just touched a few. Here are five more to characteristics to consider.
- Vision. A leader must have a vision of the future. People don’t follow someone that is not working towards some new goal. Even though people resist change, there is no need for them to follow someone without a vision.
- Communication. Of course you need to be able to communicate the vision. If you cannot communicate your plan, no one will want to follow. Effective communication is not just telling the story, it is connecting the audience to the story.
- Listening. Since communication requires both talking and listening, this is a skill that cannot be overlooked. It requires practice. Listening helps you connect and can set you apart from other leaders if you do it well.
- Competence. This seems like a bit of cheating to list competence here. To be a good leader, you need to be a good leader, right? I think it belongs on this list because a great leader is always learning to be a better leader. Being a life long student of leadership can improve your skills.
- Serving Attitude. A true leader serves others. With this attitude people will follow you because you have aligned your path with theirs. Include their individual needs with the needs of the team and your success will be amplified.
Well that is more to consider when you want to increase your leadership skills. What are you doing this week to increase your influence with others? How can you practice growing these skills?