by Dr. Cindy Briggs
Without even knowing it, you’re probably a leader in many ways. Do you have kids? Are you the one who friends come to for advice? Do you serve as a team leader at the office?
Many of the roles in your life involve some type of leadership. You might be surprised by how easily your actions can impact others. Some of these “leadership positions” may seem basic to you, but they’re more critical than you know. Aim to be the best leader possible.
Take a look at some of these leadership blunders and how to correct them:
Avoiding the truth. Avoiding the truth is one of the worst leadership missteps. The minute you start lying, you set yourself up for a fall. You’ll likely lose the trust of those who matter to you. If they’re unable to believe what you say, how can you expect to lead them successfully?
- At all costs, tell the truth. It doesn’t matter if it makes you unpopular. Popularity doesn’t usually win races or battles. Be truthful so you can be respected and trusted as a leader.
- Timing is important. It may help if you choose an appropriate time and place to be truthful with someone, especially if you’re saying something upsetting.
Refusing to take your own advice. It’s awkward to give advice that you aren’t taking! Those you lead likely see that as disingenuous. They’ll start questioning your character if you’re doing the opposite of what you’re telling them to do.
- Leading by example is the best way to earn respect. It shows that you fully believe in what you profess. It allows others to see that you’re genuine and trustworthy.
- If you’re unsure about the advice you’re giving, avoid giving it! If it isn’t good enough for you to take, dishing it out to somebody else doesn’t make sense.
Compromising your values. As a leader, it’s important to have solid values. Your inability or lack of desire to uphold your values makes it appear as if you lack integrity. If that’s the case, you’ll have a hard time getting people to rely on you.
- Take a look in the mirror and define what matters to you. What do you value most? Is it hard work? Is it honesty? Whatever it is, look yourself in the eye and commit.
- Each morning, promise yourself that you’ll live according to your values. You’ll find that you won’t even need to tell anybody what those values are. People will know what you stand for by just observing your actions.
Failing to teach the tough lessons. Tough lessons are an important part of effective leadership. It isn’t enough to tell those you lead what they want to hear. Failing to teach tough lessons essentially makes you look like a pushover. Good luck getting any kind of cooperation after that!
- Sometimes it’s necessary to tell others how you feel. It isn’t necessary to worry about hurting their feelings. If they recognize you’re coming from an honest place, they’ll accept and respect your candidness.
It’s time that you accept your role as a leader! Embrace your leadership traits now, because sooner or later you’ll be faced with applying them. You want to be ready, so you can easily lead others in a positive direction when the time comes.
If you would like more information on leadership and/or entrepreneurship, please contact us at www.cindybriggsphd.com. Our mission is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and communities THRIVE!