Cementing honourable and uplifting leadership skills, like most other things in life, comes with practice.  One cannot expect ourselves or others to do a course and then become these instant, perfect leaders.  We must give ourselves the appropriate time to master leadership.

Simon Sinek, in a video, said the following:

“It’s about the consistency.  Going to the gym for nine hours does not get you into shape.  Working out every day for 20 minutes gets you into shape.

The problem is we treat leadership with intensity.  We have a two-day off-site, we invite a bunch of speakers, we give everybody a certificate – (then bam!) you’re a leader!  Those things …, they’re very important, they’re good for reminding us or getting us back on track, learning new lessons, but its the daily practice of all the monotonous little boring things like brushing your teeth that matter the most.

There is no event.  There’s no thing I can tell you you have to do that your people will trust you it just doesn’t work that way.  It’s an accumulation of lots and lots of little things that anyone by themselves is innocuous and useless.  Literally pointless by themselves.”

The calling to be a leader, at home, in the workplace, and in society, is about practising, practising, practising.  Line upon line, not an instant magic wand.  It is the little things, consistently applied, that make all the difference.  If one considers, for just a moment, who is perhaps the most likeable, trusted and respected person in the office, who would that be?  A good way to find out is to ask others this question and ask them not to identify you as one of these trusted people.  Get the list and find out what these people do consistently, with anyone, that makes them so trustworthy, likeable, and respected.

The honest introspection then comes – which one of those consistent habits, traits, actions etc, do I not do?  It could be as simple (one would think) as greeting people every day, smiling, and asking another how they are doing with a genuine desire to want to know.  The action part is to practice those we personally identify as lacking in our lives and practice, practice, practice.  Consider recording these items in a journal or a personal development plan, and then share them with someone who is not a significant person within the organisation, family or relationship you are working on. 

The results could vary and certainly won’t yield an immediate result.  But just like Simon Sinek mentions in the 5-minute video, one does not see results of practice immediately, only over time.  There isn’t a day where suddenly things make a 180-degree turn, but a gradual line upon line change where the authentic leadership within us comes to fruition on that one action, the principle of aspect.

When this point is reached, we don’t stop exercising these traits, but we then search for another trait that we identify, observing others who do it well and again practising line-upon-line until it too comes to fruition.  The greatest thing we will notice is that those around us start to change, and relationships of deeper trust, stronger bonds and higher respect grow.  The even deeper realisation is that those around us are necessarily the ones who changed, but it is I who did.  And that makes all the difference.

Kevin Farquharson

(Learn more about ThinkLead Ecosystem at https://thinkleadecosystem.com/)

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