At some point during the evolution of your small business, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself getting whacked repeatedly in the face with problem after problem. This will continue until you realize just how much your leadership matters.
Leadership isn’t a title. It’s a way of being. It’s a decision you make whether you’re a leader or a contributor in how you treat each other and in how you treat your clients.
Being a leader can be hard. There can be many lessons to learn along the way. What’s easy is forgetting about the importance of being a leader. Falling into habits of needing to get it done and get it done fast rather than leading others gracefully through the time crunch.Leadership can be hard and there can be many lessons to learn along the way. Click To Tweet
This is how it started.
A few months ago, my colleague and friend (and Thought Readers member), Margy Feldhuhn, asked me if I had read Multipliers by Liz Wiseman. I told her I had not but if she was endorsing it, I was buying it. Margy and I have a book reading love fest. We both make each other spend money on books all the time and I love it.
Fast forward, this big, yellow, 300+ page book arrived at my door and I curiously began to read. I’ve read a LOT of leadership books—I could give you a top ten list easily—but that’s for another time. As I started to read, I found myself highlighting sentences on page two of the preface!
Things like, “Only 13% of people around the world are fully engaged at work,” stood out for me. And, “Too many organizations are still overmanaged and underled,” made me realize that not only did I need to read this book but so did the managers on my team.
I started writing notes in the margins and sending photos via text of what I was reading to the team, and then I made a decision to buy this book so we could all read it and learn together.
Here’s what’s happening.
We meet every other week and we unpack one chapter from the book. In every meeting, we share what we’ve learned from the book and what really stood out for us.
We’ve adopted language around our leadership and our behaviours related to “multiplying” or “diminishing” the team. We’ve committed to paying attention to how we can be the kind of leaders who bring out the greatest potential in others, and how to avoid behaviours that can diminish someone’s spirit and capacity to do great work.We've committed to paying attention to how we can be the kind of leaders who bring out the greatest potential in others, and how to avoid behaviours that can diminish someone's spirit and capacity to do great work. Click To Tweet
We’ve learned about liberating others and done the hard work of asking more questions to allow others to thrive. We’ve talked about the harm tyrants can do—even when that behaviour comes from a client.
This is how we are choosing to lead.
Every week we communicate, share, call each other out, and celebrate our progress. It makes me proud of the commitment of this team of mine to become better leaders, humans, and in recognizing the impact we have on others.
Leadership is not a position, it’s not a title or a promotion, it’s a way of being. Every individual has leadership skills and leadership potential and it’s up to us all to learn how to be the best leaders we can be.
Leaders are also not perfect.
We make mistakes, and the best leaders learn from them. They also extend grace to others when things go wrong. It’s easy to be an unintentional diminisher when you don’t recognize what you’re doing or the impact you’re having on someone else.
If we want to create better workplaces, leadership matters—to our employees, and to our clients. We are all in this together when it comes to leadership.
Tell me about a good leader you have worked with or for. I’m curious to know what makes a good leader in your eyes!