Too often the above steps are taken for granted and are either ignored or neglected. However, when they are in place, those being influenced are better able to integrate and make the new initiatives their own. Therefore, they don't feel coerced into accepting something that is being forced upon them from the outside.
Deciding on their own gives them the ability to retain control and preserve their sense of self. This makes resistance on their part to the new change initiatives less likely.
- What's your initial reaction when a new initiative is presented to you?
- What must occur, or be present for you to easily embrace a new initiative?
Movement or Progress?
I once asked a coaching client how she was doing on an assignment. Her response was, “I am moving along, so I guess I am making progress”.
Further questioning revealed that although she thought she was “moving along”, she was not really making any progress in terms of achieving her desired objectives.
This exchange reveals a fundamental error that some too easily make, which is to equate movement with progress.
Progress usually involves movement, but all movement is NOT progress!
For movement to be considered progress, it must be purposeful, and have a specific destination.
Progress then can be defined as any movement which takes you in the direction of attaining your stated or desired objectives.
Any movement that doesn’t take you closer to your objectives is futile, unproductive, or might even be indicative that you are lost.
If you find yourself engaging in motion that doesn’t take you closer to your goals, you need to immediately stop and make the necessary corrective actions and get back on track.
- Review a project/assignment you are currently working on.
- Are you engaged in meaningless motion, or are you making progress?
The Fear Factor in Leadership
Fear is a phenomenon that leaders are bound to face at one time or another.
When such time occurs and the fear is not dealt with constructively, it can be debilitating and drain leaders of their productive energies.
When leaders become fearful, they experience a great deal of stress which can negatively impact their physical, emotional, social and financial well-being.
However, not all fears are bad and should be ignored. Some fears, let's call them "real or objective" fears, can alert leaders to potential dangers and keeps them out of harm’s way.
When faced with these fears, it’s always in the leader's best interest to pay attention and take the necessary measures to deal with them.
The fears that leaders need to confront and eliminate from their lives are the "unreal or subjective" fears.
Those that exist primarily in their imaginations and are usually unsubstantiated by existing facts.
Several studies have indicated that a large majority of the things feared in this category seldom do actualize.
They merely serve as time and energy robbers.
Therefore, to successfully manage fear, leaders must first identify the type of fear they are experiencing.
Then they must develop the appropriate strategies to deal with these fears, so they don't get in the way of their success.
- What fears are currently preventing you from fulfilling your goals/dreams?
- Are these fears objective or subjective?
- What action(s) do you plan to take?
Effective Leaders Are Principled People
Anyone desiring to be a leader, especially an effective one, must have clearly defined, recognizable and time-tested principles.
Principles are derived from a leader’s core values and make up his/her fundamental belief system.
They dictate behavior and help the leader to understand the difference between right and wrong.
To be effective, leaders must have strong positive principles.
These are principles that have a compelling vision, are ethical and actively promote and safeguard the wellbeing of others.
Principles are strictly adhered to and not readily abandoned, even in difficult times or situations.
In challenging circumstances, principles serve as a moral compass and they determine the actions and/or behaviors that the leader will pursue.
When evident, strong principles…
• Serve as an example for others to follow.
• Inject a certain amount of predictability and stability into any given situation. The leader will always act on his/her principles.
• Are reassuring because they demonstrate that the leader is consistent and can be trusted.
Take an inventory of the principles that guide/direct your life and actions.
• Are you comfortable with your findings?
• What changes do you need to make?
Leadership is the defining element of any organization.
It’s the predominant driver of the culture, values, behaviors and anything else that is essential to the survival and sustainability of the entity.
To ignore the quality of an organization’s leadership is the surest way of putting it at risk for failure.
Having the right quality of leadership in place is important because organizations are often the reflections of their leadership.
To ensure that organizations have the most effective leadership in place, leaders must be equipped with the right tools and with the right skills/competencies to do their jobs.
• When people look at your organization, what type of leadership is reflected?
• What do you plan to do about changing or improving the image they see?
Do you need to be more focused?
A key element of being an effective leader is the ability to focus.
To focus is to pay close attention, zoom in, or carefully examine something deemed important.
It's also about ignoring or eliminating any distractions you might encounter.
Distractions should be viewed as anything that has the potential to prevent you from accomplishing what you set out to do.
This might often mean your making choices between things that appear to be desirable and things that are mission critical.
How is your ability to focus?
How can it be improved?