Real Leadership Starts with Giving a Sh*t!
How many of you have been in an organization where you felt like you couldn’t be who you are? You know, when you have ideas, thoughts, or concerns that you can’t express because your boss or management just don’t seem to care? This can be frustrating, and it leads to disengagement, lack of effort, poor performance and most importantly a poor quality of life.
For many people, the quest for leadership is rooted in the desire to climb the corporate ladder to that executive level position, to be the boss. But, here’s the problem. Being “the boss” is not being a leader, unless you’re Bruce Springsteen and well, there can only be one of those bosses!
Let’s Get Real; What Leadership Isn’t
- Leadership isn’t about TITLES
- Leadership isn’t about being the BOSS
- Leadership isn’t something you’re PROMOTED into
- Leadership isn’t about having YOUR own office
- Leadership isn’t about having people report into YOU
- Leadership isn’t about telling people what to do, when to do it and how to do it
If you notice what leadership isn’t, it isn’t about YOU. I get it, we’re in a world of “what’s in it for me” and doing whatever it takes to get it. So, if this is your understanding of leadership… STOP.
Leadership Isn’t A Trait, It’s A Way Of Being.
Leadership isn’t something you just turn on when you walk into the office or step on to the playing field. Leadership is something that comes from the core of your being. As leaders, we must inspire and influence others to be their best selves. This can manifest as the CEO who needs all employees to align and work together to obtain and achieve the goals set out. This can be the 12-year-old who is playing hockey that picks up their teammate after a loss.
How to Give a Sh*t? It Starts With Empathy!
Empathy is the tool that will open up your ability to truly care and give-a-shit about yourself and the people around you. By using empathy, it will help you create and empower change within any organization. In order to truly practice empathy, you need to allow and give yourself permission to be present and operate in the now, rather than the past or future. It’s okay to stop thinking about revenue and targets sometimes and focus on caring about the humans surrounding you.
Real leadership is about showing up to everyone around you with a non-judgemental openness that seeks understanding, connection, and purpose.
How Do You Flex Your Care “Give A Sh*t” Muscle?
Step One: Be Selfless.
In order to truly care about the people around you, you need to stop thinking about yourself first.
Leadership Tip: Change your mindset from “what value does this person bring to me” and to a “what value can I bring to this person”.
Step Two: Live with curiosity rather than judgement.
The greatest thing about people is that they are different and with different comes new outlooks, new beliefs, new values, and new thought processes. If someone has a different opinion or outlook, rather than judge them for it, get curious. Leadership isn’t about knowing everything, but empowering the strengths of the people who surround you. Be interested not just interesting.
Leadership Tip: If you feel a sense of judgment coming up (don’t worry it may happen, you’re human) combat that judgment with an open-ended question to seek understanding.
Step Three: Listen to what’s being said and what’s not being said.
A leader’s job isn’t to run to the rescue and give their answer or direction without truly listening to what’s being said. In order to listen and hear what’s being said or not being mentioned, we have to present ourselves to the people/person in front of us. At that moment, that person/people need to be the only thing that matters. We can’t have the chatter in our brains saying “how much longer will this take”, or “I wonder what I should have for dinner tonight”. As a real leader, we are in service to our people, let’s not forget that. So, shut your inner chatter up, open up your ears and listen!
Leadership Tip: If you have trouble being present, reflect back to the person you are communicating with on what you hear. This ties back into step two, but is a great way to present yourself and stay focused, and watch how people respond when they know that you’re listening and giving a sh*t about what they have to say!
Leadership Intention and Accountability
As a real leader, start your day with intention. Before you check your phone, your email, or start making those calls. Sit down and write out how you want to show up to the world as a leader. When we put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, we are making a declaration to the universe. This needs to be the first thing we do. It sets the tone and direction for our subconscious. It’s how we create accountability to ourselves and to the people around us. As leaders, we must have full ownership of how we show up!
H2H Coaching Co. was founded to support executives and emerging leaders to create personal and professional growth through enhancing and developing their emotional intelligence. We have found that when we put the work in on ourselves, through the support of coaching and assessments, we have a level of self-awareness that enables and surfaces the leader that our surrounding people need us to be.