In my experience, most executives and managers say they want to be a great leader. Yet, when I ask them what being a great leader looks like, they can’t tell me.
Many tell me what a great leader doesn’t look like. Many criticize themselves for not being a great leader or say they could be a better leader. Some are able to list a few characteristics. Rarely can they tell me what these mean or look like.
If I can’t envision or describe what being a great leader looks like, how can I become a great leader? Or know when I am? It’s hard to get there when I don’t know where “there” is.
To say ‘I want to be a great leader’, ‘I will be a great leader’ or ‘I strive to be a better leader’ does not make me a great leader. It’s practicing being a great leader that makes me a great leader.
What if you took a moment to re-invoke the state of wonder and wonder what being a great leader looks like? Be specific. For example: If I inspire people, What could I do? How could I be during the moments of my day? When I get up in the morning? When I arrive at work? When I do my walk-arounds? When I eat my meals? When I exercise? Before, during and after a phone call, a 1-1 meeting, a company-wide meeting? When we get bad news? When we get good news? When I evaluate performance? When I review financial information? When I write an email? When I set my calendar? At the end my day?….
Write it down. Say it out loud, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, when you’re in your highest states of consciousness. Then, as “stuff” happens during your day, take a moment to wonder, “If I am the highest and best vision of myself as a leader, what can I think, say or do right now?”
And then practice being a leader. Practice makes permanent!
So tell me—Are you a great leader?
© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC. All rights reserved
Mary Lore, the founder and CEO of Managing Thought LLC, is an internationally recognized thought leader, public speaker, and executive mentor.
Find Mary at http://www.managingthought.com/