Congratulations to Ewa who won the draw for last week’s survey. The book is on its way! I’m still crunching numbers and trying to figure out what all the data means, so stay tuned for those results. In the mean time, here are 5 easy things to do today to flex your leadership muscles.
1. Give Praise. Yes, of course giving critique is part of a leader’s job, but so is giving praise. The problem is that it’s harder to give praise than people think. “Good job” just doesn’t cut it. Praise, like good critique, has to be specific and tied to a person’s actions. Whether you chose to give your praise publicly or privately will depend on the situation, but it should always be given honestly.
2. Empower. It’s easy just to answer the question you’re asked, but instead, think if it’s appropriate to show them how to find the answer for themselves. Can you teach them how to print the report or run the query? Good leadership isn’t about keeping these tasks to yourself so you can be powerful, it’s about giving away as many as you can, so you actually have time to lead your team.
3. Learn Something New. There’s lots of research out there that shows learning keeps your brain young. It also introduces you to new ideas and allows you to challenge your paradigms. I believe one of the fundamental jobs of a leader is to allow for (and encourage) innovation. To do that, a leader needs to be open and able to understand different ways things can be connected.
4. Forgive Yourself. Growth and innovation doesn’t happen in spurts, it happens through tiny little experiments we try every day. Many of those experiments will fail. We have to be okay with that or we will never try anything new. So let go of whatever latest mistake you’re berating yourself for and go try something new. Again and again and again.
5. Reconnect. We cannot be the giving tree. Even leaders need support and encouragement. Reconnect with someone you’ve been thinking about. Go out for coffee. Give them a call. Let them know you’ve been thinking about them. Not only will it make you feel better, but it warms their day as well.