Not rocket science – a lot harder

By Peter Economy via   Article

8 Ways to Lead Like It Really Matters

1. Knowing is the easy part–doing is the hard part

I think that deep down inside, we all know what it takes to be a better leader. The problem is that knowing is one thing, and doing is another thing altogether. …

2. Leading people is messy

People are people–inherently unpredictable beings with minds of their own, who are influenced by all kinds of people and events both inside and outside of work. …

3. Leadership is a discipline, not an accident

Just because you’re the founder or CEO or manager of your company doesn’t make you a leader–you have to be a leader, and live it every day of the week. …

4. Leading and individual contribution require opposite skill sets and motivations

When you’re a line employee, the focus is on doing things on an individual basis–the spotlight is on the work you do. However, when you’re a leader, the focus and spotlight turns to your team. Leading a team of people requires an entirely different set of skills than leading only yourself. …

5. Leading is all about relationships

To be an effective leader, you absolutely must be able to build strong relationships and bridges of trust and respect with your people. People won’t follow people they don’t trust or who they don’t respect. …

6. Learning the “soft skills” is hard

Says Hewertson, “Mastering leadership skills is not rocket science–it’s a lot harder, precisely because it is more qualitative than quantitative, and because we are leading people, not machines.” Pay special attention to learning–and applying–the soft skills of leadership: listening, communicating, empathizing, giving feedback, resolving conflict, and building trust.

7. Most change efforts fail, and they don’t have to

… Unfortunately, approximately 70 percent of all change efforts are doomed to failure. As a leader, it’s your job to lead change in your organization. …

8. Leaders create and destroy cultures

As Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey once said, ‘If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning.’ ….”


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