We are looking at how to increase your potential as a leader regardless of where you may be leading – family, friends, work, community, or the local church. Last time we saw:
1> Ask questions and listen to understand and find your people (those willing to follow).
2> Connect with people before asking them to change.
A> Let them know you value them
B> Identify the value they place on themselves.
Self-worth is foundational to belief and change. The moment your belief in yourself goes up, so can your commitment to help yourself and thus change. If the people on your team don’t believe in themselves, as the leader you need to try and help them find that belief. You need to encourage them. You need to speak positive words of affirmation. You need to teach them. And you need to help them put wins under their belts. Does that always work? No. But if their self-worth never rises, neither will they feel comfortable enough to follow your lead and be more willing to believe they can change.
C> Tell them growth is expected and growth means change.
As a leader, you want your people to grow, and you want them to know it on the front end – that growth is expected and that growth means change. If they know you will hold them accountable for growth, the chances of it happening increase dramatically. One of the greatest mistakes leaders make is sharing expectations but failing to later include accountability.
D> Show them change is essential.
It is impossible to get better without making changes. No one has ever stayed the same while at the same time rising to a higher level. Being willing to change is one of the prices we pay to grow. Good leaders increase their potential by helping people recognize and accept that price. You can’t make the changes for them, but you can show them what needs changing, assist them, and encourage them.
E> Keep the connection constant.
When it comes to expectations, leaders can never think, Set it and forget it. People rarely lead themselves forward or correct themselves when they get off track. People want to be empowered. But often what they need most is accountability. Keeping your connection constant and gently nudging them forward provides both encouragement and consistent accountability.
F> Ask, “Will you help me help you?”
When you ask people if they will help you to help them, you are able to measure their level of participation and commitment. By getting them to declare the ways that they want help to grow and change, you obtain their full buy-in. And if they don’t follow through, you can hold them accountable for what they declared they would do.
3> Demonstrate transparency before challenging people
One of the most valuable things you can do to increase your leadership capacity and potential is to be authentic and transparent with people and to share your story, especially before you challenge them to attempt something difficult.
Too many leaders think they have to project a perfect image to have leadership credibility. They think they always have to put their best foot forward. What they don’t understand is that their best foot is a flawed foot. They miss the power of their own stories of imperfection. A leader’s story of struggle, growth, and improvement can inspire people and change lives. People respect leaders who tell the truth but whop still hold fast to the vision and keep leading people (the team) forward.