January 1, 2019

What Makes a Great Leader?

I've been reading about this and thinking about this for years. I have been fortunate to work with amazing collaborative insightful and giving leaders; I have also had some bosses. I think there is a definitive list somewhere but the way I view leadership is from the inside. Each of us has a different interpretation of what they need in their leader or how they want to lead.

In a time when we have 3-4 generations in a workplace, the one size fits all model won't work. Sales managers yelling at reps to make more calls, Marketing directors steadfast on their design over others, CEO's accountable to shareholders without focus on their employees to make those financial successes a reality.

Read The Room

And that room can be as granular as every single person in the organization. For some, they need a coach akin to the defensive coordinator who yells at their guys for missing the tackle. For others, they require a more personable calm approach.

The key to being a great leader, in my opinion, is twofold. First, you don't decide you're the leader; your team or company does. Second, your only focus is your team or company. Customers will show up if you create a culture of collaboration, respect, and strong internal customer service.

A great leader never has to remind people they are the leader.
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December 29, 2018

The Bully and Radiohead

I was having breakfast with a great friend and colleague this week and we started talking about how each of us often gets in the way of our own success. Why do we do that? Is it self-sabotage? Is it a fear of failure or success? We humans aren't born with fear; we teach ourselves fear. It's easy to blame outside sources but we have a choice on how we process influences and what to do next.

In a previous chapter of my career, I worked in the radio industry and during the last few years of that, I oversaw the launch of two radio stations from concept to creation and then went on to consult a handful of radio station clients in my consulting work. But I told my friend I'm often visited by a force that seems to hold me back. As I continue my work at an executive recruiter, it's not the candidates or clients who are in my way, it's me!

Voices Inside Your Head

So she put me through an exercise. She said we will call that force - The Bully; and the man who launched radio stations and built teams with confidence, we'll call him Radiohead. She warned me the bully is my comfort zone; my ability to fail without trying because it wasn't meant to be. She said it was a bunch of hot air meaning nothing. She then said whenever the bully shows up, thank him for his time and wish him well and focus back on Radiohead.

You can put your own labels on your life but you have them. There are two strong forces pulling you in opposite directions. One likes it safe so it reminds you to not take bold moves while the other has shown up when you weren't even paying attention because you were so focused on the task at hand.

Say goodbye to the bully and welcome radiohead.
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© Kneale Mann | knealemann@gmail.com | people + priority = profit
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