Updated: 6 days ago
A word we claim to know well, yet it has so many meanings.
Take a moment to think of your favourite boss and leader. An easy task, as the number of great leaders is relatively small. Mine was a regional leader and I was his operations lead. Together we led a transformational service delivery project. It was a disruptive time, with many moving pieces, people impact and high change management. He gave me my own space to lead and learn from mistakes, and in a high stakes change mandate like that, he knew when to weigh in. I worked my hardest, I worked my best. He empowered me, he developed me, he respected me, and we really enjoyed working together. It was a challenging time with demanding work, yet I recall that period and being a part of his leadership team in a positive way.
What were the leadership attributes that made him great?
Strategic, long term planner, relationship builder, strong communicator, funny story teller, highly likeable, passionate about his work, passionate about his team, smart, a continual learner and consistent in leadership.
I would work with him again, any time. I would follow him (Would You Follow You?).
What’s your leader personality?
Styles of leadership can be likened to personalities - there are many. Some leadership types are more effective and overall just better to work with than others. Research increasingly shows us the impact of effective leaders. Good leadership is good business.Where am I going with this, you ask? Like any good skill, the sooner you begin to hone it and become self-aware of your leadership style, the higher impact you can have. Great leaders can do great things. Great things matter to our economy and our communities. What kind of leader do you want to be?
You are always a CEO
I have been thinking more lately about leadership in broader terms. I do workshops on personal branding and one of the quotes I use is from Tom Peters.
"If you are the CEO of Me Inc., you have a very important leadership role to lead you and your brand for a long, long time."
There are many talented people who are not working on their brand. A personal brand is a lifetime asset. It’s something you have complete control to own and manage. You already hold a very important leadership role - you are the CEO of Me Inc.
Your leadership is needed
Leadership matters in your family, community, friends, and team. Every group can benefit from leadership. These groups don’t appoint or promote a leader – leadership is earned. Someone in my network recently sent a note sharing his leadership observation that when “someone finally steps forward to lead...all the armchair leaders, who refused to lead, find a new security and immediately tell the new leader how to lead.”
Leadership comes with responsibilities, conflict, risks and critiques. Without great leadership, things just don’t work. We each hold the potential to lead; we each own the courage to lead.
Pivotal Growth's definition of leadership:
A person who owns a purpose, has a plan, believes in the power of a team, and sees everything from a long-term perspective. They are adept at inspiring, communicating and creating momentum. They work from a rock solid personal foundation that lets them stand strong in self-confidence, persist in the face of obstacles and be resilient when faced with failure. A leader knows when to celebrate others and when to give feedback. The best leaders are in a constant state of development, are very self-aware and seek truthful feedback.
Why take on leadership?
I have many conversations with CEOs and business owners about leadership. It’s weighing on their mind. Each of them see it from a different perspective: succession, capability, development and change. Each of them are seeing it as an important matter for their business. While they have a plan and are taking action, I don’t believe the responsibility of leadership falls solely on their shoulders.
We each own leadership; for ourselves, our personal community and our business community. What can you challenge yourself to learn or do as a leader? What can you put your hand up for? What can you step out in front to support? What can you initiate?
It is through great leadership that we will create success. Success for our business, economy, community and ourselves.
What’s the one new leadership action you will take tomorrow?
Lisa W. Haydon is a business leader and entrepreneur with over 30 years of operational experience leading teams in banking, capital markets, technology and professional services. Lisa’s instinct for sorting through business complexities, understanding distinctive leader personalities, and realizing results compelled her to leave a corporate career and become an entrepreneur.
Her company, Pivotal Growth, introduced a technology tool for leadership development assessment and planning. The suite of tools offers diagnostic capabilities to synthesize and accelerate people performance.
Lisa’s skills and the Pivotal Growth product help companies enhance their performance and support leaders achieving greater confidence and success.