11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just a little of my own experience.

Please agree, disagree or add yours…..

In no particular order:

11 Leadership Lessons

1. Talk less, listen more. People will pay attention to what you say, just because of your position. The leader’s job is to pay attention to what other people say, especially those who think their views don’t count. Show you’re listening by acting on what people tell you, and gain their trust by giving them the credit.

2. Don’t step in with solutions too quickly. No-one learns anything new if you keep doing what you already know how to do, and don’t allow others to try. Anyway, they may find a different, or better way, and if not… mistakes are valuable too.

3. Be authentic, passionate, even emotional, about what you believe in. Share your vision and live your values. The personal is more engaging, even inspiring, than the process.

4. Don’t ‘dis’ downwards. Once a decision is made by the Board, or the leadership team, it’s yours even if you argued against it during discussions. Your job as leader is to get others to believe in, and work towards, a shared goal, not to divide opinion or loyalties.

5. I’m OK: You’re OK. Start from the position that everyone is doing the best they can, then look for ways to support and encourage them – which is so much more rewarding than finding fault.

6. Don’t be the smartest person in the room. Being a leader does not mean knowing more than anyone else. Recognise, encourage and promote others as experts. Give them the trust and autonomy to be creative and do excellent work, defined in their terms. You simply provide the direction, so that this excellent work contributes to a shared purpose.

7. Sense of purpose. Your team know what they do and how to do it, but you can make a big difference by sharing a strong sense of why they’re doing it and where it’s heading. Help them develop a broad understanding of the team’s purpose, and faith in how their role contributes to the whole. (Remember the floor-sweeper at NASA?)

8. Being right isn’t enough. A great idea is of no consequence unless you can convince others to believe it too, and then persuade them to help you make your idea a reality. The best way to do this is to make the idea theirs.

9. Focus on a few things that really matter and where you can make a difference. There may be a hundred different distractions and demands on your time and a hundred ways you could respond, but it’s the dozen carefully chosen actions that deliver the results.

10. Get out and about, and in the work. It’s hard to retain that sense of what the job’s really about when you are sitting in your office. You’ll see what people actually do, rather than what people tell you they do. And you’ll see their commitment, effort and achievements first hand, and feel proud to be part of the same team. Always inspiring, and informative, and better than any meeting!

11. Keep trying. Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t live up to your own expectations. Reflect and learn from those times when you stumble and fall over the other 10 resolutions.

What have been your top leadership lessons learned?

This post first appeared on Kate Farley’s blog, Hearts and Minds.

Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
Kate Farley

A leader with more than 25 years management experience in local government and the voluntary sector in the UK and USA. Kate Farley is currently working as an interim manager, with a particular interest in affordable housing, and is vice-Chair of her local school academy. Kate’s strengths lie in developing people, managing structural and culture change, transforming business processes, systems-thinking, and delivering excellent housing and customer services. Kate aims to make a difference by inspiring people to work effectively together, exceed expectations and take pride in their work. Read Kate’s blog at katefarleyblog.wordpress.com and follow @katefcondev on Twitter.

Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

Whenever I’m asked “What are some of the best questions to ask a ...

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

25 Songs For Your Leadership Playlist

What are your all-time favorite leadership songs — the ones that make you ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a question I ask in a survey ...

Turn Your Strengths Into Superpowers in 4 Steps
Turn Your Strengths Into Superpowers in 4 Steps

Ask a woman to name her signature strengths and she’ll often squirm in her chair,

Leaderly Quote: Find your voice…
Leaderly Quote: Find your voice…

Find your voice. Get comfortable with power. Lift others up. —Jo Miller

It’s Time to Go After Awards and Recognition
It’s Time to Go After Awards and Recognition

I have a question for you. What kind of impact could you make as a

The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month
The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month

Are you looking for motivation to help you take charge of your career trajectory?? Here

Want to Help Other Women? Then Talk About Your Mistakes.
Want to Help Other Women? Then Talk About Your Mistakes.

When most of us think back to an agonizing mistake, the last thing we want

6 Presentation Pitfalls That Kill Your Credibility
6 Presentation Pitfalls That Kill Your Credibility

I recently attended a conference in London hosted by a very reputable organization featuring speakers

Leaderly Quote: Unapologetically unleash your potential.
Leaderly Quote: Unapologetically unleash your potential.

“Unapologetically unleash your potential. Don’t wait for permission and validation to lead.” — Dr. Cindy

How to Ace the Q&A (When You Don’t Know the Answer)
How to Ace the Q&A (When You Don’t Know the Answer)

Even the most confident communicators can fumble when fielding unpredictable questions in front of an

7 New Rules of Teamwork
7 New Rules of Teamwork

Have you ever been on a team project where you didn’t make much of a

The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month
The Top 5 Most-Read Articles This Month

Here’s what other emerging leaders have been reading at BeLeaderly this month. If you feel an

Ask Jo: How can I thank my mentor?

Question: I have an incredible mentor. She ...

Teamwork is a Skill. It Takes Practice!

Everyone wants to lead, or be a ...

It’s Worth the Risk (I promise)

This is Sarah. She’s one of my ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a ...

Leaderly Quote: Great Leaders Know When to Step Aside

“Great leaders know when to step aside.” ...

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Subscribe

captcha

PRIVACY

We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address. Read more.
Copyright 2018, Be Leaderly