7 Key Concepts for Contemporary Leaders

Few people would argue that leadership is something that is needed in every aspect of public life.  For some people, the important concepts of leadership can often be difficult to grasp. Perhaps it is a lack of mentoring or modeling that causes hesitancy in people to act in a leadership capacity.  Another problem could be simply not having the understanding of what is expected of a leader in business or organizations.  Here are seven key concepts every effective leader must capture to be most influential. 

1. Effective behavior: As stated above a lack of role models acting in a leadership role in communities, business and organizations is a problem for many people. A leader is willing to behave in a manner that exemplifies the values purported by the mission statement of the organization. This behavior should be consistent over time and promote high ethical standards for others in the organization to model. 

2. Stand for Something. A leader makes his or her choices obvious to those around them.  That is, the leader stands for something.  The old saying is that if you don’t stand for something, you fall for anything.  By standing for choices with a solid foundation, a leader demonstrates how to maintain standards and how to come to a good decision. 

3. Works With Others.  A leader must be able to work with everyone including the person with the worse personality or the person that never speaks up in a meeting.  Leaders lead so others are inspired to be better.  Without the ability to get along with others, organizational goals will be hindered.  A leader gets past petty surface issues and deals with people at all levels in ways that bring about, and maintain, harmony. 

4. Unites others.  Not only do leaders work well with other but they inspire others to work well with each other. Leaders have the ability to unite colleagues around a common vision.  That means having the ability to communicate so diverse listening audiences understand what the future of an organization will look like and have the desire to be a part of that future by uniting their talents with others. 

5. Influences Stakeholders. Organization stakeholders are people that have some type of vested interest in the success of an organization.  An effective leader is responsible to ensure that stakeholders understand the operating direction of the organization and they are supportive of the activities within the organization.  That means sharing the vision, mission, goals and priorities with the stakeholders so they can be a part of the organizations movement.   

6. Stays Committed. A leader grows in levels of trust and respect by those they influence by being committed to stated goals, no matter the cost. This commitment is to organization goals, to the people the leader leads, to getting through difficulties, and from not backing down from challenges.  Leaders are not blame-throwers.  When something goes wrong they are willing to face the difficulties and shoulder the blame as needed while working continually to find a solution to the problem. By being committed, the leader inspires commitment from others. 

7.  Futurists.  Leaders are the ultimate futurists. Never satisfied to stay in the status quo, the leader can see a better future then makes strategic plans to reach it with the backing of loyal followers. A leader is not complacent.  They capture an innate creativity that lets them form plans to move forward, never being totally satisfied with a situation at hand while a problem still exists. 

While these seven practices are not all encompassing to leadership, they provide a good frame for what to expect of a leader.  If you are a leader in your organization or business, expect to be a life-long learner of people and organizations.  Others will expect you to boldly take a stand so they can feel confident to follow where you lead.

Business Leaders Have Stories to Tell

 

You might take the experiences of your business life for granted and not recognize the value of what you’ve been through.  But here are seven reasons why it is important that business leaders take time to share their stories in writing or other ways.  

 

Reason 1: You are a Part of History

Business leaders become a part of history by influencing their own part of society and the economy. You have lived through your own dynamic era in history and have a unique perspective on how the economy affects businesses in general and how society has changed for the business world over time. History is a story told from the perspective of a writer. Pick an event in your business history and write about your perspective on the event.

 

Reason 2: Business Leaders are a Demographic Group

You have a lot of colleagues who could relate to your story. Business leaders have a worldview that comes from getting up everyday thinking about how to influence the life of customers either directly or indirectly. You influence the world through the use of technology and belong to a group that takes risks others don’t. Write about what has inspired you to keep going everyday.  

Reason 3: A Unique Cultural Understanding

Business leaders come in all demographic categories, and ethnic and cultural groups. If you are a Baby Boomer, you belong to the most diverse age category alive. Being a part of this rich diversity means having unique insights on cultural and ethnic history, traditions, and events. Boomers lived through the dynamics of changing the national policies towards segregation and integration. People were learning to live together for the first time during your lifetime. What was it like to be the first woman, person of your ethnicity or cultural group in your business or company? How was it for you to encounter a person of a different background for the first time?

Reason 4: Business Leaders Grow Wiser Instead of Older

Business leaders do age, but aging brings about wisdom. Many events you have encountered are experiences others would benefit by knowing. How did you get through the latest economic downturn?  What did you do to change your business when the going got rough? You have more wisdom than you probably even realize and until you put it in writing others won’t realize it either.

Reason 5: You Live Life-Long Learning

To grow a successful business you have to continue to learn. The idea of life-long learning probably never crossed your mind because learning is just something you do on a regular basis. List lessons you have learned by operating a business over the years. Talk about the lessons of raising a family while growing a company. Tell how you got through conflicts in the marketplace. Talk about starting the company with little to no money. People need the insights of leaders who have made a difference in the world. You are in that category.

Reason 6: Your Stories Are Unsurpassed

There’s nothing like a good story to catch the attention of others; and business leaders have a lot of stories to tell. Your stories are the legacy you have to share and leave with the world. Record a documentary of your business from start to finish.  The breadth of your experiences gives you unlimited amounts of materials to choose from in order to write stories of how your business functioned over the years, what people did in the workplace, and interactions you encountered over time. .

 

Reason 7: You Created What Others Only Imagine

Thousands of people each day are studying concepts of organizational behavior and change management. Many want to know how to work with teams. With your personal experiences these are topics you can write about with ease and give the practical side of the story. It’s necessary to know the theory but hearing how to live out the steps is equally or even more valuable. You have created ideas that others only imagine. Tell that story and inspire the creativity of others.

 

Writing business memoirs will never grow old. You could start today thinking of your business history and end up with a list of wonderful remembrances that help business owners stay inspired.

Business Leaders Should Write a Memoir

 

When you know how to find the stories of your life to write about, you will be amazed at how much you have to share through a memoir.  What you’ll be doing is simply writing what you know better than anyone else.  Of course, you can keep your business memories to yourself or only share them with a personally selected limited group of people.  But what about the hundreds or even thousands of people that would benefit from know more about how you ran your business or the great ideas you learned along the way?

 

People love a great story. There’s nothing more exciting than a story about how a person achieved a goal or solved a life problem. Be assured, you have more memories in your business life to write about than you can imagine.

 

  • No one can have your story.  You are a unique person with unique experiences in life. Your business story can only be told by you.
  • Your memoirs provide the benefit of letting you record the meaning and purpose of your business life in writing.
  • You have a right to record your business memories and to let others have the benefit of learning from your business experiences. 

Writing memoirs helps you recall the accomplishments or your life. They also let you review the hard life lessons that have built character along the way. Sharing the events of your life lets others learn from your experiences.

 

When you write your life with words, you look at your emotions, feeling, decisions, and choices. You understand the road you walked and the path you followed.

 

Your stories can be a way to honor those who influenced your life along the way. You can see the themes of your life and come to understand how you have made a difference in your world and to the world at large. 

 

When you fail to start writing your memoirs you are taking your life for granted. The best legacy you can pass along to those you care about are the stories you’ve gained throughout your work life. Start today by writing about your business, your challenges and accomplishments.  Tell what you did to achieve your goals. The ideas are endless but the writing doesn’t have to be. It just has to start.

7 Key Concepts for Contemporary Leaders

Few people would argue that leadership is something that is needed in every aspect of public life.  For some people, the important concepts of leadership can often be difficult to grasp. Perhaps it is a lack of mentoring or modeling that causes hesitancy in people to act in a leadership capacity.  Another problem could be simply not having the understanding of what is expected of a leader in business or organizations.  Here are seven key concepts every effective leader must capture to be most influential. 

1. Effective behavior: As stated above a lack of role models acting in a leadership role in communities, business and organizations is a problem for many people. A leader is willing to behave in a manner that exemplifies the values purported by the mission statement of the organization. This behavior should be consistent over time and promote high ethical standards for others in the organization to model. 

2. Stand for Something. A leader makes his or her choices obvious to those around them.  That is, the leader stands for something.  The old saying is that if you don’t stand for something, you fall for anything.  By standing for choices with a solid foundation, a leader demonstrates how to maintain standards and how to come to a good decision. 

3. Works With Others.  A leader must be able to work with everyone including the person with the worse personality or the person that never speaks up in a meeting.  Leaders lead so others are inspired to be better.  Without the ability to get along with others, organizational goals will be hindered.  A leader gets past petty surface issues and deals with people at all levels in ways that bring about, and maintain, harmony. 

4. Unites others.  Not only do leaders work well with other but they inspire others to work well with each other. Leaders have the ability to unite colleagues around a common vision.  That means having the ability to communicate so diverse listening audiences understand what the future of an organization will look like and have the desire to be a part of that future by uniting their talents with others. 

5. Influences Stakeholders. Organization stakeholders are people that have some type of vested interest in the success of an organization.  An effective leader is responsible to ensure that stakeholders understand the operating direction of the organization and they are supportive of the activities within the organization.  That means sharing the vision, mission, goals and priorities with the stakeholders so they can be a part of the organizations movement.   

6. Stays Committed. A leader grows in levels of trust and respect by those they influence by being committed to stated goals, no matter the cost. This commitment is to organization goals, to the people the leader leads, to getting through difficulties, and from not backing down from challenges.  Leaders are not blame-throwers.  When something goes wrong they are willing to face the difficulties and shoulder the blame as needed while working continually to find a solution to the problem. By being committed, the leader inspires commitment from others. 

7.  Futurists.  Leaders are the ultimate futurists. Never satisfied to stay in the status quo, the leader can see a better future then makes strategic plans to reach it with the backing of loyal followers. A leader is not complacent.  They capture an innate creativity that lets them form plans to move forward, never being totally satisfied with a situation at hand while a problem still exists. 

While these seven practices are not all encompassing to leadership, they provide a good frame for what to expect of a leader.  If you are a leader in your organization or business, expect to be a life-long learner of people and organizations.  Others will expect you to boldly take a stand so they can feel confident to follow where you lead.

The Power of Rethinking “Failure”

If you are a leader in business or an organization, take a new look at what you might have always perceived as failure. What if you could learn why you should look forward to failure, and how it can help you ultimately get where you want to go? For instance, when you read this statement, what’s your reaction?

“There is no such thing as failure.”  

Do you think it’s true? Maybe it makes sense to others but not to you. But what if you learned that you have the power to decide whether or not something is indeed, a “failure” or not, changing your whole idea about failure?  In fact, some highly successful people have already learned to look at the word failure in a very different way than others.  Let’s talk about why.

Why Others Watch a Leader Handle Failure 

Doing something that seems to be a failure shows the fact that you are only human. People watch how a person of stature handles a mistake and how that person recovers from it. Watching isn’t to be cruel, but it gives others hope that they too could recover from a mistake. 

Mistake making takes on a whole new form when a person sees how a leader faces and overcomes a problem. Everyone can have a failure or a setback but not everyone knows what to do about it. Making a successful comeback after a failure can increase your reputation, build confidence and show you as a person of integrity. The comeback doesn’t even have to be huge or earth shaking. It just has to happen. 

When “Failure” is Feedback 

What if starting today, the idea of failure took a radical change in your vocabulary? What if failure really meant a form of success? How could you acknowledge your success, even as you speak the word “failure”? Well, you can point out these ideas:  

  • That everything you learned in the process of getting to where you are now is not going to get thrown out — you learned good things to keep along with the stuff that didn’t work.
  • That simply being able to recognize everything hasn’t gone according to plan, or achieved the desired outcome (i.e. “failed”), is in itself a positive outcome
  • That even if the specific method you used this time around wasn’t the right one for this situation, you can surely use bits and pieces and parts from what you learned in another project or idea.
  • That you can eliminate and not repeat the same behaviors the next time a similar situation arises. Failing to achieve a goal in one way just increases your creative understanding of what works for a situation, project, or idea or what doesn’t.
  • That you’ll know to do things differently in the future. You will create in a new way to approach a problem and your creating will be quicker and more confident as a result of knowing what not to do? 
  • That the experience has enabled you to grow in some way. Adversities, set backs, failures, hard times — all of these things only make you a stronger and more confident person. 

Failure can simply be a great way to get you to pause in the midst of your process, and get some critical information to indicate that you may need to change directions, try something new, continue your learning, or shift your focus. 

Imagine what would happen if you didn’t get that feedback, and continued endlessly along the wrong path, towards the wrong goal, or without ever learning a new approach? It not a pretty thought. Therefore, make time to rethink the idea of failure. Failure can really be seen as positive feedback, providing information that gets you back on the right track! Without feedback you would surely be lost. The key is to quickly identify what isn’t working so you can change direction, try something new, or shift your focus. 

How would thinking of failure as a welcome invitation to understanding a better way to pursue you life dream change your thinking? Here are some tips: 

  • Always have a clear idea of where you want to go and continue to re-evaluate it as you move forward
  • Identify specific milestones or markers along the way, to let you know you’re on the right track and celebrate each success
  • If something doesn’t appear to be working, or working fast enough, don’t hesitate to try something new
  • Continually learn from others. These can be people you work with, experts in your field, mentors, or leaders that have travelled a similar road.

Remember, no one has to stay in the same place in life. If things are not working in the direction you are headed, stop and go another way. If you tried something one way, make a change in your activity until you find out what really works. Life is a series of starts and stops. Just think of how much experience you have in different areas of life when you try something and learn new things from that experience.

Keep trying new things; never plan to stop learning, trying, experimenting, and creating. This gives a leader the confidence needed to succeed. Consider the idea of rethinking failure as a way to reach success and strengthen your leadership skills instead of a way to set you back. You will take more risks, try more challenges and increase your overall successes.