Leadership. It sounds so easy but it is really a skill that needs to be continually developed. We all could probably lead a team made up of perfect people. We all could probably lead a family with perfect members. We all could probably be the perfect leader. But, we do not live in a perfect world. Most teams are composed of people who have different needs, different personalities, and different strengths. Most families contain members who vary in their patience, attitudes, and capacity. Most leaders are not perfect and must continually work on developing their leadership skills.
Research on leadership studies indicate that leadership is a skill just like playing a sport, riding a bike, or playing a musical instrument. Leadership skills can be learned but need to be practiced before we get very good at them. We must continue to work on developing and refining our leadership skills if we are ever going to be great leaders.
Often times, leaders do not practice what they preach. Do you ask others to do what you will not? In order for us to be effective leaders who can effect change and growth, we must Model the Way. Leaders must display the behaviors desired by others. Leaders must walk the talk in order to build trust and display authenticity with the people who follow.
Think of a time when you failed to Model the Way. For many of us, when we fail to model the behavior we are wanting from others, we find ourselves not being trusted. Leadership without trust is not an effective way to develop others and meet goals. Leadership equals relationships…and productive and healthy relationships are based on trust. If we want others to follow us, we must invest in the time necessary to build the relationship so that trust can be formed. One way to do that is to Model the Way. Effective leaders understand the importance of setting the example for others to follow. Organizations today are depending on the collective actions of the employees. The leaders of these organizations set the stage by their own actions.
Do you model the way? Do people do what you say because they want to or because they have to? Use your leadership skills to more effectively get others to follow your lead and you will see your organization, your family, and your community grow and propser.
In order to improve leadership skills, consider the tips that follow:
· Never ask someone to do something you are not willing to do yourself
· Make time to build relationships with others
· Model the Way!
Baggerly-Hinojosa (2010). Are You a 10? USA: Lulu Publishers.