With gobs of information about leadership available on different styles, approaches, and what to do to build your own leadership, leadership seems elusive. On the surface it seems to be hard to grasp.
Terry “Starbucker” St. Marie, a guest on the BOLD Business Podcast, uses words like caring, respect, connection, and trust. Our life experience determines the filters we use to view the world, and those filters define what these words mean. You have a different life experience than I do, and that means how we define respect and trust will be different. When you only look outside of yourself for answers, you increase the chances of being inauthentic.
Looking outward to find answers – to gain certainty around constantly moving targets – makes what we know to be true from our own experiences more clouded.
Good leadership is a hard subject. There is no single way to lead well. We identify and define certain paths as ways to lead, yet there isn’t proof one is better than the others. Every intentional leadership style incorporates words like caring, trust, and respect. When we go looking outside of ourselves for a complete answer we add layers and layers of complexity to this concept of good leadership.
How do we simplify and get to the root of what good leadership is?
The one sure way to be a good leader is to be consistent.
There are 4 elements of consistency:
- Know your priorities.
- Be present to the current situation.
- Take time to Present Retreat.
- Design for simplicity.
Let’s dig into each one:
Know your priorities.
When you know what you want, you can more readily accept a mission of something greater than yourself. This includes your contribution to doing good work. What you prioritize is what you value. The same is true for those around you.
Finding points of connection around what is important to you and what is important to others creates a way to begin deeper dialog. This creates a way to connect around simple ideas and concepts, which further opens communication.
What will it take for you to be comfortable in yourself when there is constant pressure to give up and compromise on your values?
Be present to the current situation.
Uncertainty is abundant. The feelings and experiences of fumbling through situations is real for you and me. The more we show up in each situation the more we can learn from struggles we face. And, the more we can learn from what’s easy.
What if we focused on what was easy and used that as a tool in future situations? We are good at learning from problems, and we can be good at learning from trouble-free experiences too.
Business and fullness run our days. We readily cloak this in what we call being productive. The more we immediately go from one thing to the next more we begin to expect it. Real work happens when you are in the moment, being open to what your team discusses and brainstorms.
When you are committed to being present, others will join you.
Amy Charity, author and speaker, shares on the BOLD Business podcast how important this really is when she talks about being uncomfortable.
The only way to get comfortable with being uncomfortable is to Present Retreat.
Take Time to Present Retreat
At Red Direction, I use Present Retreat to reflect, check reality, and dream. It is a period of protected time during which I connect to my priorities. It’s a time to account for what’s happening in the business. It’s a time to evaluate how results aligned to priorities (and did the results align to our initial goal).
Time is precious. Being able to find THE straightforward message requires a lot time. This polarization exists to create tension. When that tension can be harnessed, the more you can accomplish. Creating space to think allows for you to check in with priorities and clears the mind to be present in each work situation.
The more Present Retreat you take, the more you will be able to communicate to others what they need when they need it.
Design for simplicity.
When know what you want, you stay present to get the most out of each situation, and you take time … themes emerge. It’s from these themes that you can find simple and straightforward messages.
The simpler an idea, the more the people around you can grasp the concept. They have ideas of how they can add to the idea. To move goals forward. This is where you can find exactly what your business will excel at. What your business will be the best at.
Jeffry Caudle talks on BOLD Business Podcast about simplicity as being clear AND transparent and ever present. Putting in the effort to find the simplest explanation, concept, or even goals is what creates forward thinking. Fostering forward-looking thinking is creative and innovative (something every business wants more of).
Leadership requires effort…
…but it doesn’t have to be constantly hard. When you practice the four elements of consistency, you are solid in your belief in yourself and your abilities. Others become comfortable being around you because they feel safe. They know they can be themselves too. They know what connects each as individuals to the purpose of your business. They want to deliver on your vision.
Your commitment to consistency will take time. Your leadership will develop. You can be vulnerable and step into your leadership style. It doesn’t have to be complex. Improving your leadership can be simple.