The beginning of leadership is self-discovery. An effective leader has invested in self-development and developed the character to withstand the pressures of leading him or herself and others.
Too many leadership programs focus on competencies and not enough on character development. This is our niche market in the leadership sphere at Karlene Millwood International Inc. We go heavy on the character development aspects of leadership because we know that a leader's character determines the destiny of an organization.
Here are my top 10 leadership tips for industry leaders:
1. Improve your self-awareness
Self-Awareness is king in leadership. Self-awareness is the ability to know who you are intrinsically and understand your uniqueness apart from others. What steps do you need to take to improve in this area? You can start by watching my self-awareness video on my YouTube channel.
2. Get aligned with the right people
It takes people at all levels to accomplish the leader's vision. Who are your allies, collaborators, supporters, competitors, and detractors? Know who's who and align with the ones who have the capacity to push your vision forward.
3. Lead with character
Skills and competencies are wonderful but without a solidly build character they won't take you very far. As the old adage goes, "talent will get you in the room, but it's character that will keep you there." Invest in your character.
4. Communicate your vision clearly
Great leaders use vision as the roadmap to guide their followers toward a destination. Is your vision known and understood at all levels of your organization? Does the staff understand how their work contributes to the vision?
5. Don't micromanage
Nothing drains your energy and decreases motivation and productivity like a micromanager! Trust your staff. It's an indication of how much you trust yourself and the choices you made to hire them.
6. Don't be critical
Yes, I can see the raised eyebrows at this one. What I've found over the years is that constructive feedback is NOT criticism. Criticism is designed to tear someone down. Feedback builds you up and helps you to grow. It is imperative for leaders to know the difference.
7. You are always under construction
This includes constant reinvention of self and the business. Be willing to get rid of what's not working and strategize innovative and progressive products and services. Both you and your business are constantly evolving.
8. Be committed
Commit to something and give it your all. Don't conform or go through the motions. People are astute and can pick up on inauthenticity easily.
9. Invest in yourself
Never stop investing in your growth and development. Check out our leadership courses if you're ready to start something new.
10. Live a balanced life
The best leaders practice balance. Their lives incorporate spiritual, physical, professional, and personal time that keeps them on their A-game. Remember you cannot pour from an empty cup. So take the time to replenish when and where necessary.