I shared the four steps to becoming a good leader. Remember the acronym GROW and SOAR. Notice that these ideas are like you choosing food on a buffet table. You pick the ones that you like.
The next topic is about exemplary practices of good leaders. Remember, I told you that when you consider the actions you need to take, you can start with these five practices. These practices are based on the work of Kouzes and Posner. You can read more about these in their book Leadership Challenge.
The five practices of exemplary leaders are vital behaviors. Vital behaviors are leverage actions. You can find more vital behaviors to help you create a breakthrough. For example, keeping your momentum is essential to leadership success.
What are vital behaviors?
Vital behaviors are the smallest actions that lead to the desired results. They are the few high-leverage actions that, if you keep doing them, produce the outcomes you’re after.
1. Model the Way.
To model the way is to lead by example. You can inspire people when you walk the talk. Begin with your values, then find out what’s important to others too.
We begin with our shared values.
We must lead by example. Our actions are the best demonstrations of our beliefs.
So that we can share the culture that will we desire and search for those people who can help us set examples for others to follow. They can be your exemplars inside the organization.
You can highlight this by catching people leading by example and celebrating them.
2. Inspire a Shared Vision.
To inspire a shared vision, you need to clarify the future that people really care about. Consider the pains they want to ease or the good life they want to enjoy.
Start with what you care about. Consider the things that you are tired of. Think of possibilities. Ask people what they want to change. People can tell you the future they want.
Share your vision with others. Tell your stories. Listen to them. Discover their dreams. Make each vision live in you by making your heart see all the possibilities when you work together.
3. Challenge the Process.
Challenging the process does not require a revolution. You can start with small changes. Celebrate your win. When you fail, learn from experiences.
One of the strategic skills of leaders is their ability to create and innovate. Leaders take the initiative. We call that kusang-palo in Filipino. We don’t have to be told because we take ownership of problems. Situations are not ideal, but we find ways.
We consider what others want. We listen. We explore solutions with them.
Most people won’t always try. They follow the bandwagon. But good leaders look for new ways. They think differently.
Challenging the process is what leadership is about. Leadership is imagining and making change happen.
4. Enable others to Act.
Good leaders do not make their followers depend on them. Enable others to act. Build an army of people who can help you move an inch toward your shared vision.
Your first job is that of a trust-builder. You make people trust you and create a climate where they trust each other.
Good leaders unite people for a common noble purpose. Bad leaders divide people. Some leaders unite people, so they hate others. This action creates mistrust.
People can work even in your absence. Train, coach, and mentor.
5. Encourage the Heart.
It is the leader’s job to help people gain both courage and confidence. Good leaders expect the best from others. They set high standards and inspire people to be at their best always.
Excellence leaders engage people. They create a community that motivates each other. They do understand the power of intrinsic motivation, and they are personally involved.