Build Your Leadership Foundation
When we think of leadership we think of having vision, providing direction and goals, motivating, and having influence. Leadership does not come from having a title or position on the organization chart. A leader is powerless without one essential thing: people. A leader is only truly effective if people want to be led by him or her. For people to want to follow you must start by building a leadership foundation consisting of trust, approachability, and a willingness to learn.
- Be as open and transparent as possible.
- Be authentic.
- Admit if you are wrong or don’t know.
- Show interest in people and what they are doing.
- Be fair and consistent.
- Develop a track record.
- Be willing to ask for help
- Approachability starts with trust.
- Show that you value people. Treat them as people not just assets and remember their names.
- Give them your undivided attention. Close the laptop when they are in your office.
- If you can’t give them your undivided attention schedule a time when you can.
- Don’t quickly discount their ideas or concerns. Listen more than you talk.
- Your approachability will impact the engagement and performance of your team.
- Get to know them as people. Ask questions out of curiosity about their lives outside the lab.
Show you are willing to learn
- Accept and admit that you don’t know everything.
- Accept feedback and criticism to improve yourself.
- Ask questions to show you are eager to learn.
- Be open to their ideas.
- Try to learn something from everyone.
- When someone on your team has a skill that they are stronger at than you, allow them independence and a chance to lead that part of a project or job.
Building your leadership foundation is a key step in becoming the leader people want to follow.
Based on excerpts from John Maxwell Company Leadership podcast #56 and edited by John Sadowski, ALMA Executive Director