Five Simple Leadership Attitudes
I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership this week. And the more I think about what kind of people get things accomplished in a way that builds up the hearts and minds of those around them, I see attitude as a core component.
Here are 5 attitudes that I think are essential for getting things done the right way. They're not rooted in thorough research. They are just based on my own personal experience (both successes and failures) as a leader in collegiate sports, business, church, education, and in the non-profit world. It’s also based on watching and working for a variety leaders during my 53 years on this planet.
Be all in – If you’re not completely fired up about the cause or objective that you are a part of, leave. Lukewarm leadership and half-hearted effort are toxic. I’ve seen many people claim “responsibility” and “loyalty” as reasons for sticking around, but if you’re not sold out for the cause, the most irresponsible and disloyal thing you can do is to stick around and hinder the cause because you’re faking it. You’re not fooling anyone.
Leader from anywhere – If you’re “all in” for the cause, you won’t let your title, position or role hold you back from leading. I’ve seen people two rungs down from the CEO lead teams and companies in the right direction --- despite poor leadership from the top.
Go first – You can’t take people where you haven’t gone yourself. Whatever work ethic you want from others (e.g., dedication, integrity, hard work, respect, patience, balance, compassion, creativity, team work, humility, etc.) must be evident to all in your own behavior. People can smell a fake from miles away.
Stay humble - Nobody likes a know-it-all. Challenge your assumptions. Get input. Admit fears, doubts and failures. No one is as smart as everyone. Humility isn’t showing weakness or a chink in your armor. It’s the pathway to creativity, buy-in, earning trust, building loyalty, gathering the truth, and getting things done.
Stay Balanced – I don’t mean balance in the sense of how you manage your work/life balance. I mean truly balanced in your heart and perspective. There’s more to life than success, performance and efficiency. Your co-workers, suppliers, and clients are human beings made in the image of God who deserve the same respect and grace you want. Don’t treat people fairly because you think it will lead to better loyalty and productivity. That’s called manipulation. Treat them fairly because they deserve it.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus the Christ.