It seems to be a big buzz word these days. Whether we are talking about the leadership of a country, organization, field, or team. In times of change, people are searching for leaders.
And while I think we still generally associate leadership with the leaders of countries, global CEO's, thought leaders with massive on(and off)line followings… The lime light and big stage- I think one thing that I have seen true leaders do time and time again is the little things that no one notices. Sometimes these show up in Lollipop Moments, but more often than not, each individual act is not noticed, but the accumulation of this character and integrity add up to powerful leadership!
Here are a few examples to ponder (and add to in the comments!!):
Leaders who Connect with the Heart
We all want to be acknowledged.
We all want to be told we are important, making a difference, and doing a good job.
Can you think back to the last time your CEO or manager told you personally that you were doing a great job, how did that make you feel?
And yet, knowing this intrinsic longing that we have, how often do we truly acknowledge and lift up others? And I don't mean in a routine, check the boxes kind of way… How many times a day do we consciously and authentically acknowledge the presence and impact of those around us? I know in my own life it is not enough.
This is one trait of great leadership, and perhaps why we all don't do it more is because great leaders are able to do this in what seems like an effortless mannor. So while the leader may have huge influence on the individual they are acknowledging, it seemingly flies under the radar to everyone else, until it is their turn to be personally acknowledged…
It is a little thing that goes a long way!
Leaders who Find Opportunity by Reaching Out
One of my colleagues recently shared a story with me where they uncovered a very cool opportunity. This colleague was working with a client and recommended an industry thought leader's material as a resource. The client used the resource and raved about it's success. Instead of leaving it there, my colleague decided to follow up with this industry leader (whom she had no connection to) and acknowledge the powerful impact their work had on the client.
This simple act of following up and acknowledging the individual started the dialogue which ended up in some wonderful opportunities for these two to continue the conversation and potentially partner on some work together going forward.
We're talking about big leadership, and big leadership does not take place without big opportunities – to an outsider it may seem like luck, but more often than not it is the leader who is creating, pulling, or being open and receptive to these big opportunities!
Leaders Who Walk the Talk
I think we have this view on leadership that it is the person in front of the crowd, with a microphone, attracting the attention that has the power and influence. I agree that this is an aspect of leadership that is important, but what I have noticed in great leaders is that what comes after the RaRa, when they put the mic down and turn the cameras off, is exponentially more important.
It is in the little actions that you do as a leader, on a daily, interaction by interaction basis, that will create your leadership legacy, what you are known for, and the culture among your team or organization. Some of the little things that I notice in great leaders
- Their words and actions always align (if they say they will be there on time, they will be there on time)
- They have clear defined values and live these on a daily basis
- They are willing to do any job or help anyone if it is the best decision and they are in the best position to do so (it doesn't matter where in the hierarchy or what type of job)
- They listen… They listen Deeply – no matter what else is going on, they honor the individual and the conversation
- They are transparent and openly accept ownership for failures, and subtlety deflect successes to the team surrounding them
- They show up as the same person in every space (face to face, when others are talking about them, online and in social media, in the front of a crowd)
What it's all About
I believe that we all have the ability to be leaders, and at some point in all of our lives there has been someone who has looked to us as someone they trust, as a role model… As a leader. They watched the little things that we did… Did you hold the door open for that person, did you engage authentically in conversations, did you live out your values even when you didn't think anyone was paying attention… Those countless small actions that we live out every day can have a big influence that we will never see. That is why pure leadership isn't about the lights, camera, or glory- it is about doing the right things, the little things, because that is how we positively influence those around us, and that is how we can change the world!
- How have you lived out "Connecting with the Heart", what does that mean to you?
- Do you believe that big leaders create and leverage big opportunities?
- What are some of the actions that you see or take pride in that illustrates Walking the Talk?
I truly look forward to engaging in a conversation with you! ~Tyrell