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If you didn’t have the title, would others follow you?

My guess is most leaders have convinced themselves that others would follow them just by virtue that they are in the leadership role. There is a possibility your leadership isn’t as effective as you think it is.

If we asked direct reports and colleagues to describe your leadership we may hear interesting insights and potential areas for improvement.

Could you be spending most of your time focused on the content of running the business and may have forgotten how to guide, coach and lead others? Are you working too much “in” the business and not enough “on” the business?

In these challenging times where businesses are scratching and clawing to achieve results, leaders can run out of time and energy to think about how they are leading and the impact they may have on the business. However, thinking may be just what a leader needs to make sure things are moving in the right direction.

Savvy business leaders pay attention to their leadership actions. They balance working both “on” the business and know when to and when not to work “in” the business. Experienced leaders know when and how to shift their leadership to bring out the best in others. They constantly assess the situation and make changes in their approach. They know when they take care of people in the organization, the results will follow.

Leadership is a balancing act. It takes the agility, resilience and mindfulness to be aware of the impact one’s behavior has on others. When employees feel they can trust and respect their manager, they are more apt to go the extra mile. To unlock your leadership potential consider the following:

  • Find the time to think, strategize and plan
  • Get clear on the direction and align and engage the team
  • Actively seek ideas and solutions from others
  • Find ways to listen before jumping to conclusions too soon.
  • Provide positive feedback on individual actions versus waiting for the end result
  • Be visible and available to remove obstacles and work issues

When a leader is engaged, others follow suit. The next time you are sitting in one of the many meetings, observe your actions to determine if you are helping or hindering the advancement of the discussion. What adjustments would you make to create more effective engagement and dialogue?