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  • Writer's pictureJackie Booth

Leadership secrets exposed...

...what you're never taught in the workplace!

 

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you will know I believe that everyone has potential to be a great leader, no matter where they are right now.

 

Yet the problem with leadership is that it is something rarely taught in the workplace.


In truth, it is not something that can be fully learned on a course or seminar. Although there is a lot of useful content out there, it takes time to appreciate how to practically apply it when you get back to the office.

 

You also have to understand what motivates and inspires you to step up and lead.

 

What are the secrets to making leadership look easy?


The key factor is actually appreciating that the best learning is achieved through day-to-day practical experience.

 

Effective leadership comes in the everyday things that you do, when you show up as the role-model that your team, customers and stakeholders are looking for.

 

Every time you have to solve a problem, manage a difficult project, chair a challenging meeting, oversee your team’s performance, give feedback to your boss, for example, you are developing your leadership skill set.

 

You’re handling real leadership situations and learning as you go along.


Which is why it can be hard to recognise what you’ve learned and what you’ve accomplished.


It’s not a tick-box exercise and it’s only through regularly reviewing and reflecting on what you’ve achieved that you realise how far you’ve actually come.


It’s when you have assurance and confidence in your abilities that is not faked.


It’s when what you do and how you do it, resonates with who you are.

 

I can say from years of experience that this practical approach is what will get you long-term results. This is what will ensure that you are able to deliver successful projects, manage, support and nurture your teams and build effective relationships with your clients or stakeholders.

 

A client’s experience - being affected by others’ opinions.

 

Recently, I was talking with a client who had been through a difficult situation at work where she felt she was the scapegoat for a particular failure, which had actually been more of a collective disaster.


Her boss was focusing on apportioning blame and not only was she starting to doubt herself and her abilities, she also had no one in her immediate team who she could ask for help.

 

She also admitted that she doubted whether she was in the right role.


Ultimately, she let other people’s opinions of her performance influence her view of herself.


And they’re just that - opinions.

 

They are opinions based on someone else’s experience, knowledge, motivators and ambitions.


Opinions not facts!!

 

And your opinions and perspectives about your experience and expertise is important!


What about you? Have there been times you've let someone else’s viewpoint affect what you know about yourself and how you’re showing up as a leader?

 

 What can you do right now?


If you are being negatively affected by others’ opinions of your leadership or skills or if you just don’t feel ‘like a leader’, then once you get into a negative mindset, it’s a challenge to change your perspective.

 

However, there are several things that you can put in place to counter this.


And I feel these are the top 7 leadership secrets that I consider the most important, whether you’re an aspiring leader or you’ve been leading for a while.

 

Leadership secret 1 - Set your own career and leadership goals.


Do this for yourself, not because you are told to in an appraisal! You have to know where you’re going. Know at least the general direction, but the more specific you are the better.

 

All successful leaders continuously set their goals and intentions, allocate a timeframe and take action regularly, confident that they know where they’re going.

 

Take time to sit down and work out your career goals, the success you want to achieve and your overall vision.


When there are bumps in the road, you will naturally view them as part of the bigger picture, rather than an insurmountable roadblock.


Leadership secret 2 - Build relationships with people.


I bang on about this all the time; when it comes to leadership, people are everything!


And the relationships you build with them increases both your success, as well as theirs.

 

I’m talking about meaningful relationships that are based on shared values of trust, honesty and respect. They’re the ones that will support and nurture you when challenges occur.

 

Take the time to get to know these people and the things they’re interested in.


Overtime, the relationship will grow, and you never know, you may find a long-term friend, as well as a trusted colleague.

 

Leadership secret 3 - Be vulnerable. 


You don’t have to be invincible as a leader. Showing vulnerability makes you relatable and helps you build trust and connect with your team and colleagues.


Plus, sharing challenges and insecurities makes it easier for others to feel comfortable enough to express their own concerns.

 

Leadership secret 4 - Be authentic.


Authentic leaders inspire loyalty and commitment because their actions align with their core values.


It also helps you to build genuine connections with your team because they see you have integrity and aren’t trying to be something you’re not. 


When you create a culture of honesty, your team trusts you. They feel they belong and that they want to stay.

 

Leadership secret 5 - Be accountable. 


Hold yourself and others accountable for their own actions.


Empowering others to take responsibility for their own work gives them a sense of ownership and pride in their work.

 

Without it, tasks get overlooked, deadlines are missed, and conflicts go unresolved. Make sure there are clear goals and expectations and that you are able to provide support and feedback along the way.


It all helps boost morale and productivity.

 

Leadership secret 6 – Lead by example.


Your actions speak louder than words.


As a leader, you set the tone for the culture in your team and demonstrate your leadership values.

 

When you model the behaviour you want to see in others, it inspires them to follow suit and perform at their best.

 

Leadership secret 7 - Don’t go it alone.


I bet you have struggled on with something because you think you should know what you’re doing, and everyone is expecting you to deliver without any problems.

 

And because you think asking for help makes it look like you’re weak and needy, maybe even a failure you keep going on your own.


We all have!

 

Yet if you think about it, I bet you can remember lots of occasions when someone needed your help and I expect you were only too happy to help where you could. In fact, more than likely you’re flattered and feel glad that someone has recognised your worth.


This is the biggest secret to expose - most people like being asked for help! It helps you and makes others feel good.


 Don’t forget to ask others. It might only be something small you can easily delegate, or it might be something more substantial that needs a bit more thought and negotiation.

 

Get into the habit of asking and see how it feels. It’s more liberating that you think.


Whatever it is, remember that no successful leader has ever done it completely on their own and you don’t have to either.

 

Ready to enhance your leadership presence now you know the best-kept secrets?

 

You could be moving forward towards the leadership success you want   - it’s just a question of taking small steps in the right direction, armed with useful knowledge and full support.


If you’re ready to enhance your leadership presence, effectiveness and impact then get in touch and we can have a conversation about how I can help you get there.

 

Whether you're an experienced leader seeking to refine your skills or an aspiring leader eager to grow, my Next Level Leadership Transformation Coaching Programme is designed to support female leaders like you in overcoming your challenges and trusting that you have everything you need to transform your career.

 

There's no time like the present to get started on where you want to go.


Jackie x



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