Having been asked by my super talented cousin Abbey Greenwood to write a guest post on her blog — she inspired me to think about leadership through a new lens (I don’t say ‘super talented’ lightly — Abbey makes custom made stencil art, is an experienced brewer and National Champion beach volleyball player and coach). Most leadership constructs focus on corporate, professional environments yet many natural leaders shine on a sporting field or pursuing a creative endeavour and these arenas showcase skills that are essential to success in today’s dynamic environment.
The post …
There are countless articles and documents espousing how to be a great leader, the virtues of what makes a great leader and loads of tips and tricks on how to achieve this (yawn) so let’s not cover old ground. We also know that the tactics and skills that get us to where we are, may not get us to where we want to go.
Here’s a few fresh ideas to think about, when you think of leadership in 2016:
What is leadership to you? At it’s core, it is living life on your terms and empowering others to do the same. What does that actually mean though — how do you ‘do’ leadership? You need to know what life on your terms looks and feels like — is it full time study/parenting/working/travelling, or only a few hours each week doing some or all of these things? Is it writing a book? Leading a team in sport? When you know what floats your boat, that energy gives you momentum and inspires others.
Don’t be afraid to be the leader nor to invest time in being the best leader you can be. You can be humble, hardworking and a great leader — it’s not about being the person under the spotlight if that’s not your style. Being a leader is about being fearless at pursuing what you want, and doing that in your own style. But never apologise for killing it!
One leadership style doesn’t suit all people or all situations — just like you adapt your driving style to the road conditions, do the same with your leadership style. Sometimes you’ll need to be at the front of the pack navigating the way, other times you’re the cheerleader on the side lines, sometimes you’re keeping the home fires burning while the team is out, and sometimes it’s all up to you. It changes. Keep your eyes up and looking at what’s coming up and consciously choose the best style for the situations that arise.
Give it to your self. This isn’t a ‘maybe’ or ‘nice to have’ — its as essential to your wellbeing and productivity as water and air. We all know we need 8 glasses of water a day, 5 servings of fruit and veg … how much better would we be, if we knew we had a benchmark to meet for downtime? Life is frantic, we’re hyper connected, book time to disconnect — you all know why, now it’s time to do it.
Charge others with #GSD (getting sh!t done) and the best way to do this is turn into a ‘coach’ or investigator … ask your crew a tonne of open questions (who, what, when, how, why) to help them build a solid game plan, that you can support them with, and know they’ve got a rock solid chance of hitting the target. We all love it when someone shows genuine interest, asks questions and helps us define things. Practice being the best question-asker out there! This works for everyone you’re engaging with, and is a super tactic for having conversations with teenagers!
The definition of create is “Bring something into existence” or “Form out of nothing”. Leave a legacy, chart a new path, smash the ‘but that’s how we’ve always done it’, create a new monthly ‘date night’ with your besties, develop a new family routine … creating isn’t just about beautiful art or physical things, its about forming something that didn’t exist before. We all have hundreds of great ideas each week — pick one and make it happen! Imagine it’s August 2017 and this new thing is now part of your life — you’ll be stoked you did it now.