An agreed-upon statement (I hope)… Regardless of the setting or situation, just like your heartbeat, everything rises and falls with leadership or any relationship for that matter.

“I wish they understood.” “I wish they knew what all was going on.” “Why do they never listen to us?” “I wish…,” “Why…?”

Every one of us, at some time or another, make statements or ask questions like these, leaders and followers both.

What is more important than the above comments?  How they are being answered. How do you as a leader, respond? Often, events happen that can be stressful (and stress is not good for the heart), but it does not always have to be the case. Many times, we create the stress ourselves. We start “over-thinking,” and “reacting” and that becomes the problem.

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To make sure your leadership “rises and falls” like your heartbeat and stress is limited, you need to be the following…

BE CLEAR
Do you model the expectations you have for others? Do others even know what your expectations are? As brilliant as people think they are, they are not mind-readers. Too many times, people are left guessing at what leadership wants, and it needs to be clear for all.  At the same time, never believe that expectations are a one-way street.  Others have expectations of you as well.  Allow the road to go both ways.

BE HONEST
It would go without saying; leaders must be honest with themselves and others. Pretending to be a super-leader with all the answers and a “my way” attitude is a quick way to alienate and limit the growth of others. Be honest and humble enough to recognize that others might just have a good idea that is not yours. It is ok to let others know that you are not always the fabulous piece of work that you currently think you are.  It is very hard, to be honest with others if we cannot be truly honest with ourselves.

BE COMPASSIONATE
Being compassionate does not mean not correcting when you have to. However, it does mean having some level of understanding of what goes on in the lives of others. How many leaders do you know that walk around looking for that “gotcha” moment? Usually, when this happens, it is an opportunity for a leader to look better or to put someone down. Too many times a leader will only have “surface” knowledge and not “depth” knowledge of a situation. Being compassionate is not a weakness.  It is a strength that shows you are giving grace and mercy just like you would want to receive.

Are there more or different leadership characteristics? Yes. But if you do not have these three in your leadership repertoire, your leadership heartbeat does not and will not function very well. Your leadership heart will rise and fall in an unhealthy rhythm, causing that stress that is not good for you or anyone else.

The heart drives all three of these characteristics.  When we lead with our heart instead of our minds, we lead with a level of motivation that can be felt by others.

Remember… THINK LEADERSHIP!

©2018 J Clay Norton

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