7 Qualities to be an Awesome Leader

7 Qualities to be an Awesome Leader

It’s easy to spot the good but what’s the difference between good, outstanding and awesome? Rate yourself below.

1. Be embodied – Your style and impact as a leader ooze out of every move you make. But how much of this have you looked into?

Consider two very different leaders (you don’t know personally) such as Donald Trump (USA) and  Jacinda Arden (NZ). Do you think they embody the same things?

What different embodied perceptions do they leave?

Move away from any bias or judgements of like and dislike you may have about them and solely focus on what their body is telling you. Specifically, the repeating patterns in the posture, facial expressions, tension, relaxedness, open, closed-ness, direction (leaning forward, back, down, up etc.)

How does their embodiment affect their message and their impact regarding things like trust?

If you watch 1 minute of TV footage of both leaders there are huge differences. Now watch Teresa May’s embodiment, vastly different again.

Enough of their leadership – What’s your personal brand through your body, in the eyes of others?

2. Determine what a fully functioning team looks, sounds and feels like. Decide where your teams are currently, against the benchmark below and then create the conditions for these to flourish. A fully functioning team

  • Is open to challenge and is flexible
  • Is self-challenging
  • Is ahead of the competition
  • Is innovative
  • Is superbly supportive
  • Mutually mentors each other to new levels of performance
  • Has a ‘can do’ philosophy
  • Are all committed to encouraging the best from themselves and their colleagues

And if your teams are a little way from the list above then begin a path of blended learning to redress each within a progressive time frame.

3. Develop and hone your curiosity. Without curiosity, we fall into far too many judgments and poor decisions, especially about others.

E.g. Not everyone in your teams will be able to automatically meet the aspirations of the list above. Things will block their performance, self-belief, confidence, skills, perhaps you! We need a deep well of curiosity to help us discover these blocks so we can coach our people to get past them and meet their fullest potential.

Its all too easy to fall into judgments such as, ‘what’s wrong with them’, rather than, ‘what’s happened that makes them react that way’.

Building a deep personal well of curiosity comes by developing some of the insights below.

4. Adopt and blend four styles of leadership in one and learn how to express each comfortably. In no particular order

  • Be results orientated, driven towards new goals and success and know your facts and figures.
  • Be well planned and thorough. Take time to plan the best path and steps forward
  • Connect with the feeling and relationship needs of your people. They will know instantly (through your embodiment) if you are not genuinely interested in them or they can’t fully trust you with the true feelings they have.
  • Be inspirational as to what is possible and bring a sense of playfulness into your work and environment

The most influential leaders learn to utilise and adopt all four styles because these fulfil the different communication and psychological needs of everyone around them.

5. Serve everyone (without labelling them as internal or external customers).

Every service industry is dealing with human beings. In fact, the whole world is in service to each other. This can get forgotten at leadership levels. Some leaders lose sight of the fact they are still in service to everyone. Somehow their job title, its duties or occasional self-importance erodes this intention and they lose sight that the ‘higher’ they get on the ladder the more they are in service.

Interestingly, research shows the higher leaders go the less they develop those beneath them, even though they set out with an intention to support their staff to the full. In reality, too many other things get in the way and serving each other slows and stops.

6. Adopt this three-in-one daily practice

Intention: Set an intention at the beginning of each day. This could be a one-word description such as, ‘Playfulness’, ‘Results’, ‘Accuracy” or a bigger statement such as, “I intend to demonstrate trust through my body and my words’. Then check-in (with yourself) periodically, during the day to see if you are still living your intention or if you have moved away from it.

Awareness: Bring awareness into your actions. Specifically notice when areas of feeling, sensation and tension arise within you. This is your body giving you useful feedback that is being missed by your judgmental brain.

E.g. you are frustrated in a meeting with another leaders style and instead of falling into blame you notice the feelings and tensions arising within you just before the blame builds. This is feedback from your body asking you to stay open to acceptance and to implement greater curiosity.

At this point, it’s also wise to notice what happens to your breath. Breath changes with different emotions. Often going faster and higher in the chest when feeling frustration, so do the opposite begin breathing from your diaphragm or below. This will send signals to your brain that makes it easier to modify your frustration to serve your outcome better.

Acceptance: Bring acceptance to blocks, difficulties and challenges. Free yourself up from the tension and resistance that can often build in hectic environments. If we accept, particularly those things out of our control we protect and conserve our energy, improve our resilience, drive, vision and impact.

7. Use centring skills as your primary state management tool. It’s a specific embodiment tool that down-regulates our nervous system. Taking us away from hyper-arousal (in its many forms). Centring also has the added bonuses of improving your acceptance and curiosity and freeing yourself up from judgments.

It’s one of the most rapid tools to help us to express authenticity in difficult situations.

Contact me directly if you would like to know the techniques to centre.


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