I did not learn to become a leader simply through a step by step guide or a course on leadership. Rather, leading came through trial and error over years of leadership roles. I learned that there needed to be a level of RAWR to get things done, to assert, to ask questions, to take charge. A feeling of empowerment formed as I asserted myself as a leader, and it is a feeling that can be taught by keeping the following in mind as you lead others. Here is what I have learned to put the RAWR back into leadership.
R- Radical Ideas
A- Assertive Followup
R- Reassessment & Risk Taking
1. Radical Ideas.
The reason for what you want to do has to be strong, and you must help others find their reasons for helping you. Success is meant to be simply a platform for what they want to achieve. Find out what others want to achieve personally and be invested in their growth. Know yours as well. See success as merely a stepping stone never as an end itself. The stronger the why, the less overwhelming will be the how.
Individualism is important. From their own unique angles, people must approach problems. People cannot just become copies of you. You must allow growth.
Steve Jobs once said that the consumer doesn’t know what he or she wants until shown. That said, in terms of marketing, start with what you think works and then sell the idea. Use consumer feedback to get there. Use a unique vision to create it.
2. Assertive Followup
I never assume “it’s not my responsibility.” I always take initiative to make things happen. This proves to an organization that you are an asset if you go above and beyond.
Ask for what you want.
Create opportunities for yourself and others.
Turn others into leaders, not just stronger followers. Teach them how to run overall vision and not just their specific tasks. The overall vision is everybody’s responsibility to achieve. Their specific tasks will not be enough to inspire them to grow. So, that’s where we come to will power…
3. Will Power
Improve performance? Inspire people. When people feel good, they do good. Likewise…. when people do good, they feel good. If you want to gain consistency, start with your character before theirs. When you care about the person more than the problems they must solve, it creates a greater incentive towards solving them.
Try this. The next time someone is late on a deadline or not pulling their weight, have a one on one talk with them. However, don’t bring it up right away. Lead them to bring it up themselves. Ask instead how they are doing. If you ask for a formal sit down and then talk casual and caring at first, if they are truly reliable at heart and simply struggling, they will be the first to bring up their progress. The nerves of expecting a formal lecture and not receiving it will lead them there. And knowing t hat you care will help them to open up. This lets them know that you are a resource. In fact, it is the greatest way to let them know.
Don’t micromanage or treat anyone as a subordinate. Treat them as your peer. Their voice is just as important as yours. If they are only there for a few weeks but have great ideas, t hey are worth listening to. Resolve to relate.
You are not above anyone and can learn from everyone. You are also not above doing any task. Be willing to do the hard work,, to assist those you are leading with their own goals and pull your weight.
Incentives are essential for both creators and consumers to value your vision. For people to create the best experience that they can, they must have incentives. For people to want to try out an experience, they too must have incentives. You must go above and beyond in marketing the vision. You must make the overall goal to be about pleasing the person who is participating. This comes down to the organization or brand’s values. What are they doing for others? Incentives are really about ethics. From that standpoint, you get what you give. You create a relationship.
4. Reassessment & Risk Taking
Appreciation creates patterns of performance. Survey what is working, what isn’t for those less comfortable verbalizing their assessment or who need preparation. Then have team meetings. Icebreakers, team pow wows, etc. are great ways to improve morale.
Assess for yourself who has followed through, who has brought in new ideas, who has which unique skills and decide the following–
Are they a workhorse? A leading lion? A vulture-like volunteer? A creative cat? A parrot? Here’s what this means…
A workhorse will keep a job done well. They will be efficient and fast. They are reliable. But they rarely think outside the box, expand beyond their job requirements or try to pull more weight than they have to bear. They have a right now, work hard mentality. In a way, they think that playing it safe will get them farther than taking risks.
A lion takes risks. This is not about a fear of failure. This is about an understanding of trial and error. By taking risks, they bring in new ideas, encourage others to grow beyond their current roles and recreate a vision for the future.
A vulture-like volunteer is one who is spread thin, takes on everything imaginable and attempts to be a do gooder. They tend to have good ideas and be very efficient but not in order to better the overall vision of the group. Rather, it is to prove their own value. Again, it is not actually risk taking. It is grabbing onto every opportunity to do more but not necessarily creating their own opportunities for themselves or others.
A creative cat is just cool. They are the one with the ideas and less ambition to make them happen. They put an idea out there and take little to no responsibility to making it happen. The risk taking is then not put in action but pushed onto someone else. Then, they get the credit. They think this will be enough to move them forward.
A parrot copies a leader lion’s traits, organization habits, method of brainstorming and idea creation. They seem like risk takers, but they are not original. They just want to be you.
Now, what is the good news? Each type of worker simply has the wrong idea of what will get them ahead. A leading lion knows that risk taking, initiative, and individuality will get them to where they need to be. However, they also help others to get them there.
So, they must turn all the types into lions. Each type is a great starting place in fact. No one wants someone who comes in assuming the role of the lion. Everyone has to learn first. They must either become a workhorse, volunteer, creative problem solver or mimic what you do. In the end, if you can recognize where they fall into most comfortably, you can work with their personality type to bring them to greater progress. Not that all categories are so black and white. Cognitively, we evaluate easier with categories; however, this is not necessary to maintain. Rather, it is based on situation and environment as well. Thus, in your reassessment of goals, how the environment contributes to achievement is another area to keep in mind. But for the sake of simplicity…
How do you make others into leaders?
Teach them to RAWR.