AMA Recap: Ingredients of A Great Leader
Few more days to the start of a new school year! It has been a wonderful few weeks here in the States, lots of play peppered in with some business. Hosting an AMA #askmeanything live was really fun. I received many rich questions - thank you for connecting. Here is a recap of my thoughts on the ingredients of a great leader.
These leaders share a number of key traits:
A Growth Mindset
They believe that ability can be developed, instead of fixed or pre-determined. Their growth mindset leads to a desire to learn, and therefore a tendency to persist in the face of setbacks, see failures as essential to mastery, find lessons & inspiration in the success of others. Recently, I wrote an article on the dangers of becoming a fixed mindset leader and how to avoid them. Awareness is the first step to growth.
A Compassionate Heartset
Many companies today have a focus on building an inclusive culture. A diverse workforce that represents the colourful community we live in, can powerful serve the unmet, unarticulated needs of our customers, with empathy. A compassionate leader invites in divergent perspectives and allows different voices to be heard. I define compassion as the combination of empathy for others AND the courage to act to make a positive difference.
A Rich Soulset
They are clear on their values. These are demonstrated in how they prioritize, decide on trade-offs and make decisions. They are aligned and congruent. Therefore are respected as authentic, genuine and build trust with ease.
3 Key Skillsets
In developing teams, they practice:
- Active listening - they are fully present when engaging with their teams. Listening to both what is being said and what's not. Allowing ideas and opinions be expressed openly.
- Asking powerful questions - their active presence allows them to ask powerful questions that stimulate reflections, or be provocative when required to put a halt to evasion and confusion.
- The art of possibilities - helping the team to find their own solutions. Savvy at infusing "what-if", "yes-and", to drive towards the desired outcome.
3 Timeless Leadership Qualities
In leading self, they show:
- Courage - to go beyond their comfort zone and be challenged. To always be learning & growing.
- Humility - to seek feedback and feedforward. To be of greater value to their teams & customers.
- Discipline - to commit and follow through on the work required to be a better leader.
You probably are thinking, hey Jacinta, the skillsets and qualities you mentioned, sound a lot like what transpire in a coaching conversation. Yes, you hear me alright. Indeed that's what I've observed about great leaders - they are great coaches too. They set a clear vision, guide, support and COACH their team to unlock a higher level of performance each day, unleashing the potentials in their people.