Do you know what your leadership style is? Does it make a difference in whether others follow you? Whether you have credibility?The key to being an effective leader is to know yourself. Don’t imitate anyone else. You can certainly learn from others, maybe emulate them, but authenticity goes much farther than imitation.
Know your strengths. Focus on your strengths. And yes, you should know your weaknesses too. But unless they are holding you back from achieving your dreams there is no need to focus on them. You can build a team around you to take care of your weaknesses while you concentrate on your strengths. When you know the strengths of your team and support and encourage them, they will perform better and your organization will be unstoppable. Find talented people, help them discover and develop their strengths and everyone will reap the rewards. Your team should be diverse in skills! If everyone is the big idea person, what is getting done? Have a lot of implementation people around you and you can certainly get things done, but who’s coming up with the ideas?
Your board of directors should also have diversity in skill, not just by industry. Who are your connectors, money people, tech folks, detail oriented and idea guys? Identify who the natural leaders are and tap them for those roles. Forget the concept of only serving as chair of the board once you’ve served in all the other positions! Not everyone is cut out to be the treasurer and not everyone has the skill to lead an organization. Match up talent with roles for your board the same way you would with employees.
So just what is this emotional intelligence stuff everyone is talking about? Emotional Intelligence (or EI) is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. We are judged not just by how smart we are, or our training & expertise but by how well we handle ourselves and each other. High emotional intelligence is a soft skill that is invaluable.
And finally, I’d like to address the concept of feedback. I’m not talking about having someone give you a mile-long list of everything you do wrong. Feedback is helpful information given to an individual to help them improve performance. Are you receptive to feedback? Do you consider feedback a gift? Superior performers intentionally seek feedback in order to correct and adjust performance.
Your leadership style matters. Knowing yourself matters more.
This blog was orginally published here: http://www.kychamberexecutives.com/blog/post/Your-Leadership-Style.aspx