The heartbeat and the hinge of any organization resides and rest with its leadership. When leadership is present and viable, the life of the organization is vibrant and on the road of momentum that leads to organizational success.
As in any journey, one must abide by a set of laws to achieve success. In life, we have natural laws, such as the law of gravity, and we have civil laws, such as traffic infractions. When we violate these laws, we suffer the consequences/penalties that remind us to live by the law.
The same is true with leadership laws. If you consistently violate them, you will end up in leadership jail, held back from expressing your leadership vibe that leads to victory.
The following represents three laws of leadership that enhance the journey of current managers.
One of the most violated laws is the law of listening. All leaders have been guilty of not being engaged and actively seeking to understand others. Most people listen to reply; leaders listen to understand and position entities for improvement and future success. The leader must be swift to listen and slow to speak.
There are three levels of listening: internal listening, focused listening and 360 listening. In monitoring my own listening, I recognized that I sometimes succumb to the lowest level of listening, which is internal listening. This occurs when one is so engaged with internal self-talk, through mobile phones and other forms of distraction, that it prevents one from actively listening.
Listening leaders consistently pursue 360 listening, where there is ongoing interaction to understand rather than being understood. They value inclusivity, reinforce their influence with subordinates and build on their intuition through focused listening.
Leaders Craft Culture
A leader is a landscape architect. She is responsible for building a living environment, better known as culture. Culture is the soul of the enterprise. Today’s leader is a master culture-crafter. She sculpts and crafts an environment that stimulates, excites and invites people to be their best self daily.
In crafting a landscape and culture for others to thrive within, the leader must be prudent in designing methods for individuals to move out of their comfort zones. When creating a culture that stimulates and cultivates innovation, intuition and inclusivity, one should consider the following culture-crafter principles:
- Communicate a common understanding of the past and future.
- Clearly convey why change is necessary.
- Provide positive images of their future.
- Articulate actions that point them toward the direction of success.
If one violates the law of the landscape architect, the organization will create not a culture that cultivates people but a culture of chaos instead.
Leaders must put first things first. They understand that the greatest tragedy in life is not death but life without purpose; life with the wrong priorities. Leaders recognize that life’s greatest challenge is knowing what to do. They understand that the greatest mistake in life is to be busy but not effective. And life’s greatest failure is to be successful in the wrong assignment.
Successful leaders learn that time is the stuff that life is made of and proper prioritization leads to successful endeavors. Success in leadership, and in life, consists of the effective use of one’s time.
Continue to pursue living the laws of leadership and you will experience success on your leadership journey.