Thanks for joining me. For this episode, I have invited a few of my associates to share their perspectives on leadership.
of course, I have included the leader’s perspective but have also asked for input from the follower’s perspective. I think we too often limit our thoughts about leadership to the leader and leave the followers somewhere in the background. Here, I hope to bring the followers out so they can share what good leadership means from where they are in the leadership equation.
Let’s start by asking,
Why is self-awareness important for leaders?
Self-awareness is important for leaders because it allows them to understand their own strengths, weaknesses, values, and biases. This knowledge helps leaders to better understand how they are perceived by others, which in turn allows them to interact more effectively with their team members and make better decisions. With self-awareness, leaders are able to recognize their limitations and seek help or delegate responsibilities to others who may be better suited for certain tasks. Additionally, self-awareness allows leaders to regulate their emotions and behaviors, leading to improved communication, more effective problem-solving, and greater emotional intelligence overall. Therefore, self-awareness is a key component of successful leadership.
But what happens if the leader is not self-aware?
If a leader is not self-aware, they may not fully understand their own strengths, weaknesses, biases, or the impact they have on others. This lack of awareness can make it difficult to communicate effectively with team members, make sound decisions, or empathize with others. Without self-awareness, a leader may be perceived as arrogant, insensitive, or even abusive, and this can create a toxic work environment that can negatively impact productivity, morale, and employee retention.
In addition, a leader who lacks self-awareness may also struggle to learn from their mistakes or recognize when they need to make changes to their leadership style. This can lead to a lack of growth or development in both the leader and their team, which can ultimately limit success and result in missed opportunities.
Overall, self-awareness is crucial for effective leadership and without it, a leader may struggle to build strong relationships, make informed decisions, and achieve their full potential as a leader.
Now, let’s shift to the follower perspective.
If you are serious about wanting our relationship to work well for both of us:
Help me get what I want and need, help me succeed.
Assume I am trying to do well, trying to succeed.
Do not assume you are a better judge of how things are for me than I am.
Do not use yourself as the standard for how I should think, feel, or behave.
Hold me responsible only for what I can actually do and can control.
Value who I am, my style and personality.
Assume I believe what I say and do not intentionally misrepresent anything.
Respect my feelings and opinions.
Be sensitive to my motivations and interests.
Give me the benefit of the doubt when things are not clear or certain.
If you value me and our relationship:
Make time for me.
Accept me as is without trying to change me.
Respect my ideas and opinions.
If you want me to be comfortable with you and with our relationship:
Be someone I can depend on.
Do not expect me to think, feel and behave just like you.
Spend more time telling me what you think I am doing right than what you think I am doing wrong.
Do not take your problems and bad mood out on me.
If you want me to cooperate with you:
Help me understand your goals and motivations.
Give me reasons and explanations when I ask for them.
Let me try to help solve your problems instead of expecting me to accept your solutions.
Be prepared to handle my being upset or unhappy with you at times.
When you have a problem with me:
Be assertive with me without becoming hostile or aggressive.
Keep your attention mostly on the problem and not on me.
If an argument or disagreement starts, keep it short, to the point, and under control.
Hang in there with me till we get the problem worked out.
If you want to succeed with most all of your relationships:
Understand and value what you can and cannot do.
Be open and up front about what you think and feel.
Be flexible and willing to compromise.
Be well-organized and prepared, whatever you are doing.
Be quick to praise and slow to criticize.
Be clear about what you want or expect.
Have the same level of energy and commitment when things are not going well as when they are.
Compliment publicly, criticize privately.
Be consistent and predictable.
Deal with problems and conflicts as soon as you become aware of them.
Focus primarily on what is working, on what is going well.
Put most of your attention and energy on how to get ideas to work and off why they will not work.
Give everything you do your best shot.
Handle whatever needs done in a timely manner.
Have good personal habits.
Invest most of your time and energy in getting things done.
Keep commitments and agreements.
Keep criticisms very specific.
Make the difficult decisions and accept responsibility for them when you believe it is necessary.
Pitch in and work a little harder, do a little more when necessary.
Stay positive and in a good mood most of the time.
Snap back from disappointments and those times when things do not work out the way you want.
Be spontaneous and usually ready for whatever.
Take personal responsibility when you see something that needs done and no one is doing it.
Try to understand the what and why of problems before taking action.
Try to stay calm and relaxed.
Be willing to take the first step to improve things and make them better.
Be reasonable and patient.
Fit the intensity and forcefulness of your reactions and criticisms to the seriousness or importance of the problem or incident.
Do not overreact to problems and things that happen.
Remember and own what you have said, agreed to, and what you have done.
Be decisive and able to make up your mind.
Be energetic and hard-working.
Do the right things, for the right reasons, at the right times.
Now you know so there you go.
For now, be well, do well and do something nice for someone. He or she will appreciate it and you both will have a better day.