If leadership is all about you, then how do you do you? Each of us is unique in our own way. Discovering that uniqueness is an ongoing process throughout our lives… leaders come in a variety of flavors. Some are charismatic, some demanding, others softer and encouraging, still others may be straight forward and to the point. There is no such thing as a one size fits all leader.
Here are six tips I learned throughout my career that shaped the kind of leader I am today:
1. Discover your unique style, you do have one
Leadership is about who you are not what you do. That is often a tough concept for the doers. It is important to have good sound management practice when you are running a business. Your stakeholders expect that of you. While management requires planning, leadership more often than not happens in the moment, and you don’t always get to plan for those moments.
2. Admit when you’re wrong
People who strive for perfection and find it difficult to ever be wrong seldom make good leaders. This is a hard pill to swallow for a perfectionist. Leadership can be messy. If you can never be wrong, those meant to follow you won’t feel comfortable admitting mistakes. It is too risky to be vulnerable in front of a perfectionist. Leaders need to be genuine. Letting your guard down makes others feel you are real.
3. Take calculated risks
Taking a calculated risk is essential for any good leader. A perfectionist strives to avoid any risk of failure. Roughly right is not a concept that sets well with them. Yet leaders are often called to make time critical decisions without all the facts. A good rule of thumb – if you do nothing the result will be worse than if you take the calculated risk and fail.
4. Ask for help
Know it all’s are off putting. People warm to leaders that can admit that they don’t know how to do something and are willing to ask for help.
5. Thank people for feedback and keep asking
People are very comfortable around someone who is open to feedback and appreciates those who give it to them.
6. Be self-deprecating and comfortable with who you are
One thing that’s common in all good leaders is that they are comfortable in their own skin. They accept themselves as they are with their brilliance and their muddy shoes. If you aren’t, no one else can be.
One thing that every leader needs is people who are willing to follow them. Be a game changer and find ways to break through the status quo. Be unique to yourself, comfortable with messy and let others see your brilliance and your muddy shoes.
You can follow her on twitter @rosefass.