Defining Leadership Webinar Presentation

You can view the presentation delivered by Emma on “Defining Leadership – Leading your way to greater success” as delivered to the Australian Businesswomen’s Network.

Here is the link to the ABN webinar presentation dated 29 July 2009: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/579292194

Please note: You will need to provide an email address to unlock the presentation file, however this will only take a few seconds.

This presentation covers:

  • The basics of good leadership
  • The differences between being a good manager and being a great leader
  • How to unlock the potential of your people under a common vision
  • How to deliver something greater (with your team) than what you could ever have achieved by yourself
  • How, by investing in yourself as a leader, you can lead your way to greater success.
  • Those that want to move from being managers to being leaders

To find out more about the Australian Businesswomen’s Network, visit www.abn.org.au

Leading your business to success

Written by Emma Lo Russo and as published in the July 2009 “Australian Businesswomen’s Network” newsletter:

Leading your business to success

Leadership.  Picture by Denis ColletteYou have the title, a team that reports to you and a defined business purpose and responsibility. The business environment and competition is tough and you are looking at new ways to ensure continued growth and success. You spend night and day wondering what else you can do, what extra advantage you can create…

It is likely you already hold that advantage. And the answer is your own employees. You can easily move from managing them to do their job (even if you do this aspect very well), to leading them to achieve something far greater – for themselves and for your business.

Understanding the difference between management and leadership

Management is about getting the best out of resources, mostly through defining responsibilities and processes, to further the goals of the company. ‘Leadership’ on the other hand is painting a common view of the future and inspiring and galvanising your team towards achieving it.

There are some key leadership characteristics and qualities to embody if you hope to achieve a powerful business advantage through your people. A key aspect is understanding that your people are entirely your business. They provide the moment of truth every time they interact with your customers, partners, suppliers, each other etc. It is important that they share and believe in the aspirations for your company. That they can see how to align their communications and activities they do every day to the greater picture you have of success, and how that can in turn help them enjoy and benefit from that success.

Acknowledging, encouraging, empowering your people to act in harmony with your vision and values is far more powerful than prescribing what you want and outlining precisely how they should be doing it.

Empowering your people

Regularly sharing your vision and plans for the future and encouraging your team to help visualise success will help stimulate growth. Looking to your people to help identify the best growth opportunities and providing regular forums for your employees to present their ideas can help grow your business. Acknowledge all good ideas, empower your people to own those ideas and reward them when they help you get to where you want to go faster. The more you can celebrate success with your employees, the greater the performance culture you are creating.

Tips to help you lead your organisation to success:

  • Paint a common view of the future and translate your vision and strategy into workable goals for your employees
  • Share your vision regularly, applying short and long-term frame of references for all projects and activities
  • Live and promote your desired culture and values
  • Model integrity in decisions, communication and treatment of people – always lead by example
  • Recognise others’ strengths and limitations – focus on building teams around individual employees'(and your own) strengths
  • Coach, mentor and develop your team – help your team members develop self-awareness and strive for personal development, helping them align their career aspirations with your business goals
  • Inspire, encourage and acknowledge action and commitment from your employees

When thinking about leadership, it is good to reflect on the line “follow me, I am right behind you”.

If you lead through inspiration, suggestion and example then your team will follow, encourage others and deliver you greater success.

To read the article in context and others on leadership go to:

http://www.abn.org.au/womeninbusiness/newsletterissue79/Leadership-Strategies-for-Women/index_landing.html

To follow Emma on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EmmaLoRusso

The power of “Pressing the Flesh”

It doesn’t matter how clever we are. Nor does it matter how many books, forums or surveys we read. Nor how many official meetings we attend.  If we do not get out there to “press the flesh” we are not going to be across what is really happening in the world we are responsible for.Barrack Obama - Pressing the Flesh by cnicseye

Without directly talking to those you have responsibility for – whether this be your employees, customers, investors, family or community – how can you really be confident you have a handle on their real sentiment and emotion? Can you really know how your recent decisions have impacted them?  Be certain that what you think is important to them is the same as what they think is important? 

The only way to really know is to stop, ask and to listen yourself to the people you are responsible for, and if you can, to spend some time “walking in their shoes”.  This can never be met by having this outsourced or filtered through other people.

It may require you to consider it as an imperative, a percentage of time you set aside, or build it into your daily schedule to ensure you are spending enough time being physically connected to the people you are leading and are responsible for.  As much as possible, be engaged regularly and as close as possible on their terms, without the formality of a pre-determined agenda.   The less rehearsed the encounter, the fresher your read on what is really happening.

It does not have to take up a huge chunk of your time or be a major single event.  You can daily walk the corridors and visit workstations taking time to talk to people on the way to somewhere else.  Or allocate a day a month to visit your customers’ businesses – and really talk to those who are using your products or services. Or man the phones, have open lunches, create social events and actively participate or help out if someone is away.   There are many ways you can get out there and press the flesh.  But it is essential that you break the shackles of your work desk.  You need to go where you do not normally go.  Talk to those you don’t normally talk to.  You need to look to encounter as much of a reality of all your people (those you have a responsibility for) as you can.

The powerful return is far greater than helping others feel good.  It is about getting a firsthand account and measure of what exactly is happening.  It allows you to see what actions you may wish or need to take.  What priorities to adjust or what new initiatives you may need to introduce.  You may discover you need to make different types of investments or decisions but it is more than likely you will discover that you will need to improve general communications. 

You may discover that this practice uncovers a great new opportunity.  An idea that can set your organization apart.  A product concept that becomes the next big thing. Or just find that these actions of you connecting can energize your team to deliver something greater than before. 

If you genuinely care about your people and align everyone under a common vision that they believe in, they too will respond with care, passion and commitment.  By engaging directly, they will feel valued and that they have a voice.  That they are not dispensable or not important to you, but are instead seen by you to be important and part of helping create something great.

One of the more likely outcomes is the energy source you yourself will gain.  Remembering why you went into business, corporate, NFP or office in the first place.

So go on, get out there.  Start pressing the flesh.  Now.

Utegate – A question of trust

According to a recent Harvard Business Review Advisory Council Reader’s Survey dated January 2009, it was considered that trust had eroded in top executives – by over 76% in US based companies and 51% in non-US companies.

That is a lot of trust to lose. 

Watching the recent shenanigans* of our government and opposition spat over the so-called Utegate scandal, it certainly raises the question of what possibly were they hoping to gain?  Given no-one seriously thought it would result in a resignation of the Prime Minister or the Opposition Leader, all that really is at stake here is the public’s trust in their leaders. 

 Rudd and Turnbull

We can only assume the motivation that is driving them to behave, attack and defend their actions as they are, is to help protect and uphold Australia’s values, ethics, security,  competitiveness, health, safety, education and all the other reasons that they were voted into office as our leaders.  I would not be the first to say that connection is difficult to make. Even if it can be found, would we rate it as the most important issue that we would like our leaders of our nation to focus on?  And at what point did or does the motivation change from pursuing the truth to pursuing personal agendas?

In this global economic environment we are seeing increasing pressure on businesses and executives.  This is a test of character for most. And we are seeing plenty of examples of organizations’ cultures crumbling, trust being eroded, candor turning into clandestine, and ethics and values once clear now murkily represented. 

Trust is something that requires careful building.  A coherent and transparent position that is understood, chosen and lived by those who lead and those who follow.  It is very easily dissipated.  And even harder to rebuild.

So how do you ensure trust not only remains in-tact but grows over these challenging times?  The key thing is of course to know who you are and what you stand for.  Trust is not a job responsibility, it is a choice in which you wish to offer and earn.

The basis of trust in leadership

  1. Know oneself  and take a clear position on your beliefs and values – communicate and live by who you are and what you believe in
  2. Be transparent and candid in communication and decision making – share why decisions are being made, share the process, those engaged, and progress.  Your organization and personal values should have a common base otherwise the differences will quickly show and allow room for corruption.handshake on house trust
  3. Share – share information, good, bad, challenges, disappointments and wins.  Help explain what is clear, what is grey, what is not being shared and why.
  4. Tell the truth always – you may suffer consequences of telling the truth, but it can never be as bad as the consequences of not telling the truth.  The most important thing at stake here is your integrity.  You can’t deceive and retain integrity.
  5. Encourage, invite, create forums for feedback – this is all about creating a culture that encourages open discussions and the sharing of ideas and information.  It is also important that you regularly hear, see and feel the truth and reality of a situation.
  6. Get directly involved and see first-hand any situation that you need to represent – the more layers you have between yourself and what you represent, the more likely the room for spin, softening, misinterpretation of the truth etc.
  7. Evaluate how you are living your word – reflect regularly on your behavior and that of others, call yourself and others to question and do not accept anything that can be considered untrustworthy or against the values of your organization.
  8. Champion Trust – encourage it, live it, recognize it, reward it. 

Friedrich Nietzsche, German classical Scholar, Philosopher and Critic of culture once wrote “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”

To lead in today’s environment, you need to be trusted.  Don’t compromise.
 
* Definition of shenanigan “1: a devious trick used especially for an underhand purpose2 a: tricky or questionable practices or conduct —usually used in plural b: high-spirited or mischievous activity —usually used in plural (Merrriam-Webster online).  A most apt description!

The Teamwork Bridge: Helping remote employees feel connected

As the world increasingly becomes globalized and technology makes it easy for us to work remotely, you may increasingly find yourself in a situation where you need to manage a virtual team.

Having worked for an Australian listed company where 97% of its revenues were offshore, the workforce as a consequence was split to nearly two-thirds in remote offices resulting in many direct reports crossing multiple regions. Even within head office, in order to attract and retain the best talent, we needed to provide flexibility around balancing work hours with personal life. This meant a percentage of local employees also chose to work from home offices in various percentages of their working week.

So how do you manage your remote employees, particularly those that are working in multiple global regions and ensure that the vision for your company is well understood, that the objectives and timeframes are clear, that the culture is being lived, that they are motivated, energized, feeling part of a team?

This article is designed to share the best tips and practices learned over 5 years of leading a global organization, and addresses how you can achieve a unified work force where employees feel connected and as one team – no matter where they are located.

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1. Set strong foundations – hire world-class employees

This is a critical business success factor. You need to feel confident you have the right person to represent and lead your company, can evangelize the culture, live the values and be able to make decisions every day that is in harmony with, and will deliver on, your overall business objectives.

There is no doubt, the stronger the person you have, the greater the success you will see as they are able to make judgment on how best to localize the strategies to achieve the broader objectives within their specific market or region.

The more capable and competent the person, the more possibility you have for cross border promotion and the building of a greater organization. So don’t ever compromise on recruitment, with the stakes being higher for those representing you in overseas regions and outside of regular view and contact. You need to have full confidence you have someone you can trust in the job. Great business success depends upon top talent.

2. Importance of Induction

Again another critical business success foundation factor. Often in the speed to implement new plans, not enough time is spent on providing a comprehensive induction program for your new employees. It is important that an induction program extends beyond the immediate first weeks or handover of duties. Consideration and time must be given to discussion of values and of culture, plus discussion of previous successes and failures and why they went right or wrong (this is to encourage learning and comfort in discussing the good and challenging times of the business or the role).

Other induction strategies like shadowing in meetings to help share the company language, best stories and best practices can help provide confidence. Initially you or others may lead, however as soon as you feel confident, it is important to switch roles and shadow and coach with your employee leading until you are confident they are fine to stand alone. The main requirement to have confidence in managing this person remotely is for you to ensure you establish a solid relationship and equip your employee with enough information, enough experience, enough confidence very early on in the appointment to be able to confidently represent the company.

See the induction period as a minimum of 6 months and provide close contact and encouragement to ask questions. If this is an appointment in a different region, an example schedule may be:

  • Solid briefing them through the recruitment process already providing a strong foundation and qualifying tasks around understanding of the products, markets, competitors etc
  • A fortnight induction with you at HQ – allow them to see and hear first-hand how the company operates, allow them to meet their other stakeholders, key customers etc
  • Assign a work buddy that you trust can also help evangelize the values and culture
  • Once they are “live” ensure close contact with you & encourage them to really share first insights and ideas (this is a great way to discover objective new insights)
  • Ensure they are equipped with everything they need – resources, budgets, etc
  • Visit them regularly in the first 6 months but offer practical & philosophical help – e.g. visit their customers, partners, media, present jointly to their team or answer Q&As
  • Request after 3 months a revised high-level plan. This will ensure you get a good understanding of how deep their understanding is and any areas that you may still need to help them with. Look to have them present to others early in the engagement to help formalize the shared learnings. Encourage questions around feedback.
  • Get the team together within that period to ensure relationships are built at the team level even if they are all working remotely away from each other.

It is important not to micromanage the person – this is just a period of foundation setting around the “what” and the “who”, and unless the “how” is important then allow that to be determined by your employee. As soon as you think they are ready you need to give them enough space to do what you first employed them to do!!

Although this point addresses induction, the need to stay engaged as part of developing the individual overall is required.

3. Importance of frequent & open Communication

Be frequent, regular, consistent and coherent in your communications. Help your remote employees feel part of what is going on in your organization through regular:

  • Phone calls
  • Chats (instant messaging, Skype and others)
  • Video hook ups
  • Wikis, forums, blogs and other web dashboard “single views” for all employees
  • Engage others in your team to inform/provide briefs to your remote employees – just as long as someone is sharing what is going on!
  • Share drafts of communications, plans, pending decisions and presentations for input
  • Localize communications if there are language barriers
  • Make regular face to face time – even if they are overseas, coordinate at least a quarterly face to face meeting (you to them or they to you)
  • Regular face to team meetings
  • Email helps provide background and can be used to help overcome the tyranny of different working time zones, but don’t rely on this as the only means of communication

If you have followed step one and you have smart people, they generally will be very good to pick up on what is or is not happening within your business. However it is important you do not leave them guessing and trying to fill in gaps that can lead to wrong conclusions. Instead include them in sharing the ups and downs, the challenges you or the organization are facing etc, in order for them to have the opportunity to input and help. Apart from the relationship building upon honesty and transparency, a benefit is that they can help either solve or at least understand what else is happening in the business which may be possibly impacting them or others they are dealing with.

4. Regular team meetings

Feels like it is stating the obvious right? But with remote employees you need to make sure that they not only have their time with you, but that they have time feeling part of the team, both to build their understanding of each others’ styles, challenges, and dependencies, but also to help provide a forum to share key learning, insights, projects, achievements that they are working on. It is a good way for the team to identify where and how to help each other successfully meet the business objectives. It is also essential to build and retain the values, character and culture of your organization. When you are in the position of managing your people over multiple time zones, you need to agree to the appropriate frequency and ensure these virtual meetings always occur.

If you are managing a global team, remember to change time zones for calls to suit the different employees (be fair and schedule this accordingly). There will always be someone who will be up in the middle of the night – just make sure it is not always the same person! And include yourself in the schedule of middle of the night calls. Make sure you give plenty of time and priority in team meetings to those not immediately in front of you and who do not have the benefit of the pre or post discussions that can follow a meeting.

5.  Identify the sub group working parties – and create cross-functional teams and ownership across borders

This is a practical tip to ensure you don’t focus too much on the doing yourself or within your headquarters team only. Spread and share your projects and create cross-function teams and ownership of certain objectives within a sub-set of virtual teams across borders. The creation of these virtual teams helps you utilize all your available talent but also ensures a strong culture of collaboration, teamwork and global awareness and understanding of the entire business.

6. Foster collaboration

Every point within this article is about fostering collaboration, but it is also a topic worthy of its own highlighted focus and attention. Ask yourself these questions: What example do you provide in collaborating with your team? How can you create an environment of collaboration and do this through remote employees? How do you encourage problem solving? Provide cross-regional resources? Virtual teams? Use this point more as a prompt to continually ask yourself how you can foster collaboration within your team. For remote employees this is critical to ensure high motivation, engagement, loyalty, commitment and for your culture to live and breathe in the way you would hope it could.

7. Discipline in practices

This is just good business practice and as a manager and leader of remote employees it is important you keep discipline in how you apply this to different time zones, regions and needs. From personal experience, it can be quite taxing: to be available first up in a morning for say the US, to be available for APAC in the day and then the EMEA during the evening. If you want to keep a work/life balance then you will need to have discipline around planning the how and when to do all the things you need to do.

It is important that you build in time for:

  • Acknowledgement of employees work, give feedback in the timeframes that you commit to, give them some structure so they have good expectations to rely and operate within.
  • Provide available times or implement a system where they can let you know when they need to touch base outside of scheduled times. This should help you instead of being “on-call” 24/7 to everyone
  • Share and acknowledge successes, their milestones and achievements of your direct reports and those of their team
  • Provide regular performance and development feedback, make time for personal and professional development discussions and formal acknowledgement of performance reviews

8. Provide a clear career path – circulate employees across offices.

If you want to hire world class/world’s best talent you need to be able to demonstrate a great career path. Working for a global or virtual organization provides many great benefits and interest to employees and you hopefully you have already made sure you have hired those with enough ambition to deliver great results as the path to the next step. Ensure you have an individual development and career plan in place and look at what would be involved in delivering this from an investment and career path perspective.

It is important to ensure the movement of your people is two-way. Don’t just handpick the best talent from external offices and bring them to head office. Plan for senior organization leaders or future leaders to spend time out of headquarters within the various regions. This helps cement culture and brings a deeper level of understanding of your business in all regions and areas of your business that can bring not only immediate benefits, but also long term ones.

9. Harnessing available technology

There is much technology available to help you work remotely and stay connected with each other. Using cloud-based technologies like Gmail & Google docs for real time collaboration no matter where you are located can help. As does SaaS programs such as SalesForce for your customer relationship and data management purposes, and Intaact for Financial systems, ensuring everyone has access to the same information and infrastructure in real time no matter where they operate. Other technologies such as VOIP e.g. Skype can help keep costs low but frequency of contact and virtual face to face visibility high. Whilst Skype is good for one on one meetings, if you can’t afford internal video conferencing facilities for group meetings, you can hire out venues that provide it for you.

As to your IT server requirements, there are plenty of hosting services that allow you to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, with highly scalable, reliable, fast and inexpensive hosting from providers such as Amazon S3.

There is a plethora of virtual on-demand solutions that can help you manage your business no matter where your employees are located. This enables you to focus on your core business, leaving the business of managing the IT to those who specialize in it as well as providing you with flexibility and scalability that is difficult to compete with if you choose to keep your entire infrastructure in-house.

Building a strong and collaborative team

As a business leader you must have set firmly an overall organization development strategy that includes the objective of building a strong and collaborative team.

These tips are all about creating a team bridge – a way to help your remote employees feel connected. Connected and engaged employees are more likely to be motivated and will deliver much more than if they are left alone.

As Jack Welch best summarizes it “The team with the best players wins”.

Lessons in Leadership

I have lost count of the number of books I have read on leadership since I began my first management role at 18 years of age.  Even if I didn’t exaggerate (which I can be prone to do when recounting numbers) it would have to be more than 30+ books read on leadership alone!

Being the eldest of four children and as school captain, you learn before you leave school at the very minimum how to communicate clearly and how to organize others. Yet once in the workforce and being quickly promoted into management, I did look to see if I could find a book that would  help me “how to lead people of the opposite sex who are so much older than you”(clearly I was much younger then), and “how to lead people who are likely to be so much smarter than you”(clearly I was much…er….simpler then) and then later looked for books as to “how to lead people through significant change even though they are really comfy where they are today”…(well I still read on this subject)!  

However, as I am sure many of you may have found from reading these types of books, most of the great leadership books provide great reinforcement of the things you either know intrinsically or are already practicing or that you see in other great leaders.  

Hopefully the reason you are in a leadership position is because you have already earned it through demonstrating your success, earned through the support and power of your team behind you.

I have found the greatest value in reading books about leadership, is the time that is spent reflecting on how well I really live the things that are being suggested. I read on with the hope to find those few “aha” moments that bring great clarity to how I might be feeling about my own style of leadership or that of others.  Reading can help reset your view of priorities by helping you step out of the day-to-day and getting back to doing the most important thing of all as a leader, and that is to develop the team around you to be their best, so you can collectively deliver on the goals.

Often in reading these leadership books, I have found the more complex the theory (and clever the title), the less practical it feels when it comes to professional development through daily practice.  And often it is just a clever re-spin on the same basic principles of leadership.

So given that often the best lessons are those you reflect on as part of your own analysis of your behaviour, and the fact that I have been asked numerous times to write on this subject, I have chosen to write first and foremost on what I see as the most basic Lessons in Leadership. 

It is pretty easy to follow – and yes it is intended to be as simple to practice and deliver the results, as it sounds:

Listen,  Look,  Learn,  Live,  Love  so  you  can  Lead !

lessons-in-leadership1

Listen

  • Listen to your team members – you will get more clues as to what is required from your own people then from anywhere else – new ideas, new technologies or developments, things that are competing for attention that may be distracting from priorities, needs, etc.  By engaging your team you are helping individuals feel valued and that they can influence the business.
  • Listen around you – talk on a regular basis to others, ask questions, look for common threads and themes in what is being said both internally and externally
  • Listen to your customers and partners (actively listen) – they will help you develop new ideas, technologies, developments, opportunities as well as provide greater clarification of their pain and priorities as well.  Even if you choose not to deliver what they are specifically asking for, see this as an opportunity for education, or a way to understand the problem so you can solve that not necessarily the symptom. And don’t forget to include listening to who you want your customer to be – what is it that they want?
  • Listen to your instinct (and learn to trust it)
  • Listen to yourself think so you can synthesize all of the above – focus not on exactly what is being said, but more what is all this information is telling you.  Listening is not enough if you don’t take the time to think it through! 

Look

  • Look for smart, talented people and build a great team – assume the job is finding people where it is all about what can you learn from them.  One measure on your people is if you can give them the goals or “the what” and let them focus on “the how” to deliver them, and they do!  If you can’t do that, then you may not have the right people in the job.
  • Look to understand and see the strengths of your team.  Help others to see the strengths of all the team players.  And ensure you play to these strengths on a day to day basis and in important game plays.
  • Look at your team members’ body language (look to see how they are feeling) and care enough to address anything you see – happiness, satisfaction, frustration, fear, stress etc. 
  • Look at competitors, your market, and other markets, anything that has achieved “breakthrough” or has broken through your defences and taken you by surprise. Spend time trying to analyse why it achieved breakthrough.
  • Look to geopolitical and global trends.  We often need a reminder to lift our head from the transactional and get into the macro to really find what is happening in the world and how that may impact positively or negatively your business.  Spend time thinking about how you can harness the global trends and differences in markets that you can see.  Build the discipline to look beyond the playground you are in on a regular basis. 

Learn

  • Be on a constant learning path, never ever fall into the trap you have all the information you need to know already, be prepared always to learn something new
  • Learn from others – what they do and what they do not do – not just what they say or choose to share
  • Learn from others – what can they teach you – not just from what you observe as per previous point, but what can be shared through active engagement.  If you want to learn something, then ASK!
  • Learn through reading, talking, listening, observing – as much from external as internal (have others learn and share about key areas they love – how can you encourage others to self-educate, learn and share?   If a topic is exposed to them in something that they already enjoy or an area they already show love and passion in – then allow them to go for it and encourage them to share or teach others including you!).
  • Actively research, look for and stay open to new ideas and thoughts, trends in other industries and across the globe.  Put aside what you are doing today to think about what you would do if you had a blank slate and could start from scratch.
  • Learn from mistakes (yours and others)
  • Learn from successes
  • Share your learning!

 Live

  • Live your vision – talk, share, act, demonstrate, live, breathe what the company is working towards.
  • The message you “live” should include defining the game you are in, explain how you the company needs to play the game, what you are working to achieve, how will it help make things better (for the world, the company, for customers, for employees, for shareholders).  Why it matters!  Any why it matters to you and why it should matter to them!
  • Live for now (don’t avoid anything)!
  • Live your values – never, ever, compromise your values. Talk about them and regularly assess (and have others assess) how well you are really living them
  • Live your life (keep it in balance – no one else will do this for you)
  • Live your passion – what it is that gives you energy, how is this aligned or is what you do every day
  • Share your loves, your lessons, your aspirations (not just share yours – encourage and provide the forums for the sharing of others) 

Love

  • Love the people you work with, help them be the best they can be
  • Love what you do today
  • Love what you can do tomorrow – energize yourself and others by revisiting your vision, aspirations and goals
  • Love your life!
  • And if at any time you don’t love what you are doing then change the aspects you don’t like and do more of the things you do like! 

If you can adopt these simple leadership rules, you will achieve amazing things, and you will be able to Lead.  Not just manage.  Not have others follow just because of a title.  Not because you demand it.  But because people will choose to follow you.  People will follow because they will see they can be better people, because they can see a path for success, because they can see how they can impact on the world, because they have confidence they will be recognized and loved for who they are and what they offer.

If you can Listen, Look, Learn, Live, and Love, then you will automatically be Leading.  You will find yourself subconsciously:

  • Leading by example
  • Leading by sharing, growing and engaging
  • Leading through strong communication
  • Leading through empowerment and acknowledging others
  • Leading because you will have a great record of team achievement!

There is no permission or need to have a defined management role to be able to practice these simple leadership rules.  And leadership is simple; you just have to want to do it. 

As Mahatma Gandhi said in one of my favourite quotes:

“Be the change you want to see in the world”