Being A Better Leader Is A Lifetime Challenge
One of the most important things I’ve learned as an Executive Leadership Coach is that high performance doesn’t always equate to good leadership. In other words, just because you are successful at the work you do and the goals you and your business have achieved, doesn’t mean you are an excellent manager or an inspiring leader. In fact, this is the greatest challenge most business owners and team leaders struggle with: The People Stuff.
For over 20 years now I’ve had the privilege and opportunity to step inside the intimate personal and professional lives of passionate and high performing leaders, as they share with me their successes, accomplishments and dreams for their future, and their fears and challenges around attracting, developing and managing people. For most of us, this is hard work. It’s lonely, isolating, and emotionally exhausting. But if you run a business that employs people, you have to figure this stuff out. And it’s not easy.
If you want a better team, be a better leader!
In my workshops and speaking events I tell my audiences, “If you want a better team, be a better leader! There are no shortcuts – you have to do the work.” To which many of my aspiring clients will say,:
“But I don’t know HOW to lead my team! No one ever taught me this stuff. If I knew then what I know now, I would have gotten my degree in human psychology, not business.”
One of my favorite clients pulled me aside the day I met him and he said,
Theresa, I need your help. I don’t know how to hold myself accountable let alone my team. I love the work I do, but I have no idea how to be a better leader.”
Does this resonate for you?
Human beings are complex. They are mysterious creatures. They are all unique, different, motivated by different things, with varying beliefs and value systems. And their unique talents don’t always align with the needs of our businesses. Sometimes we have to help people leave. It’s no wonder this is the stuff that keeps us up at night. Managing people and developing them into their greatness is hard work, and it’s also the greatest privilege, I believe, we will ever have as Leaders.
Managing the people stuff…
So how do you tackle this? By being brave. Take a look in the mirror and hold the gaze for a bit. Do you like what you see? Where do you have success and where do you get “stuck” as a leader? Can you put your finger on where you are challenged, and where you have ease with the people stuff?
Of course you do! Write that shit down and make a commitment to being better.
One of the first things I always do with my clients is an exercise called The Leadership Wheel. It’s an introspective coaching activity that allows my client to self-assess their role as a leader of their business in several categories, and then rank themselves on a scale of 1-10 on their level of satisfaction in each of these categories. Very quickly, the leadership “gaps” are revealed, and we have a baseline for establishing our work together. It’s an easy and powerful way to put some strategic development goals in place and outline areas of needed improvement to create immediate accountability.
The beauty of working with a coach, or even enrolling in a leadership program to help you be a better leader is that you can then establish a framework for coaching and developing your people. As I witness my clients create their own Playbook for Excellence and build their toolbox for success, they are gaining confidence experiencing the coaching process. They know what it feels like to be coached and developed, so they can successfully coach and develop their own people. I witness my clients running more effective team meetings, communicating better, growing their teams with intention and joy, and pulling together synergistically with their people to win, as a result of coaching. I see them embracing the process of putting the right people in the right jobs, and helping team members create their own unique goals, fueled by their own unique dreams and aspirations for their future. And I notice how much easier and more fun it is to run a business from this place.
It’s not a weakness admitting to yourself and others that you struggle with your own leadership at times, it’s human. And for those of us who have fumbled through it long enough, it’s a welcome relief when you finally say it out loud and find the right support. I’ve had coaches, mentors and leadership influencers in my life for as long as I can remember, and it’s given me the confidence and courage to do the work that I do every day. It’s helped me make hard decisions in my life, personally and professionally, and it’s helped me attract the right people into my life when I needed it the most.
The challenges of being a better leader might be with us our entire lives, because it means we stay accountable to ourselves and everyone else in our lives that we touch. Just like my amazing clients, I accept the fact that I will never be done developing myself as a leader to others, at home and at work. But I’m ok with that, because as I continue to break through challenges, learn and grow, life just keeps getting easier, more joyful, and fun.
Let’s make this your best year yet!
Whether you are looking for coaching or you would like help with a team event…
call me direct at (425) 241-4855.
I look forward to talking with you!