September 13, 2011
When your world is working well around you, your skills flow. You can be good at what you do. But when things get a little sticky, leadership does not feel so natural. You adapt to something you really are not.
The most successful leadership skills are those where the leader is natural and his influence appearing effortless.
Take your natural skills and learn to use them more universally.
Discover what your natural skills are by analyzing your behaviors in one of 2 situations:
The GOOD TIMES
Look at how you lead when things are going well. An easygoing situation feels safe for a leader. Your stress level is in check. What are you doing to influence others during those times? Are you a collaborative leader? Are you being creative?
Those traits are natural for you, but also possibly too comfortable. When you do something to success, you do it to excess. Just ask yourself if those strengths are going to far by being a weakness and getting used too often.
Take inventory of those skills and what they are. They are strengths, but you want to make sure to keep them that way.
The DREADFUL TIMES
Look at your style when things stink around you. You are stressed, not thinking clearly, or are in conflict. Your energy may be drained but you will need to find enough to look at what is going on. In fact, what do you look like to others at this time? If you were to hold up a mirror, would you like what you see?
In tough times, leaders often abandon their efforts for getting better at something and just revert back to comfort. There ya go again …
Yet this is the best time to try the comfortable skills because they are likely more needed. But use them without overusing them.
Example – you want to be better at letting go of tasks by delegating. When things are going well, you are an easy-going person. A deadline just came and went, and your employee didn’t get it done. You are tempted to “take it back” and just do it yourself. Instead, this is the best time to put him into the task and to show yourself that you can let it go. It seems scarier than it is … because you are stressed.
Use your strengths that shine when all is well and adapt a bit. Maybe “letting go” is your motto in the Good Times. Use that same mentality and let go, in this case to delegation.