Leadership at Any Level

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Got Leadership?

Before you gain a new title, you have to demonstrate a new skill.

Think about it: what does leadership mean, before you become a leader?  And, how can you know if you really have leadership qualities?

[box] To lead others, you must first gain their trust.[/box]

The team – whether a formal one, a sporting one, or a hodge-podge of people that need to be convinced of a particular idea – will not follow without trust. If leadership is really about influence (and, by the way, leadership is about influence) that influence can only come from someone who trusts in your judgement and in your character.

Firefighter imageCharacter is important, because good business judgment is not enough. Great decisions don’t exist in a vaccuum, and gaining agreement starts with trusting in who you are.

When times are tough, people want to know YOU. And not in a press release or status update. Despite the amount of social media outlets available today, actions speak louder than words. And they always will.

So what are the actions you can take to foster trust and inspire action? What connections can you make for your team, and establish yourself as a leader? Consider carefully these four words, as a central part of your message.

Here are the four words you need to lead.  Whatever the subject at hand, when you discuss your vision, you must convey the following:


“I’ve thought this through.”


Convincing?  Then Lead on, MacDuff.

While no one can accurately predict every aspect of the future, a leader has to have a vision that is clear, concise, and believable.  In other words: a trusted vision of the future.

If you aspire to inspire, and create new outcomes with, through and for others, you’ve got to be able to articulate a 360-degree view of the situation.  For team leaders, any initiative towards something new will be met with a version of these questions from the team:

  • What do the current circumstances mean, from your viewpoint?
  • What do the current circumstances mean, to us as a team?  What about to me, as an individual?
  • What do your proposed changes mean? And, can you phrase that answer in terms of what your changes mean to the team, and to me as an individual?

Your ability to describe the forest and the trees is the foundation of trust.  No one expects a leader to have ESP or a crystal ball, but part of having a vision is being able to see things that others don’t.  Then, once you see a new direction, you’ve got to convince others how to get engaged.  “I’ve thought this through” is the mantra of leadership at any level.  Your ability to see a situation in terms that others can trust is the first step in moving your team forward.

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