Let’s get this out of the way right up front: There is no such thing as “leadership secrets.” Leadership, real leadership anyway, has no secrets left. Virtually everything there is to say and know about leadership has been said or taught.
There are lots of “leadership fads” but they tend to come and go. I receive offers in my email everyday day for a free webinar or seminar to learn the newest “leadership tricks” and methods.
It’s all garbage!
Leadership is about people, not things. You can manage your cash flow, you can manage your inventory and you can manage your systems and process. But you cannot manage people. People don’t need a manager, they need a leader.
Some people in leadership positions resist this concept and attempt to manage their people. In these situations both the “leader” and follower become frustrated and that frustration manifests itself with underperformance. From both!
I often tell people that if you’re doing it for your business it’s management and if you’re doing it for your people it’s leadership.
Putting GPS devices on your company vehicles to track your employees is managing. Investing in a training program to boost the skills of your team, even though it may result in them being hired away, is leadership.
If you know your people, if you value your people, if you care about your people then you can be a great leader. There are no secrets to leadership because there are no secrets to what motivates people.
While our environment has changed through the years and our gadgets have become more powerful and addicting, we as people are virtually the same as we were thousands of years ago. Our need for validation and recognition is as great as it ever was. Our need to know we matter is as great as it ever was.
If, and it’s a big if, anything is different it’s that now, more than ever before, we need strong leadership to help us fight through the modern day distractions and focus on what’s really important in our lives.
So, if you’re an authentic leader or someone new to a leadership position who is hoping to become an authentic leader, don’t look for secrets. Instead focus on the long known fundamentals of authentic leadership to build solid relationships that will help you become the type of person that others will want to follow.
Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, there are no shortcuts to authentic leadership either. Only if you’re willing to invest the time required to build true, caring relationships with your people will you have the opportunity to influence their lives in a meaningful way.
Authentic leaders will work to grow themselves before they work to grow their followers.
Are you ready to work on you?