We create our own layer of results as a leader through demonstrating respect for all things, communicating the truth from a place of contribution, setting limits and boundaries, being proactive and responsible for ourselves. Our clarity with what we want to achieve and taking the time to create goals using the following traits and behavior.
Respect: The term respect comes from the Latin word respicere, which means “the willingness to look again.” A leader is willing to take a second look rather than remain stuck in a particular view of a situation or individual (re-spect).
We must also respect ourselves by being willing to look at our many real abilities rather than fixate on just one or two parts of who we think we are. Successful leaders are able to appreciate the diversity within themselves and others. The coach of a championship team, for example, gets the best from players by placing them at different positions to assess their potential rather than insisting they always play the position for which they were hired. When we are willing to look again, we extend respect. This allows us to stay open and flexible toward others and ourselves.
Communicating the truth from a place of Contribution: The skillful leader who knows how to extend respect begins to value the art and craft of communication. A leader is consistent in words and action. There are two causes for all misunderstandings; not saying what we mean, and not doing what we say. When we say what we mean, and do what we say, we become trustworthy. A lack of alignment between word and action always results in a loss of power and effectiveness. All communication of the truth must be done from a place that contributes to the growth of a relationship or individual.
Limits and Boundaries: Another aspect of communication that is necessary for effective leadership is the ability to understand the difference between yes and no. These two words reveal our limits and boundaries—what we are willing to do and what we are not willing to do. When we say, “yes” when we mean “no” we lose personal power and become “victims” or martyrs. When we say “no” to someone else when we know the situation calls for us to say “yes”, we become selfish. Our culture has created the belief that the word “yes” means “I like you and agree with you” and the word “no” means “I’m rejecting you or disagreeing with you”. Other non-western cultures do not overlay these words with emotional intent. They recognize that “yes” acknowledges a viewpoint or perspective and does not necessarily mean agreement; and that “no” simply honors a limit and boundary and indicates the ability to respect what one is willing to do or not do at this point in time.
Responsibility and Proactivity: A leader must also understand and be aware of the causes and effects of actions taken or not taken. This capacity of attention is called responsibility, “the ability to respond”. The Chinese Book of Changes, the I Ching, tells us that “it is not the event that is important, it is the response to the event that is everything.” This is also referred to by Stephen Covey as Proactivity: choosing your actions, rather than controlling or being controlled by them. Proactive people take responsibility for shaping their future, for initiating behavior that will create the situations they want. A proactive person does not wait to see what will happen. Being proactive means you are a causative influence on your environment rather than a victim. Our ability to respond impeccably and with integrity to the events we create brings out the Leader within.
Self Reflection –Ask yourself and others
Ask five different people, 2 from personal, 2 from professional and one complete stranger to give you five words that describe your presence or how they feel when they are around you. Ask them to write them on a piece of paper and give it to you, ask for complete honesty.