Monday, May 9, 2016

If You Don’t Believe This One Thing, You Can’t Be a Good Leader

It’s the most important leadership thought you’ll ever have!

The most prolific leadership researchers in the world say there are a few things that they know for absolute certainty. The most bedrock of all of those truths is a belief that you must possess. All great leaders must believe this one thing: You Matter!

All great leaders must believe this one thing: You Matter! CLICK TO TWEET

YOU will have a positive impact only if you believe that you can. If you don’t believe that then you won’t even try. It’s true, leadership begins with you.

Since you matter, the question becomes, what difference will you make?

Be careful how you answer that question because your answer will probably come true. After analyzing the data from more than one million people (I told you they were prolific!),

Kouzes and Posner state emphatically: “Leadership is not about who you are or where you come from. It’s about what you do.”

Friends, that is great news! That means we can improve our leadership by changing our behavior.

When millennials were asked who was the most powerful leadership role model that they had ever met personally, they reported:

  • Family member: 40%
  • Teacher or Coach: 26%
  • Community/Religious leader: 11%
  • Business leader: 7%

Two out of three of their role models were “ordinary people.” That’s you and that’s me. We have far more influence than we know—and leadership is influence! (People older than 30 also had “family member” as their primary answer, and then had “business leader” as the second most at 23%).

These numbers are verified. This means that if you are a parent or if you work with younger people, you have more leadership impact in their lives than anyone else. And if you are a businessperson, you have significant influence over the people who work for you, especially over those who report directly to you.

We’ve got to get this through our thick heads! People are watching us and our behavior makes a difference.

This is the greatest workplace truth that you can remember: When it comes to age, gender, ethnicity, position, nationality, organizational size, industry, tenure, or education—all of those factors together account for less than 1 percent of the reason people feel engaged and positive about their work lives. The “leadership behavior of the boss” is the top indicator of being engaged at work.

The “leadership behavior of the boss” is the top indicator of being engaged at work. CLICK TO TWEET

The Bottom Line:  Friends, YOU matter. Never forget that. YOU matter! Believe that and your behavior will make the world a better place.


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