Who motivates the motivator?
Leadership is like that. Who does the leader follow to evolve into the optimum model to follow?
Leadership must be renewed from within. It is like a muscle that must be worked to develop.
Consider playing a sport like tennis. A coach once encouraged me to experience playing against an opponent at least two “rungs” up from my level to improve my game. Easier said than done, I say! A special person, especially a company leader, has to possess several traits to combat ego issues. See if you agree with me:
Conscious competence—Great leaders select experts smarter and more informed than they are. They are committed to personal growth and lifelong learning. They are confident in their own skin that they are knowledgeable, yet they cannot know everything! They are self-referred and comfortable to know they have assembled the best team. This ability relates to control and trust issues, which is founded on insecurity.
Empathy—They need to understand and care about the people in their sphere is important to them.
Self awareness—This multidimensional leader is aware of short-comings as well as strengths. This trait is essential to emotional intelligence and assessing one’s position in the universe.
Courage to fail—It takes courage to risk one’s security and comfort to achieve an outcome. This is the discussion around “out-of-the-box” thinking and actions. Another perspective is to shift into curiosity mode and find out how parts fit together. This perspective allows space to explore and test different approaches. It is a way of eliminating obstacles by crossing them off the list of what has been tried.
Know it all—This omniscient leader has a blind spot that shines on the ego. It is a false premise to think one person holds all the answers, and that to ask for input or feedback somehow diminishes one’s credibility or stature and makes one weak. The hubris of this perspective is the undoing of many leaders and they don’t see it coming. Plus, adversaries see an opportunity in this warped thinking to feed misinformation or counterpoint with something the person does not know!
Humility—Robert Schuller said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking more of other people.” The ability to be humble opens a perspective of wide expanse. There are possibilities in humility and an openness to learn in service to others. Whether leading a large corporation, religious organization, or teaching a class, humility tracks back to being receptive to new ideas and a desire to know more.
The Model—One must be able to follow before becoming a great leader. The great leader uses all of the above traits to inspire confidence and emotion into people who perceive how their lives will be enhanced by connecting with this leader.
I would enjoy hearing your input, so please send your concepts of leadership directly to me. MC