I often come across leaders who want to be strong leaders but don’t want to be bossy. Many of the leadership models and examples they’ve experienced are aggressive, pushy, and downright nasty…and they don’t want to be like that!Yet, this same group of people doesn’t want to be “weak” or considered pushovers. They don’t see strong leaders being taken advantage of, not listened to, or not respected.Well the great news is that you don’t need to lead at either end to be a great leader.Strong, powerful leaders all have something in common and it doesn’t hurt or require you to do something super-human.Follow these seven practices and you’ll be leading without being bossy in no time:
- Ask questions before you talk. Find out what your team needs.
- Listen, really listen to their responses.
- Get dirty. Don’t ask your team to do anything that you would not do.
- Walk the talk. Maintain your integrity and do what you say you are going to do.
- Take responsibility for yourself and your team. When you honor them, they will honor you.
- Care about your people, individually and collectively. Remember that actions speak louder than words.
- Don’t rely on unspoken expectation. Be very clear what is expected of your team and of you.
- Invite people to participate rather than telling. Rarely, if ever, will your team decline the “invitation”. If you are following these principles, your team will not only accept the invitation, they will probably follow you wherever you go!
What else would you add to this list of being a great leader without being bossy? As always, I love hearing from you.With love,MariaDr. Maria Church, CPC, is a leadership coach, speaker, and author of Love-Based Leadership: Transform Your Life with Meaning and Abundance and her upcoming book, A Course in Leadership: 21 Spiritual Lessons on Leadership, Love, and Life. Maria holds a doctorate of management in organizational leadership, teaches at several universities, and is CEO of Dr. Maria Church International LLC, a leadership coaching, development, and training firm. For more information, visit www.DrMariaChurch.com.