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In the years we have spent developing leadership skills in business professionals, we have run across some common misconceptions.

Leadership isn’t just about courage or competent skills for people to follow you.

Leadership isn't just wielding power; fear is one of the least productive tools for motivating people to perform well. True leadership is providing guidance through the exercise of authority that has been earned.

Leadership isn’t the result of any particular management process Its not an extension of the manager's authority as defined by the corporate hierarchy. It's the manner by which a process is implemented—the attitudinal qualities the manager brings to everyday interactions.

Leadership IS about earned authority and transforming yourself.

If you are committed to leading your team to success, you will want to follow these 7 Steps:

  1. Personal Power. The definition of success is different for everyone, but you must achieve success if you expect others to follow you. They have to believe that your focus is on them they can achieve what you want to be accomplished. Do you know and recognize your own strength and weaknesses in addition to those of your team?
  2. Conviction. Leaders with conviction create environments of certainty allowing the organization to focus on what needs to be done. Do you have the ability to communicate in a positive way what your passions are? If you believe something so deeply, it will become part of who you are. Do you have that type of passion and conviction; are you willing to be transparent about it?
  3. Charisma. Encouraging behaviors in others with effective bonding communication and persuasion skills. How quickly do you connect with others? Are people drawn towards you? Are you easy to like or are you a lot to get past?
  4. People Skills. Effective leaders get things done through others so strong people skills are a must. Do you have the ability to effectively read people and have influence over them? Can you adapt easily to people that are different from you?
  5. Courage. This isn’t about how brave you are, but how secure you make others feel. Do you make your team feel like “everything is going to be ok if they stick with you” even during the rough times?
  6. Ethics. This doesn’t need a lot of explanation. We expect leaders to take responsibility for both good and bad results. Do you have a sense of right versus wrong? Do you live by the Golden Rule? A true leader clearly communicates what they consider their mantra – the rules they live by.
  7. Expertise. This isn’t what you do, it’s what you know. What wisdom and insights have you garnered from your life’s experiences?

Each of these Big Seven actions is intertwined – all must co-exist and work together in order to be effective. Leadership is a journey; striving towards being a better leader in order for others to follow you is one of the true secrets to success.

Are you struggling with some of your Big Seven? Would a 10-minute discussion help you begin to sort through it? Contact us here or at PEAK@sandler.com.

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