Monday, September 26, 2011

Plant The Flag: 25 Words To Define Your Leadership

We don't get too many opportunities to pause and reflect on how we define ourselves as leaders, and then, more importantly, how that ultimately gets communicated to those we lead.   We can either consciously or subconsciously develop a vocabulary that sets the tone, plants the flag, and serves as guideposts for our teammates.

If we're not taking our appropriate pauses, the subconscious will do all the work, and that can be dangerous, because it can take us to places we don't want to be – and then, when it's pointed out to us, we're shocked.  "I didn't think I was acting like that!"

That happened to me a few times early on in my leadership journey, when my subconscious ruled the day.  I was too busy to define myself consciously.

I learned the hard way.

But that doesn't have to happen to you.  I found that a great exercise is to pull out a scratch pad, find a quiet place, and write down single words, words that you believe define the way you lead.

They can be any word – nouns, adjectives, verbs, no matter.

Fill a page with them if you can.  Then, winnow them down to just 25.   Take your time, and think about those words that resonate the most with you, that represent YOU.

Then transfer your 25 selections to a fresh page. Or type them up on your computer. Sort them in a way that makes sense to you.

Read them aloud (that's why you need a quiet room, so your friends don't think you're going slightly mad).

You've just embedded your conscious mind with the right tools for the job. Oh, the subconscious will still want a piece of the action, so you'll want to revisit this list every now and then, just to make sure you are staying on track.

I refreshed my list this morning-  thanks to my archive of leadership posts for the assistance – and here they are:

Greatness
Accountability
Teach
Respect
Trust
Execution
Process
Service
Focus
Relentlessness
Learn
Listen
Measure
Karaoke
Quality
Purpose
Happiness
Team
Perspective
Inspire
Truth
Pride
Do
Believe
Dream

I'm sure you are wondering how "karaoke" got on this list.  For me, sometimes you just gotta sing it out. "Don't stop, believin'…….   

What are your 25 words?  Share them here, or on your blog.

Plant your leadership flag, and lead well!

Thanks to Terry Starbucker
http://www.terrystarbucker.com/2011/09/25/plant-the-flag-25-words-to-define-your-leadership/

 

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