3 Transformative Attributes of Leadership
The other night, my family was looking for something to watch and The Wizard of Oz was on. As many of us know, Dorothy encounters three key characters during her adventure: the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. While I’ve seen the movie several times before, a few things stood out to me – specifically regarding leadership. Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion all embody three key attributes of leadership: brain, heart and courage.
As we look at transitioning back to the workplace at the end of the month, employees are turning to leaders for guidance and direction. Without a clear mind, compassion and courage, however, it can be difficult to lead effectively. Here are a few questions to ask yourself about how you are leading today and into the future:
HOW ARE YOU PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE?
Across the nation, many leaders are finding themselves in one of two boats. Either they are busier than ever and are finding it a challenge to keep up with demands or they’re struggling to keep employees and the future of their business secured. Because of this, it can be difficult to plan for the future or what business looks like after the pandemic. However, it is important to plan — now, more than ever.
Sooner or later, we will regain a sense of normality, and it’s important to have a plan around what the future will look like for a business. It’s inevitable that things will look different, but having a plan and goals for where you want your business to be will help you to transition out of the reactionary, survival mindset that many organizations are currently in. So, how are you thinking through the current state of your business for your team, customers and the longevity of the organization? How are you using your mind to lead you and your team through this pandemic?
CAN PEOPLE SEE YOUR HEART?
When times are tough, employees turn to leaders. But who do leaders turn to? In our work, we find that leaders are the ones who are most likely to repress their emotions and isolate themselves. Especially during tough times or when a difficult decision has to be made, they have a tendency to cut out their teams and bear the responsibility alone. However, because this isn’t communicated and people don’t see their vulnerability, employees and customers can get the impression that leaders are being irresponsible or that they don’t care. Because of this, it’s important for leaders to express their feelings — to show their hearts; their passion. Doing so sends the message that you care and it can help to pull people together to get things done.
ARE YOU EMBRACING CHALLENGES?
It can be extremely easy to be content about where you’re at. You’re not great, but it’s not bad so it’s fine. But to be a leader, others look to you to set the tone. Part of a leader’s role means to step up to the plate to take on those challenges, to be brave. This doesn’t have to be anything extreme. It can be as simple as learning something new, experiencing something different, or stepping into situations that others may not. What matters is that you’re pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, in order to grow. And through these opportunities, you can inspire others to take on their fears or to take the next step in their development and do something great for themselves.
As the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion all learned, they had a brain, a heart and courage inside of them that just needed to tap into. Each of you also have all three attributes of leadership in you, but are you leading through them or running from them? This might be the time to shift your leadership. Be the light and example for others around you. If there was ever a time to lead, it is now.
Think about it, trust your heart and be fearless.
If you’re looking for ways to develop your leadership skills, connect with the Utech Team. With nearly 30 years of experience working with leaders across the country, our team is equipped to help you elevate your leadership to the next level.