“Leadership is not about a title, or flowchart. It is about influencing another life.” – John C. Maxwell
The dictionary defines lead as to guide on a way, especially going in advance to direct a course or a direction, to serve as a channel, and to direct operations, activity or performance.
Remember when we were young and played the game follow the leader? First a leader is chosen and then the children line up behind the leader. The leader then moves around and all the children have to mimic the leader’s actions. Any player who fails to do what the leader does is out of the game. The last person standing, other than the leader, is now the new leader.
Successful leaders never quit playing that game. Of course, as adults we no longer call it follow the leader—we call it mentoring and coaching. There is a difference between mentors and coaches. Mentors are role models that act like consultants, challenge our assumptions about life or business, and often play the devil’s advocate. Mentors are further ahead on the road and can let you know about potential hazards. A mentor cares about you and your long-term development.
Coaches focus on specific performance and guide you to improve your performance. Top athletes all have coaches to improve and maximize their performance. Speakers and performers work with a series of coaches to achieve their goals and stay on track. Coaches help you take your game to the next level.
According to Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, who have worked together more than thirty years studying leaders and leadership, leadership is not about personality; it’s about behavior. There are five practices of exemplary leaders:
• Model the Way
• Inspire a Shared Vision
• Challenge the Process
• Enable Others to Act
• Encourage the Heart
These behaviors are evident in the mentors and coaches I’ve had and have currently. It’s also easy for me to see how nurses are naturals at being exemplary leaders in the five practices above.
Successful leaders guide by example by being clear about their values, vision, and purpose, thereby building trust and releasing creativity and productivity.
You Are the CEO of Your Life
“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” – John Wooden
You are the highest ranking executive in your company, whose main responsibilities are developing and implementing high-level strategies, making decisions and managing the overall day-in and day-out operations and acting as the main point of communication between all parties. Many people believe success is random, landing on some individuals rather than on others, similar to holding the winning raffle ticket. Whereas the truth is that success is available to each of us and not just a few. Success requires us to make the decision that we will succeed. When people think of the definition of success they most often equate success with wealth, fame, position and popularity. However success is not a noun or a destination; it is a verb, a continual process to become the best you are capable of being.
©2011-2014 Michelle Podlesni, BSG,Inc. (taken from Unconventional Nurse Going from Burnout to Bliss!) Entrepreneur Mentor Michelle Podlesni teaches nurses how to start and grow profitable businesses that make a positive impact at www.UnconventionalNurse.com.