Leadership beyond good intentions-How are you making a difference?

By November 26, 2015Uncategorized

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If you google the word leadership, there about 477,000,000 results!! On Amazon, there 174,449 books under the topic of leadership. The topic of leadership is probably the most researched and read about than any other subject. Many talk about it as the New Year will bring a new president in United States. 

You can read books to learn about leadership. You can talk to colleagues, trusted peers, your friends and your family to learn about leadership. Learning can be the beginning of what leadership is about. But, it’s one thing to read and educate yourself about leadership, then to know and DO leadership.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe reminds us that, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

It’s a totally different thing to apply it, to “DO” leadership. Blogs, Podcasts, books, and advice can let you know how to be a better leader – how to influence, communicate, build a team, mentor, and solve problems, but unless you try these things out -unless you “do” leadership–you are doing yourself and those around you a disservice.

Just thinking about doing something won’t get results, it’s what you actually do that counts. Many of us judge ourselves by our intentions, but others by our actions. Think about that for a moment. Go ask someone about your leadership. Would they share their stories about your intentions or you actions?

I would go on a limb here and say that many people know about leadership, but how many actually DOING leadership? That’s the million dollar question.

The Leader to Leader Institute (Peter Drucker) has published a great book on this idea called BE-KNOW-DO, Leadership- the Army Way.

“Leaders act. They bring together everything they are, everything they believe, and everything they know how to do to provide purpose, direction, and motivation.  This involves the following three leader actions: Influencing, Operating and Improving.”

The biggest gap for any leader is the gap between knowing and doing. A lot of people know what to do, but are not doing what they know about good leadership. We need less theories and more stories about positive leadership that can change the world. Our world is filled with leadership seminars and workshops to polish our leadership skills and bring about change in our business. But how many of us when we get home put the training on the shelf and don’t bother to implement what we learn?

So that brings us to the question of what do we need to DO, to lead our organization, communities and families?

Lead by example

The best leaders are the ones that walk the talk. They are LIVING their intentions, values and passions. How would you feel about someone who just talks about leadership but have yet to demonstrate through their daily behaviors and actions whether they are making a positive difference?

We need to build positive relationships

Another actionable item is how you lead your relationships. Most of us have many good intentions about relationships, but are not doing enough to add value and invest time and energy into those relationships. Good relationships take time, effort and humility to learn about people. If you are willing to put the time and lead with your heart, good things are going to happen in your relationships.

We need to be the change we want to see

Everyone is talking about change. We always want to see a better organization, a better community and a better world. But things don’t change unless we do. And that requires courage to get out of our own way. It requires us to make small contributions. Making a difference is worn out slogan because we need more people to DO the difference today. Go out and live out your authentic leadership.

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