“Leaders can emerge at any level if they can cultivate a desire in those with whom they collaborate to strive toward a common goal…”Psychology Today (2020)
Hey Moms and thank you for checking out the first post in the “MOM Boss Leadership Blog Series”! In honor of Women’s History Month, I’d like to focus on the concept of leadership and share tips with emerging female leaders throughout the month on the blog, Facebook and Instagram.
I believe that moms, both in the marketplace and entrepreneurs, have extreme potential to be successful when equipped with the exposure to expert knowledge and abundant support to do so. As we explore the basic premise of leadership, which encompasses self-leadership, influential leadership, leading people and leading teams, it is my hope that you will learn how to effectively implement leadership principles that lead you on a path to career and entrepreneurial success.
Leadership – The Basics
The most common definition of leadership is the ability to lead people. Not all leaders lead people and the premise of leadership extends far beyond leading people. I feel that leadership incorporates the ability to garner support for a common cause while creating a roadmap for success.
Leadership is a dynamic construct which exhibits a different meaning among individuals based upon personal views, attitudes, and outcomes of situations that prompt an opportunity to lead.
People debate over the theory of whether great leaders are destined from birth or cultivated. I believe both are true. Some people are born to lead, while others grow through experiences, opportunities, and guidance from the environment that they cultivate within. Take my opening quote for example, a leader can “emerge” into positions of leadership.
Types of Leadership
I like to think of leadership in three high level categories:
- The ability to discipline and lead one’s self (Self- Leadership)
Self-leadership is the ability to push yourself towards achieving your personal goals and dreams. I submit to you that individuals who lack consistency, discipline, and drive tend to not display self-leadership.
Furthermore, a person who does not showcase the ability to lead themselves are effective at leading others.
As a person gains clarity on who they are, the skills they possess, and the passions that drive them they can then enhance their self-leadership ability.
“You cannot lead others if you cannot lead yourself” – Coach D
Here are some words of wisdom on enhancing your self-leadership ability:
- Focus on consistently developing a skill or trait. Then self-evaluate whether you’ve mastered it or not.
- Improve on your decision making and standing your ground. Let your yes mean yes and no mean no. Keep your word!
- Never lose sight of your why and maintain alignment to your passion.
- The ability to impact others through leadership (Influential Leadership)
A person’s ability to influence is rooted in the ability to build trust and strong relationships as they collectively support a common cause. Titles indicate leaders, but they don’t necessarily make leaders. Leaders can emerge at any level and can be effective with or without a title.
My personal journey in Corporate America, has many elements of influential leadership. I am currently the site leader for a Diversity & Inclusion Affinity Group (D&I) and I have “dotted line” reporting responsibility for a team member who supports our area of work. I don’t take either responsibility lightly and allow these experiences to further nurture me as a leader.
“The ultimate test of leadership is your ability to lead people whose livelihood is not dependent upon them following you.” – Coach D
- The ability to lead organizations (Enterprise Leadership)
The race to enterprise leadership is rigorous, and usually comes with sacrifices, wins, and losses. Very few are presented the opportunity to lead an organization or enterprise. In the market place, this includes leading teams of team. Think executive level. For entrepreneurs, this includes businesses with revenue stream and employees.
Whether your career is in the marketplace or an entrepreneur, enterprise leadership requires years of practicing self-leadership, influential leadership, and cultivating others. It is with great responsibility that enterprise leaders lead teams of teams and steer organization towards the goal of growth, profitability (in some cases), and market sustainability.
Characteristics of Effective Leaders
Effective leaders are often visionaries who have the unique ability to see beyond current circumstances into a future state. Not only can they see the vision, they can create strategies that will bring the vision to life.
Effective leaders can motive people to pursue a common cause or inspire them to be a part of the vision.
Effective leaders are courageous and not afraid to take risk and drive change. They challenge the status quo knowing that they can clearly motivate, energize, lead, and defend their team(s).
Empathetic (Emotional IQ)
Effective leaders are in tune with the needs of their teams and can effectively listen and relate to the situations that individuals are facing.
Effective leaders can adapt to changes around them quickly to remain on course. They are not easily thrown off course and discouraged from pursing their goals full force.
This one is a wildcard since strategic thinking is one’s innate ability to come up with creative, sound, and effective plan(s) that align to the overarching goal or vision. Although, it is not necessarily a skill set that can be taught, you can develop your thinking to be strategy driven.
Strategic thinkers can anticipate outcomes, calculate risk, plan for alternative scenarios, and make decisions based upon facts.
It is my desire to see more mommy leaders emerge in the marketplace and in business. Motherhood equips us with many unique skills that we can leverage along our journey.
Emerge MOM Boss… Emerge!