Is your life as busy as mine? Busy can be a relative term; but I know most of us work and live at a very fast pace, and we must lead with honor in the midst of the activities of the day. I attribute my success and positive outlook in my busy schedule to the infusion of generous encouragement and affirmation that I receive from so many people around me. Not only do I receive much more than I give, but I’ve never felt so free to be myself.
As a former Vietnam POW, you can imagine how meaningful freedom is to me and how sensitive I am about the concept. As a leadership consultant and coach, I see that we all have mindsets from our past that are like shackles holding us back from being our best self.
To lead with more authentic impact, I need to be a giver every day of the year in three specific areas: personhood, performance, and potential.
- Give affirmation.
This is about personhood. We all want to count, to be valued, to know that we are important in this life.
In our daily interactions with others, we have a choice to be a giver or a taker; it’s much healthier to give than to be needy taker. [Tweet This]
My goal is to authentically lift others up and not add to the burdens of self-doubt that we all carry. I’m going to be more intentional about affirming their uniqueness, recognizing their talents, and helping them see how special they are.
- Give encouragement.
This is about performance.
Positive feedback reinforces mental and muscle memory, and it also energizes the recipient. [Tweet This]
I want to encourage others, but sometimes my old habits as an Air Force instructor pilot kick in. Grading every maneuver against perfection was required in that job, but it’s not very helpful in leadership (and most relationships, for that matter). I need to raise my awareness and emotional intelligence to quickly and consistently recognize small successes and good execution.
- Give others a vision for their future.
This is about potential. From my early years, I had a few people who saw something in me that I didn’t see. In small and large ways, they communicated that vision to me—subtly calling me out to reach my potential. During the difficult years in the POW cells, those messages echoed through my mind and inspired me onward toward the day when I would finally be free again. For years I’ve made it part of my mission to pay back the bank for this great investment that was made in me by so many. I want to take the risk and double down in expressing my faith in others because I personally know how valuable it can be.
Your Natural Leadership Style
We all have times when we fight the demons of discouragement and doubt, but focusing on ourselves usually makes us needy. Instead of being takers, let’s commit to become better givers. And it’s also important to lead and live from your natural strengths that make your leadership unique.
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Break Through – Assess Your Unique Natural Behaviors
Knowing your natural leadership behaviors of your team is the smart way to lead. With this valuable information, unity, productivity, and performance increase dramatically giving you the strategic edge in the marketplace.