What do you think underpins great leadership? Communication? Vision? Drive? I’m sure we’ve all got an idea of what a great leader looks like to us.
During my recent online training for my Les Mills group fitness certifications, we spent some time delving into leadership. The tasks were designed for us to think about ourselves as fitness leaders in our classes and gyms. However, I actually found these insightful, purely for my day-to-day life.
If I were to sum up the approach to leadership we examined it would be: A great leader is someone who knows their why, is strong in their beliefs and lives out their values.
Here’s a bite-sized snapshot of what we looked at and a few questions for you to ponder:
We jumped head first into exploring our WHY. This is our personal reason for doing what we do. It’s what underpins our actions and drives purposeful behaviour. If we can identify a strong WHY, then we have the fuel we need to carry on when times get tough.
We started with a long list of values and narrowed these down to the most meaningful ones to us. Connecting with our core values helps to motivate us, keep us focused and, through our behaviour, inspire others. We feel good about ourselves when there’s an alignment of our values and actions. So, once we'd identified these values, the question became, were we actually demonstrating them as consistently as we’d like?
Starting off with a smidge of neuroscience, we established that the neuroplasticity of the brain means that connections or associations that we already have can change. Knowing this, we can make a conscious effort to rethink the beliefs we tell ourselves. We explored our limiting beliefs - the ones that swirl around our heads telling us we’re not good enough or aren’t worthy. The thoughts that hold us back from realising our potential. We can replace these with empowering beliefs which focus on what we can bring and what we can tell ourselves to quash our limiting beliefs.
Going through these exercises didn’t change me but it made me stop, take note and reconsider. I'm always going to have self-doubts no matter how many empowering beliefs I tell myself. But if I know what’s important to me, then what’s really left to second guess?
The idea of leading from an authentic place sits well with me. I want my actions to be in line with my values and be motivated by something that I want for myself and for others.
As one of the instructors on my module told me:
Joy is a strength, not a weakness.
So now I tell myself:
I have the power to make others smile.
What message could you tell yourself right now? How will you live out your values today? What is going to drive you to make a positive difference tomorrow?