Are true leaders born or made? Is it true that anyone can lead? In this episode, Patrick Veroneau discusses why most people don’t lead and what is needed for someone to become a leader. It’s all about beliefs and behaviors and Patrick tackles the necessary traits and beliefs that true leaders demonstrate. This is a great episode for leaders and people aspiring to leadership roles.
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Anyone Can Lead And Why Most Don’t
Leadership Is About Beliefs And Behaviors That Anyone Can Develop
In this episode, we are going to talk about how anyone can lead and why most don’t and we are going to break it down into two simple areas. One is beliefs and the other is behaviors. We have overcomplicated what it means to lead. We are going to talk about both of those and show you that anyone can lead and how you can start leading now. Stay tuned.
I’m excited about this episode. This is one of those questions I get tired of hearing, “Are leaders made or are they born?” Clearly, they are born. I look at this the same way as I look when I hear people talk about somebody being self-made. Nobody is self-made. You can be self-motivated but you are not self-made. I believe it’s the same thing with leadership. First, you can’t lead if you don’t have followers. Also, in terms of becoming a leader in the first place, you need to have been conceived to get here. When I look at the definition of leadership, there were a couple of things that stand out for me. One, it’s about actions and inspiration. The other components to it are our actions inspiring others to do, become, dream and care more. I believe those are the most important components for leadership or followership to inspire those people to want to follow us. Our behaviors come down to actions and that’s what creates the inspiration.Demonstrating appreciation is recognizing the potential that others bring and helping them to draw that out. Click To Tweet
We all can develop certain behaviors that create this environment where followers want to do, become, dream and care more. I think the care more is really important. I have gone back and forth on this as it relates to an earlier quote that I would often use that has been attributed to many different people. It was around actions inspiring people to do, learn, become and dream more. I remember at one point somebody said, “What about Hitler? Hitler did all of those things.” I agree. For me, to try and eliminate that and make it clearer, I added to care more. Our ability to be able to do that for one another is important. Not to say that somebody could still twist that somehow to make a negative. I do believe that gets to the heart of what separates us. As a leader, how can we be for others and inspire others to be for others?
The two areas I’m going to talk about, one is around beliefs. If anybody can lead and most don’t, why is that? What is it that prevents us? First off, I believe it’s one’s beliefs that prevent one from leadership. Oftentimes, I think it’s because they think I don’t have the right background, I’m not high enough in an organization, I don’t come from the right family, whatever it might be, it’s our own limiting beliefs. We hold ourselves back in terms of thinking that we are not able to lead somebody else. Nobody has told us we are a leader. We have anointed us with that phony title of a leader. To me, leadership has nothing to do with that. I know people yawn when they hear that.
I believe it is not about a title yet, we hang on to that. When we introduce individuals that are high up in an organization, we will talk about them as a leadership team. That’s not accurate. They are in positions of high authority. Most of them probably are not truly leaders. After we can overcome our beliefs, we are all able to lead, inspire others, do, become, dream or care more. Once we get past that it’s about, what are the behaviors that create that? There’s a model that I often used called COACHED. It’s an acronym based on seven behaviors that inspire other people were to create engagement, motivation and empowerment of others.
The first one of these letters in COACHED is Congruence. Congruence is about integrity. It’s about walking the talk. When our words are in alignment with our actions, we are demonstrating a sense of leadership. Our actions are inspiring other people to do, become, dream and potentially to care more based on that congruence. The next is about Opinions Matter. What that really speaks to is our ability to listen. The behavior to develop in regards to listening is important for leadership to demonstrate to somebody else that you are truly able to listen to their perspective, where they are, show respect. There are four ways that I often talk about listening. One is with our ears, listening to somebody’s tone of voice, the word choice that they use, what words they stress, listening with our eyes, looking at their body language and facial expressions are important.
Listening with our mind in terms of thinking what might this person be saying. Besides what I’m hearing, what else might it mean? Listening with empathy. When we can listen empathically to somebody else, that is about listening to them in a way we would like to have listened to ourselves if we were on the other side of this conversation. When we can listen on that level, that’s leadership. That’s inspiring other people by our behaviors.
Next, we move on to Appreciation, which is the A in this model. As a leader, demonstrating this behavior is about recognizing other people and the potential they bring, recognizing that, and helping to draw that out. It’s also about appreciating people for who they are and recognizing the contributions that they made. Again, when I behave in ways that I demonstrate appreciation for others, those actions, those behaviors are inspiring others. When we move on next, it’s around Connection. As a leader, when I can behave in ways that I create connection, another word is belongingness. I did an episode on this, The Power That Belongingness Has. When I can interact with somebody else in a way that makes them feel as though they are part of where the group is or where I am trying to lead us, that behavior on my part has created action and inspiration.
Moving on next to the H in this model of COACHED is around Highlighting Strengths. We all know the work that has been done by Gallup and Marcus Buckingham certainly has done tremendous work in this area, as he states, “Playing checkers is not the way to go. It’s about playing chess. When we play chess with individuals, it’s not to manipulate them. It’s to look at other people’s strengths and to identify those and draw that out in them to have them play their highest game.” When we do that, again, if I’m able to highlight somebody else strengths as a leader, those actions are inspiring certainly people to do, become, dream and care more.
The next one is we move on to the E in the COACHED model. It’s around Empathy. Specifically, when I talk about empathy, I talk about intentional vulnerability. Oftentimes, we will hear people talk about, “You need to be vulnerable.” I agree. I am all for that. Vulnerability is such an important action or place that we need to put ourselves as leaders. It demonstrates the highest level of strength. Those that can, as I often challenged, intentionally make themselves vulnerable. What I mean by that is to put yourself in places where you are saying, “I’m sorry, I was wrong. Maybe I don’t have the answer. I’m struggling.”
When we can confidently say those things to others, we demonstrate our own courage and strength. Don’t get me wrong. Do I want the same individual coming in every day saying, “Wrong again, I made a mistake? I’m scared again. I don’t know where we are going.” No. I certainly want the individual that is strong enough in who they are. They dare to be able to say, “I am scared now. I am sorry. What just happened? My fault.” That, to me, is the level of leadership when I can be in that space because it demonstrates and certainly, that type of action inspires other people to do, become, dream and care more.
Lastly, in regards to the COACHED model, it’s around Direction and Decisiveness. That’s the D in this model. Direction is really about setting clear expectations. What do I expect from other people? To hold them accountable. As part of that direction and clear expectations, it’s about being decisive or to be decisive if I need to. I would say that if there’s one behavior that goes back onto the belief side, it would be decisiveness. There are times where individuals, even though they could lead, they don’t because they question their own ability to be decisive. To make an impact when we all have that ability. It’s all about behaviors.
When I look at this COACHED model, I can ask myself each one of those things as I work with individuals on my team or in the community, “Have I COACHED? Have I been congruent? Have I listened to other’s opinions? Have I been appreciative? Have I inspired connection? Have I highlighted other people’s strengths? Have I been empathetic and demonstrated that in my actions?” Lastly, “Have I been clear in my direction and decisiveness?” When I’m able to do those things consistently, I’m able to lead. I was born with the ability to lead.Nobody is self-made. You can be self-motivated, but never self-made. Click To Tweet
It will be how I address my behaviors and my beliefs that will draw that out. It will draw that out of each individual that chooses to look at this and take this on. Every one of us can lead. The only reason we don’t is that either we don’t believe or if we do believe, we behave in ways that don’t inspire people to do, become, dream or care more. As you finish reading this episode, I challenge you, ask yourself, what do you believe? How have you COACHED those around you as a leader? If you do this right, you will lead like no other. I hope you found this episode valuable and you can take away some pearls in terms of how you can inspire others that are through your actions.