Whether as an entrepreneur, an influencer, or a manager, have you ever contemplated how others notice or learn from you? As a leader, you are continually being watched over, and it is no longer about the opinions that others form about you, but more so the impact you create in the lives of the people.
Besides the essential skills, sources reveal that 38% to 50% of new leaders fail within the first 18 months of their hiring or promotion. These include business savvy and high intelligence professionals who have shown prior success. Leadership today is no longer about the title that you acquire, rather a culmination of your experience, mindset, and behavior that speaks to the audience at large.
After leaving the White House, the first public event that Former President Barack Obama attended was a talk show with students UChicago Reva and David Logan Center where he opened the platform by quoting, “The single most important thing I can do, is to prepare the next generation of leaders to take up the baton and take their crack at changing this world.”
As a leader at any level, here is what we should look into, besides fulfilling our demanding duties.
Are we creating enough opportunities?
In 2016, 69% of millennials said that they did not have enough leadership development opportunities at their workplace. In this fast-paced world, leaders need to be more open-minded and create roles that perfectly sync with the employees’ talent, even if such positions never existed before. Moreover, we need to encourage our following generation to consider networking and training integral to professional growth while giving them the macro aspect of the industries, not limited to specific specializations.
Talking often about your journey touches lives.
The next generation wants to be inspired and not only be impressed. Rarely do leaders talk about the rough patches in their glory filled story? Talking about your challenges, failures, and power of perseverance is highly relatable to the struggling leaders, and perhaps, their quest may be fulfilled by the turning point of your life. As a white male CEO, Jim Rogers of Duke Energy has been honest enough to share how he felt intimidated at the start of his career, owing to his southern accent and origin from a rural state. The peak of our career, as leaders, is as important as the rough terrains that we cross, and the story is worth a share.
A mentor or a boss?
The real success of leaders is defined by the ability to coach the subordinates. Today, 83% of employers agree that it is essential to create leaders at all levels. Leaders need to reflect upon their role beyond their professional responsibilities and cabins and have a vision for their team and followers. While it is easier to act bossy and command your team, it is even more valuable to coach your fellows and grows together. As Oprah Winfrey rightly quotes, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”
Emphasize on purpose.
Leadership is a sweet spot where you are close to your professional goals and have a strong reason to live your purpose. It links your strengths, passion, values, and experience and allows you to grow and excel in your role. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, the two most important factors for youth while considering job opportunities and a sense of purpose. Youth today wish to work with leaders who have the ability and the vision to improve the world’s state to the best of their ability.
Taking the lead through action.
Whether you are addressing managers in a boardroom, public speaking at an event, or talking one on one to someone, leading by an example highlights your sense of responsibility and your potential as a leader. Attached to your purpose is the action that defines your leadership success. And this consistency in taking action and being committed is directly linked to your loyalty and authenticity. As an advocate of climate change, Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation supports more than 35 worldwide conservation projects. As an environmentalist first, DiCaprio’s actions are a perfect example of his leadership spirit for the cause.
Pass on the baton of power and decision making
Great leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi believed in their followers, who became an influential part of their movement in the fight against injustice. Successful leaders are not afraid to entrust others, believing that empowerment paves the way to more victories. It is critical to shine with others and make them feel strongly about your believes while also making your followers a part of your vision. People must feel they matter, and together you can make a difference.
According to the Harvard Business School, 78% of business leaders are focused on improving engagement with their employees. Inspiring leadership is more of a self-initiated movement, and if leaders of all capacity vouch to raise independent, responsible, and thoughtful leaders, the future of the world is shining bright. The question is, are we ready to start?