Bullshift – verb [bool-shift] – To shift your brain away from negative thoughts and beliefs (i.e., bullsh!t) to success-minded, joyful, productive thoughts.
In the world of entrepreneurship, the notion that leaders are born, not made, is a long-standing belief. However, in my experience of 20 years as a business coach, I've learned that this belief is a myth that needs to be debunked. Leadership is a skill that can be cultivated and refined over time. I know because I help entrepreneurs develop their leadership skills and have the privilege of witnessing the before and after. The shift is powerful, but at least two limiting factors could get in the way of advancing your leadership skills: lack of confidence and the belief that you must be someone you're not to lead successfully.
Leadership is not about becoming an extrovert when you're not. You are no less a leader if you weren't born sociable and outgoing. Excellent leadership is built upon authenticity and trust. If you try to be someone you're not, you will fail.
So, how can you strengthen your skills while being true to who you are and your core values? The first thing to know is that leadership skills can be learned and honed through experience and education. And no, I don't mean a Harvard degree. The information you need is right at your fingertips.
There are developmental building blocks, mindset shifts, skills, and qualities that you already possess to get you on your way to step into the shoes of an outstanding leader confidently. It's time to Bullshift™any beliefs that you're not cut out to lead.
Test your leadership abilities with my free download,
“50 Tough Questions You Never Ask Yourself But Should.”
The Building Blocks of Leadership.
Picture leadership as a puzzle with pieces that you can assemble over time. The puzzle pieces represent skills like effective communication, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and strategic thinking. These are not innate traits but learned behaviors that you can hone through practice, experience, and confidence. You can build these skills over time, but also by observing the great leaders of our time through reading, listening to podcasts, and surrounding yourself with people who possess the qualities and skills you wish to enhance and develop.
Embrace a Growth Mindset.
Embracing a growth mindset is the cornerstone of leadership development. It's about believing you can develop your abilities, skills, and even your intuitive senses through dedication and hard work. When you limit yourself with negative beliefs about yourself, money, and the world around you, opportunities and valuable learning experiences will be missed and misunderstood.
Lean on your values.
When business owners contact me to discuss coaching, they usually feel a bit (or a lot) lost. They would give anything for a compass of sorts to guide them through their next steps and choices. Here's the thing—you already have an internal compass, and you need to lean on it to help you at every step along the way. When you identify and live by your personal and professional values, you'll make better choices, feel less confused, and gain clarity about yourself and your company's future.
Your values will help define your company's culture, another thing too many business owners neglect to do.
Contact me for a complimentary consultation if you'd like to learn more about defining your values;
it's one of the most significant things you'll do to develop into the leader you want to be.
Don't mistake empathy for weakness in leadership.
Great leaders can and should have empathy. This quality doesn't make you soft or weak; it's a strength and honorable leadership trait. The problem for highly empathetic people is that they sometimes need more confidence to make tough choices and to speak up without fear of hurting someone's feelings or confrontation. Empathy-driven leadership gets results and indicates a high level of emotional intelligence.
Emotionally intelligent people can use their feelings and intuitive senses to motivate themselves and others. They can understand and consider their team members' feelings to make sure each employee works from their best skill sets, not in areas of weakness. Empathetic leaders resolve conflict well because they can see and understand the nuances of a dispute or disagreement. Emotional intelligence also allows leaders to form intentional bonds with other people, connecting on a level that other leaders may not. If you are empathic, it can become your greatest strength, not a weakness.
Leadership is not an exclusive club for the chosen few; skills, experience, and qualities can be cultivated, nurtured, and refined. By adopting a growth mindset, continuous learning, and drawing inspiration from the great leaders of our times, you are already on the path to becoming the leader you aspire to be.