Leadership Is About Finding The ACES In Your Midst
How do you measure leadership qualities?
It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur building up a small business, or the CEO of a company with three branch offices and 1500 employees…
…understanding leadership potential in your team requires some yardstick.
In my practice as a business coach, I recommend that you consider ACES.
ACES can be the highest…or the lowest
I like to think of leadership qualities as ACES because the ace is the only card in the deck that can either be the highest or the lowest.
These qualities are Authenticity, Commitment, Enthusiasm, and Service.
They are the four cornerstones of any good leader…do you know how to spot them?
This trait comes hand-in-hand with availability and accessibility.
Have you heard the old English word, winsome?
It refers to a childlike appeal…charm without guile. There is an attraction, a realness, that is more than just about transparency.
We can apply this to leadership. An authentic person will demonstrate that they’re willing to be taught, open to correction, as well as encouragement. They consider themselves a work in progress.
A leader won’t have all the answers. And they’ll demonstrate a willingness to find them rather than pushing back.
Leaders might think they’re authentic because they meet their team every week and share sales data or broadcast the quarterly report.
But, do their employees feel like they can approach their leader with suggestions, constructive criticism? Will they seek him or her out as a mentor?
That’s authentic leadership. So…
- Think about someone in your sphere – personal or professional – that you love talking to, hearing from…someone whose input you readily seek. Someone who reciprocates. Do they have leadership qualities? Probably.
Have you observed an individual who is committed to vision, values, beliefs – to growth – within your organization, a service club or church, or out in the community?
Leaders who possess a willingness to commit take responsibility for their actions, and they operate as a team player, not a lone wolf.
When the going gets tough, this leader stays calm and remains focussed. And they maintain their connections with colleagues.
- Think about someone who was willing to pay the price to stay the course. What is it that modelled or exemplified their commitment to the cause – personally or professionally?
A good leader knows when to be a cheerleader…an encourager.
I’m talking about someone who has a fire in their belly…a passion. They care deeply about something and are continually striving to raise the bar. And, bring everyone else along with them…
They are willing to invest in others and instill courage.
I confess it’s been a challenge for me as a coach to teach this skill. The tendency is to get wrapped up in the emotion of enthusiasm but don’t affect change. But it’s a trait that can be harnessed and empowered. So…
- Think about a person who is fun to be with, an encourager. When they enter the room, an energizing passion and enthusiasm come with them. There’s power in that person with the proper guidance…
This trait speaks louder than any words one could speak.
It’s modelled through a willingness to be a servant. It’s a willingness to serve without trying to be all things to all people.
Being a servant of service is about discipline. Great leaders will channel their time, talents, and treasures for the most significant impact within their scope of influence.
The greatest aspect of this? A service-oriented leader will be proactive in their pursuits. They won’t be seeking to maintain the status quo or wait to be pointed in a specific direction. So…
- Think of a person who reaches out rather than one who says, “I’m here if you need me.” More often than not, a person who waits for you to ask for help will have a laundry list of reasons why they can’t be of service when you need them.
What does finishing well mean?
We’re approaching fall…a time for companies to begin strategic planning sessions and imagine the coming year.
But what about finishing well?
- What is your focus?
- How do you want people to describe you in a non-physical way?
- What are some things you should start pursuing again in the fall?
- What will success mean to you? Why will it matter?
- What is your motivation? Why does it matter?
I encourage my clients to find their stride at this junction. Something between “head in the clouds” and “nose to the grindstone” is ideal.
Do you want help finishing this year well? Do you want to set new personal and professional goals for next year?
Contact me, and we can discuss the ACES leadership model in greater depth. Then, I can help you finish – and start again – well. So, let’s talk.