In the past, I’ve written about what type of person comes to mind when I hear the word “leadership”. And the person that I immediately envision is a chef. In the final instalment in my series of posts about the foundations all businesses should be putting in place to set them up for success, I’m sharing my thoughts on leadership. And this image of the chef came into my mind once again.
Chefs have a style of cooking, a way of interacting with the staff in the kitchen and with their patrons. This can be seen as their unique signature. For business leaders, developing your personal mantra is much the same. What do I mean by this? Well, when I talk about your leadership mantra, I’m talking about your unique recipe for successful leadership or your personal leadership style. This comes down to identifying what is important for you as an individual and as the head of a team.
For me personally, I choose to see challenges as something positive. Something that pulls teams together and forces us to come up with innovative ideas to overcome whatever hurdle has been put in front of us. Setbacks make you better at what you do. As part of this, I needed to identify my own strengths and weaknesses and then surround myself with people who bolster strengths and help me out in areas where I tend to fall short.
When trying to identify these people, I believe that it is critical to choose talent and culture fit over experience. When recruiting people into your team, ask them competency-based questions to gauge how they respond to specific situations and highlight their decision-making skills. A chef is only going to know if someone can cook food when they’re actually in the kitchen.
Another big part of my personal approach to leadership is creating future leaders. I don’t think that a successful leader has to be in charge of the largest number of people. A successful leader should work to help his or her team develop themselves and be better at what they do, with the hope that they’ll someday become leaders too.
When trying to develop your own leadership mantra, you need to ask yourself the following
- What am I good at?
- What am I not so good at?
- What do I stand for?
- What inspires me?
- How do I live my life?
- How do I want to live my life?
- What is my purpose? As an individual and as a business leader?
In answering these questions, you’ll have a better idea about what type of leader you want to be, how you want to interact with those around you and what kind of environment you’d like to create. Often, people who are put in leadership positions don’t take it very seriously. But being a leader is a lot like being handed a loaded gun. You need to be responsible with what you have been given to ensure that you don’t have a negative impact on those around you.
If you’d like to access the other parts of my leadership series, visit the Nebula blog here. Or to have these and other helpful insights delivered to your inbox, sign up for our monthly newsletter below.