I recently attended the Global Leadership Summit and was blown away by the amazing insights I gained. Bill Hybels, who is the founding father of the conference, shared some wonderful lessons in his opening talk. The following are some of the highlights, as well as how I plan on implementing these lessons to become a better leader.
1. Everybody Wins When a Leader Gets Better
There is an old phrase that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” In the same way, everyone in an organization improves their performance when a leader improves their ability to lead. People work harder, smarter, and more efficiently when they are following someone who cares about their success and cares about them as a person.
How does a leader get better? A leader gets better through an unwavering commitment to humility. Leading with humility is not easy; it takes courage and strength to allow every situation to build your knowledge, skills, and experience. It is impossible to lead with humility without first admitting that you need to improve.
This point was driven home the hardest when I returned from the Summit. It was incredibly exciting to hear examples of organizations that were turned around by tireless, fearless leaders who had a vision, a plan to achieve that vision, and the tenacity to execute that plan. I want to be an agent of positive change in the organizations I’m involved in, so it was inspiring to grow through this teaching and know that everyone else will grow as a result of my improvement as a leader.
2. Leadership Is Building a Case to Move From “Here” to “There”
At its core, leadership is energizing people to move to a preferred future. As such, the biggest impact to team performance is the unbridled passion of an inspired leader.
This definition of leadership implies that leaders must have the following attributes and roles:
Leaders must inspire and motivate people to positive, uphill action.
Leaders must be convincing communicators.
Leaders must be persistent, tenacious, and dedicated.
Leaders set the tone for the journey.
I found this explanation helpful because it pulls the focus away from processes and procedures and puts it back on people. People are unique, and they must each be led in a unique way. Moving forward, I will focus more on learning the personalities of my team members through connecting with them outside of work, so I can lead them effectively at work.
3. Leadership Matters—Disproportionately
Like it or not, leaders are responsible for setting the culture of their organization. If a leader works hard, their people will work hard. Conversely, the organization will tolerate the negative behaviors the leader tolerates. The importance of great leadership cannot be understated when considering the success of an organization. As the leader goes, the team goes; the call to effective leadership could not be more clear.
Personally, I realized I needed to take ownership of the tone I was setting for those around me. Whether I like it or not, whether I intend it or not, people are watching me and taking cues from me. When our world has constant reminders of poor leadership, I want to be the solution and not the problem, and steward well the honor of leading those around me.
At Credera, we believe in the paramount importance of servant leadership. Which insight did you find most helpful to your growth as a leader? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.