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 September 2, 2021   By Living As A Leader


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How Leaders Can Foster Independence

The best leaders realize that learning never ends. There are always opportunities to grow your skills like listening to your team, providing valuable feedback and balancing accountability with inspiration.

As we enter the back to school season, it’s an opportunity to check in with yourself and where you can educate yourself as a leader. Whether you’re just getting started as a leader or feel like you’re up for a graduate-level course, here are ways leaders can school themselves.

Cultivate patience

As we adjust to changing work routines in a reopening world, we all need a master course in patience. A recent episode of LinkedIn’s Hello Monday podcast advises leaders not to “pretend nothing happened” when everyone returns to an office setting. Instead, they should first learn to connect with each other again –– which takes patience and understanding. When we work with leaders, we help them see if their words and non-verbal actions match up. Are they saying they have an open door policy, but their closed-off demeanor and harried actions communicate the opposite message? That’s why leaders need to model their intentions.

Build trust

In his business book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni paints a portrait of a fictional company that should be high-performing on paper–– but is losing to its competition. The problem is the team has no trust. If we don’t trust people, how can we expect anyone else to place their trust in us? Think of two or three people that you trust. They could be a parent, a close friend and confidant, a sibling or a historical figure like Mother Theresa. What makes these people trustworthy? What words do they say and actions do they take? How long did it take for you to trust these people? Write these qualities down, so that you can incorporate them into your leadership.   

Plan your next step

Research shows that one of the most enjoyable parts of travel is simply planning your trip. Yes, the process of booking flights, making hotel reservations and creating itineraries can actually be one of the best parts of the journey. Why? Because it creates anticipation, a powerful emotion that signals that the experience is just beginning. Think of your leadership –– and the learning that goes along with it –– as that journey. What most fulfills you? Think of how you can best carry out your calling. Then, take steps toward learning your next chapter.



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