As leaders, it’s not just your words that affect those around you. You have to walk the walk, as the saying goes. This means that your actions, all of them, are directly impacting your co-workers, your organisation, and your leadership style.
There are certain things that all great leaders do, that have a major impact and make a difference in the lives of their employees and others that they interact with. While you might fancy yourself as a ‘good’ leader, you shouldn’t be content with this. If you want to be a great leader, which any leader should be striving to be, you should be consciously doing these things daily until they become second nature.
To have a valuable impact on your team, you should be doing these four actions. So, it’s time to sit down and reflect. Ask yourself if you’re truly doing these actions every day, and if not, how can you incorporate them into your daily routine?
1. Do things differently
How are you setting yourself apart from other leaders? Are you a ‘traditional’, predictable leader, or are you challenging perceptions? To truly make an impact, you must be confident enough in your own abilities to step back and encourage and support others to grow.
When was the last time a leader did that for you – and how did it make you feel?
“You can be strong and kind. You can be courageous and have fear. You can be a leader without the title.”
2. Always use failure as a learning opportunity
While you should already be doing this on your personal leadership journey, do you encourage your team to do the same? Are you teaching them how to find the lessons when things don’t work out? By doing so, you’re ensuring your team learns to effectively handle failure, and grow from it, too.
Failing isn’t the end of the world, so ensure that you demonstrate that to your team when the opportunity arises.
3. Show your team how much you value them
Do you work harder when you feel valued? Of course, you do, and it’s no different for your team. A leader that sticks out in your mind is more than likely one who made you feel appreciated, right? To have the same impact on your staff, you need to be conscious of showing your gratitude when they put in the effort.
No one wants to feel taken advantage of, or taken for granted; this is how staff retention rates rise, so keep your top talent by showing them how much they’re valued.
Have you nominated a Leader or Team for our Outstanding Leadership Awards?
4. Build your leadership legacy
A leadership legacy is what you as a leader leave behind when you’re gone. Acting with this in mind every day ensures you have a lasting impact on your team, and your organisation as a whole. When you do things for the greater good, not for your own personal gain or recognition, you’re leading with respect and building a significant legacy.
A legacy grows even after you’ve left because those affected by it are determined to keep it going. That’s why it’s different to ‘making your mark’; a legacy lasts much longer. It changes the way the organisation does things and becomes ingrained in its history and culture.
Look at Martin Luther King, Jr. for example. His legacy lives on and will continue to do so, because of his selfless leadership. He made a mark on the world that grew into the legacy we know today, due to his dedication to doing things for the right reasons.
What leadership legacy do you want to leave behind? What actions can you take to work towards it?
It’s time to shake up your leadership
Be honest with yourself – can you really say that you, as a leader, are doing these four things every day? After all, what is the point of being a leader if you aren’t going to make a difference and truly lead? Great leaders harness their potential, never stop learning, and always challenge themselves to do better – not just for themselves, but for their teams as well.
How are you going to start doing leadership differently?
About Sonia McDonald CEO of McDonald Inc and LHQ
Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.
For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.
Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.
She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.
Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.
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