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Create Your Own Leadership Laboratory

Angie Morgan, February 5, 2018

How to Create Your Own Leadership Laboratory

There is little debate over the value of leadership. We may not all become perfect leaders, but we can all demonstrate accountability, credibility, confidence, decisiveness, and emotional resolve. Those behaviors enable us to influence and inspire people around us.
By developing self-awareness around our current behavior, we can all learn to demonstrate more of those behaviors. Consider running a 1-day “Leadership Laboratory” by planning and conducting thoughtful leadership experiments and noticing the impact that they have. Try the following: 

  • Demonstrate service-based leadership. Do something unexpected for someone, like:
    • Bring your colleague a cup of coffee in the morning.
    • Be extra kind to a service provider, such as a waitress or the UPS deliveryman.
    • Ask a more junior employee how things are working out for them at the office (and stick around to hear their answer).
    • Spend a whole day really listening to others. Make an effort to withhold your thoughts and comments and just focus on the other person.
  • Take steps to achieve progress. Take action on a decision that you have been meaning to make (but have been procrastinating on), such as updating your resume, seeking out a mentor, or tackling a “non-urgent, but important” priority.
  • Demonstrate greater accountability. Work to eliminate excuses from your dialogue and pay attention to when blame enters into a conversation. When a problem pops up – just say “I’m on it!” and solve it like it is yours alone to solve.
  • Expand your self-awareness. Spend time reflecting on your strengths as a leader and see how you have or have not been leveraging them. If you have a sense of humor, is it coming with you to work each day?
  • Add value. Speak up at a meeting and share your perspective or go above and beyond to ensure others have what they need to be successful.
  • Create your own success. Create 90-minutes of white space in your day when you can put some strategic thought into your goals. Challenge yourself with this question: Are you really on the path that you want to be? If not, what are you prepared to do to change it?

You’ll notice that none of the actions listed above require you to overhaul your personality or fundamentally change who you are to be a leader. Being a leader is about influencing outcomes and inspiring others. Leadership qualities are small behaviors that can have profound impact on your success, as well as the success of your team members. 
When you invest time into your leadership development, and take action, great things will happen … here is your opportunity to see immediately what positive impact a little leadership can bring!

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