Many have the mistaken belief that leaders should “do” more. But the opposite actually is true: Leaders should “be” more.
1. Be reflective. Slow down. If you find yourself regularly thinking, “I just don’t have time,” you are most likely focused on doing more as opposed to being more. Schedule time away from the hustle of work and life. Read something that stretches you. Think about how you can best use your talents and gifts to serve others. Pause regularly to contemplate. When we are constantly “doing” things, we are not still enough to examine ourselves and our lives.
2. Be present. Engage with those in your presence. Listen – really listen – with both ears and both eyes. Let people finish their thought before you respond. Learn something from those around you. As the old saying suggests: Learn from the past, plan for the future, live in the now.
3. Be knowledge about those in your care. It’s less important for you to know facts than it is for you to know your people. Knowledge may be power. But knowledge of people is influence. Make it your work to learn about their likes and dislikes and what makes them tick.
4. Be relaxed. Enjoy your work. Enjoy those around you. Laugh regularly. Don’t think you have to provide every answer – you don’t. Sit back sometimes and let others answer. The more relaxed you are, the better able you are to listen, learn, and provide guidance.
5. Be a coach. Do what coaches do: Prepare others. Guide them. Facilitate their success. Encourage them. Make it your job to put people in positions where they will be successful. If you do this relentlessly, you will be successful.