The Spotlight Leader

9678595836_1c2af46975_oYou – yes, you!  You are a spotlight leader.  Each person in a position of influence and authority finds themselves in the spotlight.  People are overt or covert in their observations but, rest assured, they are looking at you.

So, what’s your job?  Keep the spotlight bright with behaviors and attitudes that you want repeated in your organization – those Emotionally Intelligent and Leader-Inspired ongoing behaviors.  Be aware of being lulled into a place where you think you’re free from the spotlight, because you are not.  That’s what you signed up for when you agreed to lead.  People want you to be the best you can be but they are also morbidly curious and titillated when you fall.

As the light shines brightly on you, here are five suggestions that will keep you on top of your game, and also support others to their best efforts:

  • Be a maven of inspiration.  Believe, believe some more, and then call attention to how the belief shows up in behavior and results.  Celebrate.
  • Set the course by creating meaning.  People want to know where they are going and why.  A good leader is open about where we are headed and able to create meaning for the movement.  The people grab onto the meaning that’s created and then catch the wave.
  • Communicate what success looks like.  Don’t assume that others know what you expect.  Tell them.  Be specific.  Let them know the end game and the milestones along the way.  Share where you see possible pitfalls.  And then let them know what the inspection process looks like so there are no surprises.  People want to contribute and win – show them how.
  • Learn together.  Make mistakes and then learn together.  Share your mistake and the learning that ensued.  Model how to pick yourself up to start anew.  People who are afraid of the consequences of failure will not risk.  Without risk, there is no innovation.  Make the mistake, learn publicly, course correct and begin again.
  • Make decisions about counter-culture revolutionaries quickly.  People are watching you to see what you tolerate.  If clear direction, course correction, honest feedback and peer pressure does not work, make sure to exit those who are counter-culture.  Be human about it – but do it!

Every day you are “client-facing”.  Your internal clients are always in front of you.  They shine their spotlights of curiosity and evaluation.  Are you to be trusted?  Are you real?  Do you act with integrity?  With that in mind, how do you make every interaction authentic, real and connecting?

Photo Credit: marfis75

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