I often advise others that if they want to lead, it has to be from the bottom up, not the top down. It’s often called servant leadership because we’re here to serve the people we’re in a position to lead. That’s a very simplified version of a complex shift that must happen to develop a strong and sustainable organizational leadership.
A misconception a lot of people have is that a leader has the responsibility to guide and command the ship. But the strongest leaders have developed a skill set that helps to discover and build the talent in others so that everybody is empowered to steer the ship towards their common destination.
By making a mindset shift from management to mentor leadership, people recognize that each part of their team brings their own skills to the table. It’s not our job to micromanage those skills, it’s our job to help create an environment where our team can make the most of those skills, and set a tone where everybody is applying the highest level of energy and skill to a common objective.
Quality Leadership is About Accelerating Success
Strong leaders hold themselves to a higher standard than others and then light the path for success through a different lens. The most successful leaders know that being a good boss is about:
- Mentorship, not management
- Developing your EQ to support your IQ
- Hanging up your ego
- Listening generously to understand and collaborate
- Promoting personal development instead of dictating how success will be met
- Trust and respect, not mandate and approval
- Delegation of resources and responsibilities so others can build success
- Prioritizing culture every day because talent can’t thrive in a toxic environment
- Candor and Kindness
- Evolving and improving yourself a little bit every day
Success isn’t achieved in a vacuum. It’s a consistent and persistent process of developing our own skills and priorities to build, support, and grow our teams, while also looking to our own mentors to help you stay the course and understand your blind spots. Success isn’t owned either. It’s something we work towards every day with intentionality. That’s why we say that good leaders lead from the bottom up. If you’re working to empower your team and be a strong mentor with a focus on protecting the culture and mission of the organization, the achievements, and expertise of the whole group is accelerated, your employee satisfaction increases and the strength and resilience of the organization is multiplied.