What is a leader?

What does a leader DO?

How do I become the leader that I aspire to be?

Great conversations start with a question.  Becoming a leader requires someone to ask the three questions posed above, and then commit to the work of making the beliefs you have about leadership show up in the habits and skills you develop as a leader.

Six months ago I started a journey with a group of leaders in their field to launch a program designed to help a leader explore these questions, and start DOing the work of being a leader.  The group is called LeaderWork, and we are actually launching a year long leadership development program through our local university (Grand Valley State University).  If you are interested in learning more, here is a link .

One answer to this that is a core belief of mine and shared by the rest of our group – Leaders Serve.

To serve you have to care about the needs and goals of others first.  Not exclusively, but first.

To serve you have to be willing to take time to listen first, and find ways to make the priorities of your people your priorities.

To serve you have to be quick to say I am sorry, because the reality is that things will happen when things people want to do have to be put off for a time because of the needs of the business.  Or you will just forget.

To serve, you have to DO things like:

  1. Getting to know your people at a little deeper level – Why did they join the company?  What do they like about the role?  What are their talents and passions?  What are other ways they can see to contribute?
  2. Let them get to know you – All of the questions in #1 plus things like,  What are my priorities this week?  What keeps me up at night?  What people inspire me?  Why did I become a leader?
  3. Be ready to allow others to help you.  No relationship is healthy if it is only one way, and when we stay open to opportunities for others to help us and for us to help others, good things happen.

What is a leader?

What does a leader DO?

How do I become the leader that I aspire to be?

I believe that if you aspire to be a leader that has great impact, it is critical to start with these questions.

What do you believe?


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