The world mourned the loss of Nelson Mandela in December and since July is his birthmonth, I thought I would some of the life lessons I learned from him that helped me to develop as a learning professional .
Here are 7 things Madiba would never do (and we shouldn’t either):
1. Lack Courage
Leaders that don’t stand up for what they believe in are difficult to respect and trust. Too many leaders today face the dilemma of assimilating our being their authentic selves. Employees want leaders who are willing to stand up for them, promote them and show confidence in them.
When leaders lack the courage to enable their full potential and that of others, it becomes a challenge to trust their judgment, decisions, awareness and capabilities.
2. Have Hidden Agendas
Leaders today are often viewed as devious and manipulating. Employees want to follow leaders who live by a set of value and continually strive to reach team and organization goals. To avoid the impression of shadiness, leaders must state their motives plainly, explain rationale behind decisions, and clarify purpose.
3. Be Self-Centered
Employee catch on to leaders self-serving intentions. When a leader is only looking out for him- or herself employee expect the worst of them. Employees then start to look out for themselves. That means they might resist cross training and mentoring, and refrain from sharing ideas and solutions.
Great leaders are great coaches and are always looking to help their employees grow and prosper.
4. Damage Own Reputation
When people begin to speak negatively about their leader, it makes it more difficult for others to trust their intentions and vision. We've seen in presidential races, that candidate have a high approval rating during elections. However, once in office, when it's time to show what they are really about, approval rating often drop drastically. Every leader must be aware that he/she is constantly being evaluated and thus they can never grow complacent. Sharpen the saw, continue to produce.
5. Show Inconsistent Performance
People are more inclined to trust those who are consistent. A leaders credibility is not only built on their character but their track record of results as well. Employees gain trust in a leader as they see consistent performance. Leaders who are consistent with their behavior and performance are those who can be trusted. This is why leaders need to refresh their leadership style, skills, and competencies regularly.
6. Avoid Working Hands-On
Delegation is fine when don't appropriately and with a purpose. Leaders should not dump unwanted task on others just to avoid work. Employees expect leaders to be willing to get their hands dirty. Leaders should be engaged in the work and daily operations. When everyone has to work late, the leader is not exception. When others take a pay cut, the leader is the first to be affected.
7. Lack Purpose
Leaders must understand that they goal is to help others succeed. I heard a comedian say that he used to think it was his job to make people laugh then he realized it's his job to give people an opportunity to laugh. It took a while for me to understand this, but essentially he was saying his role is not to force anything or anyone. He is a conduit; a catalyst; and at the core - a servant.
For the Learning Professional, we can't have the greatest impact or influence if we are not trusted and seen as leaders. Following this leadership model can help us make an indelible impression and put us in a position to change our organizations.
Angela Ellis, Chapter President 2014