Bohdi Sanders once said, “Your reputation is what others think of you; your character is what you truly are. Reputations can be manipulated; character can only be developed and maintained.” If you have ever held a leadership position, you know that it comes with a lot of feedback—good feedback, negative feedback, private feedback, public feedback, and everything in between! It can be easy to get caught up with your reputation and how you’re being perceived, but true leaders understand you’ll never be able to please everyone. Leadership is not synonymous with friendship or approval. To have an impact and lead people, you’re likely to encounter some opinions. Here are three ways to focus on leading others well:
Identify the right path.
Regardless of your leadership role, others are expectant of you to lead them well. As a leader, this means you have to take a step back and assess what will be best for the entire team, both now and in the long run. Sometimes this may mean going against your preference and often means thinking of yourself last. While it may not always be an enjoyable ride, being selfless and putting the team before yourself won’t go unnoticed. Even if people may not always agree with your decisions, it’ll be hard for them to doubt your integrity based on your example.
Stay on that path.
If it’s been a while since you evaluated if you and your team’s current efforts match the original end goal, it may be time to do so. Life throws us curveballs, and we are constantly getting bogged down by the urgent, non-important tasks of life. As urgent as these tasks may seem, they rarely move the needle towards our goals. It’s usually the non-urgent but still important tasks that get put on the burner for another day that make an impact. Make sure your team works on what matters and lighten their load where necessary. They’re sure to appreciate it!
Sometimes when you reassess your team’s efforts, as mentioned above, you end up discovering that the original end goal has shifted from what it used to be. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—if anything, it will have provided clarity around what’s important and what’s not. You wouldn’t have gotten to this point without taking the original action, so consider it a win! Pivot accordingly to ensure your team’s efforts are getting you closer to what matters and not further away.
When your team sees that you value them and the overall team’s mission, you will earn their admiration. You do not always have to see eye-to-eye to walk hand-in-hand.
“Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire.” –Dale Carnegie