Communication and the 3Cs. As a highly effective Maverick Leader, have you ever wondered why you do not seem to have many peers? Why is there an abundance of armchair quarterbacks, a plethora of people focused on themselves, and so few highly effective leaders?
I might have an answer to this puzzle.
Have you noticed how pretty much everyone these days wants to be known as a leader? I call that the noun part. As in you belong to a class, a group or a type of people known as leaders. The funny thing about being a leader is – it requires taking action. Action is the process or act of making something happen or occur, requiring taking a step or doing something to achieve an aim.
Here is a fascinating truth bomb. Most human beings are not anxious to lead. Because, primarily, human beings like titles, hate responsibility and try not to take extra action. This is why most humans have an overwhelming need to be led, not to lead.
It makes sense that leaders are, therefore, in ‘the people business.’ You may have trained in a specialty, but what you do as a leader is deal with people. Ergo, you are in the people business – one of the messiest areas around.
So, what makes a highly effective Maverick leader? What makes you the one people will follow?
There are many characteristics of a highly effective leader. Let’s look only at three –Clarity, Confidence and Connection.
An essential requisite for being in the people business is the ability to communicate. After all, more than half of your day involves you sending or receiving information. The form you take is typically talking, demonstrating, showing, and writing.
All that communicating must have clarity. In other words, it must be coherent, intelligible, and even transparent and pure. Fabulous. But how does that apply to you as a leader?
Can you make everything SIMPLE? Simple means the other person immediately understands what you are talking about, demonstrating, and showing. An easy way to determine if you are playing in the SIMPLE field, is first writing out what you want to say and how you will say it. Then run it through the ‘review’ function of the software you are using. If what you wrote comes out as a grade 8 or lower, you have successfully simplified your thoughts. This means the other person will understand in reasonably quick order what you want.
Another way to have clarity is to bring focus to the conversation. Human beings get easily side-tracked, and no one will ever have the full picture of what you carry in your head. So, you want to get used to repeating critical messages ad nausea. Use the idea of ‘sound bites’ instead of long-drawn-out text. Avoid sprinkling your opinions throughout. And most of all, stay focused on the topic at hand to avoid winding or circular discussions.
Lastly, look at the obstacles and roadblocks that pop up. (Leaders always get more ‘can’t – do instead of ‘everything is on plan’). Effective leaders remove the obstacles and roadblocks to ensure smooth sailing for all who travel with them.
Each of us can easily describe the feeling or belief we have when we believe we can count on someone, their powers, and their reliability. We have every confidence in their abilities, and we can articulate the firm trust we have in our favourite leaders.
So, what exactly is inside us that inspires others to trust and rely on us?
It begins with a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s abilities or qualities. In other words, confidence starts as a mind game, gets bolstered by experience and with a bit of playacting, over time, becomes the reality we set out to find.
And here is a second truth bomb. Confidence beats competence every single time. Human beings want to be led by someone they believe is confident because that confidence means a certainty. And human beings crave certainty more than chaos.
Human beings want to be validated. The relationship between a leader and another is better linked or associated with a connection. It is easy for respect and loyalty to thrive when there is an authentic and personal connection.
Being in the people business, exceptional maverick leaders make the time for all humans. In other words, Maverick Leaders do one or more of the following actions. With every person, they communicate with:
- Take Time to Have A Conversation
- Ask Open Questions
- Try Being Non-Judgmental
- Do an Activity Together
- Stay Positive
Being in the People Business is NOT for the faint of heart. Be a leader and leading is all about action. Action consumes a tremendous amount of time.
None of us will ever be perfect in our efforts. Being in the people business means putting in the effort. Because that effort encourages followers to follow YOU.
Work on your clarity, confidence, and connection. Then let me know how your followers react.