Why Love And Discipline Are Keys To Effective Leadership – Forbes

Posted: January 9, 2020 at 6:49 am


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Love and discipline likely have more influence on effective leadership (not to mention winning ... [+] football) than you thought.

Its college footballs championship bowl season. One more chance for the players to strut their stuff. And another round of post-game interviews with the coaches.

Soaked in celebratory Gatorade, the coaches often sound as though they use the same crib sheet of clichs: Our guys came to play. We managed to overcome adversity.

The post-game interviews have a strange sense of sameness. But then what should we expect when the questionslike How does it feel to win the big one?are often so predictably inane?

But if you care to listen carefully, you might pick up an interesting theme. Its the theme of love and discipline. Good coaches seem to love their players, and good players seem to love each other. And discipline? Sure, being an accomplished athlete requires lots of personal discipline. But being a winningteamespecially at the end of a long seasonrequirescollaborativediscipline.

Interestingly, love and discipline dont seem to be mentioned very often in discussions of leadership.

But John Eades talks freely about both. Hes the author ofBuilding the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success.

I talked with John about the nature of leadership and the role of love and discipline in boosting performance.

Rodger Dean Duncan: Leadership is one of those words that seems to have dozens of definitions. What is your definition, and why do you define it in the way you do?

John Eades:Its easy to see why there are multiple ways to define leadership.Many tremendous leaders have left us with their input. The definition that I commit to memory and hold myself to is thisInspiring, empowering, and serving in order to elevate others over an extended period of time.

These words are chosen carefully and for great reason.The wordinspirehas its origin from Latin, and it means to breathe life into.Empowermeans to give control over anothers life and the authority to do something.Servecomes from the Latin word servant, in a modern context it means, to devote (part of) ones life or efforts to others. All three are paramount in order to elevate others, which is the key to successful leadership today.

John Eades

Duncan:In response to the nature versus nurture debate, research clearly shows that although some leadership ability may be attributed to genetics, most leadership ability is learned. You say an ideal way for someone to cultivate leadership ability is to be elevated. What do you mean by that?

Eades:Great leadership is often caught and not taught. So the single best way to teach it is for a leader to model it by elevating others.This will allow people being led to have an example of what great looks like so they can learn and model it when they have the opportunity to lead.

Its important to note, I didnt use the word perfect because no leader will ever be perfect. Its all about leaders actions being in the best interest of the people they lead and not themselves.

Duncan:Love and discipline, you say, are key ingredients in effective leadership. In a business environment, what does that look like in terms of observable behavior?

Eades:Before we make any kind of Human Resources violation its important that we define these two terms.Love is defined as contributing to someones long term success and wellbeing. Discipline is defined as promoting standards in order for individuals to choose to be at their best.

A great example of this in action would be a leader setting a new standard such as, each team member remains coachable.Then the leader gives praise, acknowledgment, or shares disapproval with a team member when the standard is or is not met.

The observable behavior would be the creation and communication of a new standard that not only solves a problem, but helps team members for the rest of their lives.This should be followed up by the leader having a direct dialogue to hold team members accountable for meeting or exceeding the new standard.

Duncan:What role does mindset play in a persons leadership development efforts?

Effective leaders work hard to elevate others.

Eades:Mindset is critical in the development of leadership skills or for that matter any skill. Specifically one kind of mindset, a growth mindset. The term growth mindset was coined by Carol S. Dweck, and it means we can grow our brains capacity to learn and solve problems. Unfortunately, the majority of professionals fall into the category of a fixed mindset by believing they were either born with the ability to get the job done or they werent.

Once a professional has their mindset on one of growth, then they will begin to take proactive measures to develop themselves as a leader. Until this happens, it doesnt matter what leadership development content an organization provides them, it wont go very far.

Duncan:You quote Starbucks founder Howard Schultz as saying the most undervalued characteristic of leadership is vulnerability and asking for help. Give us a couple of examples of that.

Eades:The business world is moving too fast for a leader to know everything or assume that a standard that exists one day will stay the same way forever. This requires leaders to be vulnerable in front of their people by admitting that things need to change and asking for help on an ongoing basis.

An example of this in the workplace would be, how leaders should introduce a new standard to their team.Instead of just telling them the new standard, they should start with something like this: I realized I failed you from a leadership perspective, (vulnerability) and here is how I propose we solve it (new standard).

By using an approach like this you put the blame on yourself for a current problem instead of putting it on your team which drastically improves your odds they buy-in.

Next: Influence Your People To Rally Around A Common Cause

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Why Love And Discipline Are Keys To Effective Leadership - Forbes

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January 9th, 2020 at 6:49 am

Posted in Personal Success