We all know there are many types of leadership; Positional Leadership, which is the least powerful – “I am the leader because I am the boss.” Situational Leadership, which is dictated by the needs of the situation and the skills and capabilities of those facing the circumstance… But the one that resonates with power, direction, purpose and inspiration is – Personal Leadership.
We all have the power to choose our response to any situation. Do we fight, flee, surrender, compromise, negotiate? – It’s always a choice we have and a choice that dictates the outcome. A choice that comes from within.
How will you chose when faced with the many challenges and opportunities that present themselves to you and your organization?
With change comes opportunity… and our industry is changing. Our individual leadership can help us all to be a part of the solution for success.
With opportunity and challenge, let us take the time to contemplate who we are as individuals and what impact we have on our members, our colleagues, our organizations, our communities, our families and how we can become better personal leaders.
Here are several leadership traits from some very influential individuals I have come to know.
The first is a retired Command Sergeant Major of the 82nd Airborne Division. A career military man who spent 35 years of his life being a soldier and a leader…
He taught me that most of the situations that occur do not occur overnight, but evolve over time and hence the solution to those dilemmas requires a disciplined effort – over time. Think of debt as a prime example. You don’t get into debt overnight, you probably won’t get out over night. You must work hard every day to accomplish your objectives.
1. Persistent, patient, continuous effort towards the goal.
He also was known to say: “Do it until someone says you can’t.” This was his way of saying don’t wait to be told and don’t ask permission to move forward. Start doing what needs to be done and if you’re off the mark, someone will tell you J.
2. Be proactive. Take action; following your moral compass of what’s right.
Another quote I recall was: “Walk fast and carry a clipboard.” This one represents, being proactive. Take initiative and action – have an agenda that you are working on OR sure enough someone else will enlist you to work on their agenda.
3. Have goals, a plan and a direction. Move your vision forward.
When I was a bit younger, he would tell me that I had to give 110% to my employer, anything less was not fair to me or to him/her. The objective was loyalty and adding value – To always be a contributor for the organization that employs you. This is a matter of having pride in oneself & work as well as loyalty to others.
4. Provide value every day.
The next life influencer I’d like to share is an Entrepreneur that owned her own real estate company.
Her lessons have been many, but two that continuously resurface are:
5. Never give up. Fight and stay positive and the tipping point will come.
One of the most important leadership lessons she bestowed upon me – follow your heart. Don’t worry about money, prestige or fame – do what you love doing and fulfillment and happiness will come. How many of us in this industry have heard – “when are you going to get a real job?” Well this woman never said those words… she actually said – if you enjoy what you are doing and you’re making a difference – follow your heart.
6. Follow your heart and passion. Really care about what you are doing so that you truly can make a difference.
Then there’s the young businesswoman with her Masters in Exercise Science. One of her leadership lessons has been, inspect what you expect. Manage the details to ensure the desired outcomes. She believes in exploring and understanding the path and not just to following orders. Her focus is on accountability, consistency and scalability.
7. Have clear expectations (Articulated Vision) and a comprehensive system. Follow up on the details. Support your team. Recognize and reward success.
What I learned from a retired Major in the US Army, Special Forces. He has led a life of hard work and believes in “taking care of the troops.” He is always on the go and driven by a results orientation.
8. Take care of those you work with. Work as a team. Check the personal ego and cooperate to deliver results. 1 plus 1 = 3 or more. Synergy.
9. Roll your sleeves up and get the job done. Don’t manage from “headquarters, your office or an Ivory Tower.” You must stay close enough to know.
These are but a few of the life lessons I’ve been taught. Some others that resonate for me on an on-going basis…
10. Be authentic and honest. Never compromise your integrity.
11. Continuous improvement… “When you’re ripe, you rot – when you’re green you grow.” Let’s keep learning, growing and looking for better ways.
12. Don’t take your life too seriously. Have fun and keep a light heart.
We are all fortunate to work in this incredible industry. Let’s stay open to learning, continuous improvement, connection and transforming our organizations into places of dramatic contribution – making a difference in people’s lives. Lead the Way!
“There are no secrets to success. Don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence.” – Colin Powell
PS. The Sergeant Major is my dad – Bill McBride. The Real Estate Professional is my mom – Rose Flynn. The Business Woman is my wife – Adrienne McBride. The Major is my step dad – Phil Flynn. We all have close caring people that have influenced our lives – mentors, coaches, supporters and teachers – it is our challenge to listen, learn and then lead… into the future.