By Michael Holland

New leaders waste so much energy.  They have to invest so much time and thought into how to do this leadership thing.  One day they’re working side-by-side with coworkers and the next day they are walking in as the boss.  Think about the moment they walk through the door that morning into the world of leadership, how will they know what to do?

  • What’s the first task they will perform?
  • Will they work differently?
  • What’s the first conversation they will have?  Will they speak differently?
  • Should they act different in the meetings they will attend that day?
  • What about the work they didn’t get done yesterday when they were but a mere individual contributor?  Who’s going to get that done now?

What they’ll do is follow along with what they’ve seen other leaders do — right or wrong.  They search their memory banks for interactions that they can replay to see how they are supposed to behave as a leader.

So, the question for each of us who have been in leadership for longer than a day, is how are our leadership behaviors impacting those around us?   We often don’t remember what we’ve done for, with or to people.  We don’t remember the smallest of interactions which may have profound impact on others.

There’s a great TED talk by Drew Dudley that we use with most of our management training programs and recently I used the video as part of an interactive presentation for a group of 90 HR professionals.  Dudley’s 6 minutes of simplicity will stick with you as you walk through your life of as a leader.

Invest 6 minutes today to watch the video and make a list of the 4 things you could choose to do as an Everyday Leader.

Can’t invest 6 minutes in the video?  Okay then, here are 4 leadership behaviors you can adopt.

  • Ask Someone About Their Life or Job – Be curious.  Ask questions and really listen to their answers.  Picture living their life or job.
  • See It, Say It – Leading well is about constant feedback.  Positive or negative, if you see it, say it.
  • Be Authentic – Write down those things that are truly who you are.  The positive things you know about your true self.
  • Smile – Just smile at someone.  Real simple.  You may be the only person someone sees in a day who warms them up.

You’re already leading every day.  Might as well choose to lead well.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers 

  • After watching the video, who did you want to call? Why?
  • How many people might you have impacted yesterday? Last week? In the last year?
  • If you had a bag of lollipops, who would you hand one to today?