Are You A Leader Others Follow?

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Your character as a leader is THE determining factor in whether you drive and sustain positive change.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

John Quincy Adams

What is YOUR transformation process for becoming an extraordinary leader?

I don’t want to be the leader. I want to be one WHO LEADS. How about you? The distinction between the two makes all the difference in what you accomplish. It’s the difference between an authority figure and a genuine, inner-directed authority.

I require every leader I work with to watch the documentary Buck (also on Netflix).  The most important qualities of a leader are embodied in this true story of Buck Brannaman, a horse trainer.  The movie chronicles extreme contrasts of management he experiences intimately in his life and in the world of horses.  He’s an example of a leader who leads people and horses to excellence, by combining high expectations and guidance with trust building, care and respect.

In my first article, I outlined reasons why to transform your workplace culture; to help your employees get along, get more done and get excited about their life and work.  I shared your first step is making sure you and your leadership team understand and are committed to supporting a transformation process. You need to know what and how you’re transforming your workplace.

In my work on culture change, leaders I have found most successful are those who have a clear, meaningful why for taking the helm, including why to create a values-based, responsibility-based workplace. Because they do, they are willing to learn how and what to do. Then, they inspire others to follow. And if they’re committed to creating an extraordinary company culture, THAT’S A LOT.

Your role is absolutely THE determining factor in whether you drive and sustain positive change.

You need to know:

1. What you are transforming your company from, into. Simply stated, development of your people becomes your number one leadership priority. You question and dismantle outdated, ineffective management practices based on motivating, evaluating, and controlling employee behavior, and adopt instead, systems where your goal is transferring responsibility to and developing leadership in, all your people. Many industry stories demonstrate profits parallel a leader’s ability to do this. And this is no simple task.

You realize that unless your people are adept at maintaining internal motivation, good relationships, get why they and their work matter, and how to think, speak and act to consistently cause positive outcomes no matter what’s happening, you can expect mediocrity or worse.

2. How you participate in the transformation process. As CEO, you model change by attending every meeting, training and coaching session, focusing on course correcting you, your environment and practices, and mentoring your direct reports in order to support them and demonstrate how they mentor theirs. You become emotionally and socially intelligent, and lead your team in using and teaching new tools. You shape your workplace practices around your purpose and values first. Most of all, you embody courage and humility, stepping into the unknown and unfamiliar as a happy learner.

Transformation begins with YOU and requires you take the time to be clear about why, how and what workplace culture YOU are committed to create, before you leap. Then, when you do, you go all in.  And… you enjoy success and the greatest joys of leadership.

As published in the column The Extraordinary Workplace in St. Louis Small Business Monthly, February 2013

Why People Hire LifeWork Systems

Business owners and executives, community leaders, parents, educators and individuals hire LifeWork Systems because they know that effective conditions and conversations make all the difference in building trusting relationships, achieving dreams, and creating solutions and innovations for our evolving world. When people are happy and responsible, emotionally and socially intelligent, confident, and appropriately seen, heard, and supported, they always exceed expectations. We help instill into every person common concepts, terms, tools, and processes that result in healthy, happy, caring and contributing individuals, teams and organizations. Our mission is to create a world in which all people love their lives!

We appreciate you being here on our website and encourage you to reach out to us directly at or  314.239.4727. May something we offered in this article and website help you love YOUR life ~ because YOU matter!

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