This is the second installment in the Alphabet for Leaders. Today it’s the letter “B.”
Don’t brag about talents, aptitudes, abilities, education, achievements, or business relationships. Tell me this one thing about your leadership. Say you’re getting better.
Better is the leader’s best word.
I suggest you give up on best and embrace better. Perhaps Tom Peters wisdom about firms applies to peoples. He says, “Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change.” In other words, they believe in getting better.
In life and leadership you’re always going somewhere. You either move forward or backward but you’re never stationary. Standing still is a dream-world inhabited with fairies and sprinkled with pixy dust populated by those oblivious to their decline. It’s either better or its worse. You could say, the scales are never balanced. They always tip one way or the other.
Five characteristics of better
#1. Better glances at the past.
#2. Better concentrates on the future.
#3. Better reaches forward.
#4. Better is hopeful.
#5. Better expresses confidence.
A surprising way to get better at leading
The path to better leadership is paved with gratitude.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others,” Cicero. Gratitude is absolutely essential to your growth as a leader.
The opposite of gratitude isn’t ungratefulness, its arrogance. In addition, the companions of arrogance are anger, bitterness, and revenge. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve walked the dingy path of ungratefulness. My experience indicates ungratefulness is a black-hole pulling you away from not toward better leadership. On the other hand, the path of progress is lit with gratitude.
Additionally, express gratitude aggressively. Benigni says, “It’s a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.”
What “B” word can you offer leaders? Leaving out leadership techniques, how can leaders get better at leading? Or perhaps I should ask what hinders leaders from getting better at leading?