The Top 10 Ways to be an Extraordinary Leader Today

confusion is easy

  1. Work on internal environments. You can’t control the external world, but you can control the way you do things internally. Grab the bull by the horns, if you don’t like what you see when you look around.
  2. Define wins in behavioral terms, not just by results. Identify, honor, and recognize behaviors that produce great results. Leaders who focus only on results use people. Leaders who focus on behaviors develop people.
  3. Drive toward clarity and simplicity. Complexity is a lazy leader’s legacy. Any fool can make something complex. It takes wisdom to simplify. The path to simplicity and clarity is painful. Chaos happens all by itself.
  4. Ignite and manage momentum.
    • Set short-term goals.
    • Celebrate imperfect progress.
    • Remember the big picture.
    • Repeat…
  5. Feel the emotion of others. Feel sorrow with the sorrowful and happiness with the joyful. Be upset when others are upset, at least a little. Lack of empathy makes others feel you don’t understand them.
  6. Connect the dots. Remarkable leaders explore how plans impact employees, customers, and the people actually doing the work. One way to connect the dots is to include the people doing the work in making the plans.
  7. Relentlessly focus on imperfect forward movement. Spend less time perfecting before-you-go and more time adapting as-you-go. Try things.
  8. Spend more time energizing the energetic than reigniting long-term burnouts. (I’m not suggesting you completely ignore black holes. But, if you’re better off without them, admit it.)
  9. Dive under the surface when things go wrong.
    • What’s the whole story?
    • What did you actually try? Remarkable leaders don’t accept general statements like, “I tried but it didn’t work.”
    • What didn’t work?
    • What will we do next time?
  10. Dive under the surface when things go right.

Which one of these leadership behaviors is most important for you today? How might you put it into practice?

What behavior would you add to the list of 10 ways to be an extraordinary leader?

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