Leadership is influence. Everything rises and falls on leadership, everything.
Earn your voice.
You have leadership voice. Your team, especially your boss, wants to hear what you think. But it’s wise to earn your voice in the process.
When it comes to your leadership voice, here is a good sequence to follow:
- Find your voice.
- Earn your voice.
- Use your voice wisely for the good of the people and the church.
This is an important skill to learn, and in many ways, the remaining seven practices help you earn your voice and lead up effectively.
Manage yourself, so you don’t need to be managed.
It’s often been said, “If you don’t manage yourself, someone else will.”
That’s a lose-lose situation. You lose the trust and freedom you desire, and your leader loses time tending to things you could have handled on your own.
“Lead yourself well” is the more popular phrase, but it’s essentially the same idea.
Leading yourself well does not exclude needing a coach, mentor, or some help. We all need good advice and support along the way.
Leading yourself is about like managing your emotions, time, and priorities.
If you can’t manage yourself well, over time, others won’t trust you, respect you, or follow you. Eventually, they may not even listen to you.
Here’s the point; you matter, your leadership voice matters, and people are counting on you. So, don’t forfeit your potential by ignoring the basics.
Know when to speak up and when to be quiet.
If you think your boss is making a mistake, say so before it happens.
Anyone can say, “Yeah, I saw that coming” (after-the-fact,) but how is that helpful? Trust your gut and speak up.
Speak up respectfully, but speak up.
In contrast, when you have spoken up and been heard, it’s now time to be quiet.
Don’t make your boss feel like they must always wake your advice. They soon won’t want to hear it any longer.
Add specific value.
The first way to add value to those above you is to fulfill your responsibilities and accomplish your goals.
It’s surprising how quickly others want to know what you think (hear your leadership voice) when you are really good at what you do.
Adding value to those above you is not office politics; it represents a servant’s heart and the desire to lighten their load when you can.
A simple way to add value is to ask your boss this question, “How can I help you today?”
Adding value is good; adding specific value is great. Find out the real needs and be willing to do what others won’t.
Take the initiative.