1. Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm is so often associated with a positive state of mind, yet we can use enthusiasm so negatively - and not realising we are doing so. How often do you hear people saying, "Well that is the way it is and I can do nothing about it". Wrong, we can always do something about anything. We may not say such statements with pride or enthusiasm but we certainly say it with conviction and belief. These strong feelings often come from disappointment in ourselves, our companies, our product, our management or top level decisions. When our team feel that they are being coerced by a system every time they want to contribute to feel part of the system, or what they believe is right, fighting for this right and getting nowhere just leaves them disillusioned. This attitude and feeling forces us to become part of the negative, pessimistic and rigid culture in the workplace. And enthusiasm dies. And along with it, the drive to succeed.
2. Challenge the Status quo: The systems we create are so often based on our thinking, desires, insecurities that are transformed into company structures and policies, procedures, rules, software programs and systems, which then become forced agreements about how things should be done. The next step is to ensure that everyone abides by them and so we create managers with limited powers to police the workforce. So where a manager has no choice (in his/her mind) to accept the status quo, a leader (in his/her mind) will challenge it. The more leaders we create in the workforce the stronger and more progressive the business.
3. Challenging our Assumptions: To archive this is no easy task. The easy path is to accept what is thrown at us and go with the flow. A leader will see no other way but to challenge authority about the system that was created or decisions made. This is why leaders are able to learn and develop the skills of diplomacy, daring and determination. Managers revert to arrogance in order to hide their apprehensiveness. We are the ones who can make the difference to those around us. A leader will never dive in feet first; rather gather facts and information beforehand to give us the power of strength.
4. Follow your Instincts: We all strive to feel motivated by freedom and a good leader will challenge how far he/she can trust others and themselves. If you continually seek challenges you will find the best in yourself. One such challenge would be what we identify as an unwanted status quo in our company, ourselves, systems etc. Some values that can be challenged are:
- Developing an environment of creativity and supporting those who do.
- Having a clear sense of modesty in recognising our mistakes and improving on them.
- Developing honesty and transparency amongst the team.
- Creating a relaxed yet professional environment.
- Offer services to our customers and our team members that exceed their expectations.
- Allow everyone to make decisions and learn to be accountable.