What does it take to be a Leader?

What does It take to Be a Leader?

Leadership is one of those words that carry a wide range of connotations. By “leadership,” most people picture someone who holds a formal title in a corporate, organization, government, church, educational or military setting – titles such as a president, director, department manager, provost, team leader, minister, project manager, pope, and so on. Is leadership confined to these contexts?  No, it is so much more.

In reality, leadership occurs everywhere. If there is life, leadership is taking place. Everyone is a leader. That’s because leadership is really a mindset much more than a title. In fact, a title does not guarantee true leadership even though those with powerful titles often have an enormous impact on the world (regardless of whether the impact is desirable or destructive).

The mindset at the heart of leadership involves two dynamics – impact and responsibility. Impact is the effect that each person has on other people – their families, communities, the environment, and the world. When people are aware of their impact on others, and work toward having a positive influence on others, they are engaging in positive or desirable leadership. When people ignore their impact, work toward getting their objectives accomplished regardless of the impact on others, or are interested only in being self-serving, they are engaging in negative or destructive leadership.

Responsibility is a leader’s willingness to notice the impact they have and to respond in a way that is conscientious and appropriate. Even though everyone is responsible for their impact, not everyone takes responsibility for it. People commonly deny responsibility by denying their impact or by blaming others. It is much easier to deny or blame, than it is to take responsibility.

Imagine a world where everyone consistently pays attention to their impact, takes responsibility for it, and chooses a response that is conscientious and appropriate. That alone would change the world. It would exponentially reduce destruction and death. It would counteract conflict. It would alleviate unnecessary pain.

Imagine a world in which you consistently pay attention to your impact, take responsibility for it, and choose a response that is conscientious and appropriate. What difference would this make in your life and the lives of the people you influence? Yes – you are a leader.

So, what does it take to be a leader? Being a leader is not about your title, the power of your position, or how many followers you have. It comes down to two dynamics: impact and responsibility. Be a leader that values desirable outcomes.

Questions to ask yourself each day:

What positive impact did I have today on the people that crossed my path? At my job? For the environment (great leaders are also great stewards) and for my community?

Did I help anyone identify and achieve their vision today- even in a small way?

To your success and happiness,
Corinne McElroy CPCC, ORSC
Leadership Performance Coach

Tips That Can Help You Tune In

Emotional intelligence is like rapport. With emotional intelligence you are able to tune in to the behavior and emotions of others and make adjustments so the relationship flows.

You see it when teams work well together.  They move in sync, in rhythm.

For some, this comes naturally, and for others it requires a conscious effort.   However, the payoff is worth the effort.
People who have good rapport with others:

  • experience increased happiness,
  • solve problems more creatively,
  • perform at a higher level, and
  • are more fulfilled.

In a world filled with techno-communication at unprecedented speeds, it is easy to understand why some psychologists predict we are losing our ability to develop rapport–even with the people we care most about.  Do not let that happen to you or the people you are leading. Here are some tips that can help you tune in to those around you to build rapport and create meaningful relationships:

  • Look people in the eye. Rapport is strengthened when eyes lock.
  • Show real interest in others. Stop what you’re doing and be an enthusiastic listener.
  • Ask questions to help others open up.
  • Enjoy comfortable silence. You do not always need to talk to connect.
  • Show appreciation for small, routine things as well as big accomplishments.
  • Share your thoughts and feelings.

As you practice building rapport today, be on the lookout for others doing the same.  Notice the flow.

Continually grow your emotional intelligence by paying attention to the physical and emotional rhythms of those around you and be prepared to make smooth adjustments as needed to honor others and yourself.

When that happens, life flows like a well-rehearsed melody.

How can you tune in today for better connections with others?

The Impact of Assumptions on Leadership

The Impact of Assumptions on Leadership

We all make assumptions. We naturally fill in gaps in what we think and perceive so that we can make sense out of our world and our experiences.

Sometimes the assumptions we make are accurate; sometimes they are inaccurate. Sometimes assumptions are productive; sometimes they are counter-productive. Sometimes assumptions build community; sometimes they destroy. Sometimes they save us time; sometimes they waste time. The assumptions you make can build bridges or destroy them. They can make peace or start a war.

Picture someone whom you know pretty well. What is one assumption you make about that person? Where does your assumption come from? Why do you have that assumption? How does that assumption influence your behavior toward this person? Have you ever asked the person to confirm or refute your assumption? What would happen if you shared your assumption with this person?

As a leader, you have an obligation to notice you are making assumptions and then to check them out, particularly when you make an assumption that is negative in nature. Negative assumptions are particularly risky to hold on to. They create resistance and resentment. They fuel blame and anger. They get in the way of productivity and positivity.

The first step is to notice the presence of an assumption. Once you notice that you are making an assumption, consider communicating it. The purpose of communicating it is to have it confirmed or denied. This creates open communication, honesty, and an opportunity to clear the air or rectify a misunderstanding.

There are different ways to communicate an assumption. One way, perhaps the simplest, is to say it directly – tell the other person that you are carrying an assumption, and that you want to share it with him or her to determine if it is accurate or not. It may sound risky – and sometimes it is – and an unspoken negative assumption is much more dangerous than one that is spoken. When an assumption is brought out, an opportunity for healing, growth, productivity, and relationship-building is created.

If you are carrying a positive assumption, you have more latitude to decide if you want it to be unspoken, even unspoken positive assumptions can sometimes get in the way.

Whenever you make assumptions, you have an impact on your experience and the experience of others. Generally, it is best to notice your assumptions and communicate them to others.

To your success and happiness,
Corinne McElroy CPCC, ORSC
Edge Of Change


The New Adventure

When people ask me what are you up to these days?  I say, we’re packing, sorting, taking a few things to storage and packing the RV and getting ready to take to the road on our new adventure…

The different responses have been interesting from WOW that is exciting, to really why would you want to do that.

This Thursday we are turning the keys of our home over to the Estate Sale Company that will be handling our estate sale. We are pretty much selling off 95% of everything we own and they want us out of the house to set everything up.

Mike and I with our dog and cat will be staying in our RV while they are setting up for the big sale, which is the 11th and 12th of June.

After the sale we will come back into the house for the cleanup and getting her, the house, looking all wonderful for the walk through by the new owners (yes we sold the house) on the 15th.  The house closes on the 17th.

The new owners are renting us back the house until July 6th which is wonderful because our daughter will be getting married on June 26th… YES, through all of this we have the wedding.

So we’re back into the house on the 14th to clean up and also to set up for family to come in town for the wedding.  Since everything will be gone we will be using blow up beds, folding tables and chairs… Sure glad the family is being very understanding.

WOW… When I say it out loud and write it out I have to take a big breath and calm myself down because the emotional roller coaster can really take me for a ride.

Mike and I both are really starting to go into the” BUT WHAT IF’s” mode as we are going through the final things in the house in preparation for it all…

Remember the Steve Martin movie; I think it was called The Jerk, where he walks around the house saying all I need is this chair and this lamp? That is what it is starting to feel like.

Mike will say; BUT what if we need this (holding up some kind of tool) and then I do it with; BUT what if I need this (holding up something that has to do with my painting stuff, cooking or work)

I know in my head that the “BUT WHAT IF’S” will do two things… One, have us question if we REALLY will need it, also I know that the “BUT WHAT IF’S” can keep us from what is possible!

I am reminding myself that “AND if” I really need it I can pick it up somewhere out there on the road where ever we are.  BUT I tell ya, it is NOT easy when I am on the emotional roller coaster.

Knowing our WHY we want to do this is keeping us going through the up’s and down’s.

Mike and I are truly at the Edge Of Change and believe me we are getting to remind each other to use every tool we have in our tool belt…

It is all good and it reminds me that when we learn new things, regardless of what they are, it is hypothetical until we get to apply the learning and then it truly can become knowledge .

As our new journey in life unfolds and takes place you will be hearing more and more about what is happening in hopes to share on a deeper and more meaningfully connection to ourselves, to each other and to you.

A New Beginning

A New Beginning

With change comes leaving behind the old and stepping into a new beginning. An ending is what makes the beginning possible. After all, that is the order of things isn’t it?

Leaves change and fall from the trees in the autumn only to reemerge in the spring. One day everything seems to be falling apart; and the next day, life goes on as usual. Every change has an ending that prepares us for new growth, new activities, and new beginnings.

New beginnings are like new energy released in a new direction. You will notice that you are making new beginnings in your life when you:

*Spend more energy on the future than the past or even the present.
*Shift your focus to something new and your productivity increases in that area.
*Feel your morale increasing as you look forward to something new.

There is a rhythm to the whole process of your old identity being renewed into a new identity and purpose. And when we are ready to make a new beginning, opportunity will be waiting for us.

Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do. -Liz Smith

YAY to New Beginnings!

To your success and happiness,