Leadership Pills Every Young Leader Should Take
One of the leadership influencer and author I have had the opportunity to associate with, gave these three leadership pills of great leaders. They are; Stillness, Silence and Solitude. There are often discussions on whether leadership, as a skill, comes naturally to people or whether it is learnt. Whatever view you hold, leadership is something that comes to life when you choose to be a leader. Regardless of whether one is a natural leader or grows to become one, there are many attributes that define leadership. The ability to inspire and empower others, demonstrate what’s possible, take themselves and others forward even when the path is perceived to be unclear. Some of the key attributes that people associate with a leader, and many more.
So how do leaders become synonymous with all these attributes? What do they do that inspires others and makes them a leader? We might often secretly wish that there was a magic pill for strengthening our leadership skills.
Stillness – cures unbridled enthusiasm
A wise woodcutter indeed is he who rather than constantly chopping wood will occasionally stop to sharpen his axe.
Leaders that can appreciate the value of stillness can move forward and sustain momentum after pausing.
I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business.– Warren Buffet
Silence – cures foot in the mouth disease
Emily Dickinson said, “Saying nothing…sometimes says the most.” Silence can be a powerful tool. Think before you speak. Silence may be divided between saying nothing and wisely picking your words. Today many leaders talk far too much and listen too little, when it should be the other way around. The words you speak to your employees and to the watching world defines you.
Silence is awkward for most people. They instinctively want to fill in the blank space.
The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” -Mark Twain
I’ve learned that one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them” – Andy Rooney
Solitude – cures chronic burnout
Solitude is one of the most important necessities of true leadership. It’s a time of rest, peace, strengthening and refreshment. Distancing oneself from the distractions and taking the time to listen to your thoughts is the path to wisdom.
The best thinking has been done in solitude.” ~ Thomas Edison
Your effectiveness and maybe even your longevity as a leader depended directly on finding and establishing regular periods of solitude.
Also, according to business coach and founder of SMARTadvice Peter Horsfield, there are three leadership pills every long-haul leader should take:
1. The Chill Pill
To create a sustainable business, it is important to care, support and inspire those around us.– Atira Tan
If people are starting to stress you out don’t let them ruffle your feathers. Stay focused on the task at hand and don’t be put off by others’ opinions. “When all the naysayers, negativity and road blocks threaten to get you down, take a chill pill and reset your focus,” says Horsfield.
Stay true to the reason for your passion and vision that only you are going to be thinking about at 2am. Believe in yourself rather than the negative voices around you.
2. The Just Do It Pill
While many people sit on the sidelines with a wealth of knowledge and opinions about what to do, the sign of a real leader is translating that into action. “It all comes down to action. If you don’t put your rubber to the road every day and have a go, you’re never going to make it,” writes Horsfield.
3. The Love Pill
According to Horsfield, great businesses are not built alone – you have to love your team and their dreams too. You have to help people achieve what’s important to them. When they see you’re supporting them, they will get on board with your vision too. To be a successful leader you have to be somebody that people trust, and that comes down to empathy and competence. You can’t just be a lovely person and not deliver.
“Great businesses are really based on relationship and trust. To create a sustainable business, it is important to care, support and inspire those around us. Work for me is not just business, it is really a spiritual path. Therefore, the qualities of compassion and love are necessary in creating a joyful and successful business,” writes Tan.
P.S. Overdosing on any of these leadership pills may have detrimental side effects. Discernment is key. It’s important to know the prescribed doses to apply in any given scenario.