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Published:February 25th, 2008 12:26 EST
Becoming a Better Leader

Becoming a Better Leader

By Axel Meierhoefer (Mentor/Columnist)

Some people in leadership positions, especially when they are relatively fresh in the role, wonder how they can become a better leader. The other circumstance for those that are at it a while longer is the frustration or lack of satisfaction you get when things don’t work the way they should or you expect them to. There is a fundamental tendency to look for outside causes or reasons before looking at ourselves. Recently at a seminar in Ohio, Antonio Thorton said something very profound that fits really well for leaders and individuals in authority positions:

“If you want to keep getting what you’re getting, keep doing what’ you’re doing!”

This goes for the performance results of your team members and those you lead, the work product, the participation in class, or during meetings, - pretty much every walk of life or work you encounter. If you really want to be the role model and the leader you are capable of, you need to ask yourself what you have been doing to cause the results you are getting.

Gordon Selfridge summed it up like this:

  • The boss drives people ; the leader coaches them
  • The boss depends on authority; the leader on good will
  • The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm
  • The boss says: “I”; the leader says “WE”
  • The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown
  • The boss says “Go”; the leader says “LET’s Go!”

In my experience there are two main areas to look at:

  1. Skills
  2. Attributes

Skills is something you have learned and keep applying and refining. Most of the time your skills are not what causes the results to be as they are (unless you are in a profession that depends on your manual skills, like a carpenter, tile setter, etc.)

Attributes is where it is. How ambitious are you? How confident can you be about yourself and your team? How much of a role model have you been, and most importantly, how clearly have the visions, strategies, and goals been developed and communicated among those from who you are getting what you’re getting?

The Performance IQ system I use for assessments and coaching is a great first step to explore and discover what your own Performance IQ actually is and how you score across 12 drivers which determine your attributes for success.

Soon there will be a place on the internet where you can go and test yourself. In the mean time, try this:

“To get what you desire, change what doesn’t work today!” 

Axel Meierhoefer is a published author, educator, coach, consultant, and the founder of Axel Meierhoefer Consulting LLC (AMC LLC). His motto is" Helping others help themselves achieve success". If you like to take a free test assessment to discover where you stand on the path to success or you like to get a consultation to prepare coaching, you can learn more about Axel at http://www.meierhoefer.net/blog or send an email to AM@Meierhoefer.net