Mentally strong leaders acquire the skill of mental toughness over time. To achieve mental toughness, you must get comfortable and make friends with uncertainty, shifting business environments, and innovation.
Although the leadership journey can occasionally be exhausting and stressful, your demeanor must appear composed, confident and decisive as if everything were business as usual.
My own experiences have taught me that mental toughness begins when you catch yourself intentionally overriding the flaw that sabotages your goals. And this is never so true as when you are being ambushed by any one of these ten leadership flaws:
1. Failing to adapt to the shifting business environment, an inability to realize that many business situations require a different set of leadership behaviors, skills, and solutions. If you persist in acting the same way even when it’s no longer appropriate to new context or circumstance, your actions will not be supported by the organization.
2. Not detaching yourself from emotional conflict. Immersing yourself into a charged situation takes away your objectivity to act with purpose and think clearly. And the emotions will be about the experience rather than you and the participant.
3. Lack of effective communication. Without clear communication, you will never get the response you want or expect, derailing your goals.
4. Failure to develop relationships, treating people as objects, insensitive to their needs. Remember the old adage: be careful how you treat others going up the ladder, because you may meet them again on your way down.
5. Lack of emotional control, acting on impulse and failing to resist the emotional pull of the moment. Emotions, rather than clear purpose, will drive your actions in response to people and situations.
6. Lack of accountability, not being responsible for your own actions and behavior. Playing the victim role only leads to finger-pointing, blaming others, and an undesired outcome.
7. Being easily intimidated. If you back down quickly when challenged, or are intimidated by competence or excellence in others, you will continue to feel inferior. Eleanor Roosevelt once wisely noted, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
8. Whining and complaining about the way things are. Stop wasting time blaming others for your mistakes and realize no one is listening. In business, as in life, we all make mistakes and experience setbacks and disappointments.
9. Not developing others. Don’t assume that your followers have an understanding of their work and responsibility. Find ways to further develop everyone’s knowledge, skills and resources.
10. Not delegating. You are not the only person who can do the job well. Failure to delegate means you won’t develop employee business acumen, win their confidence, and help build the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to make good decisions.
Leadership effectiveness and ongoing success is a journey in mental toughness. There is one important truth to know. Mental toughness is a fundamental skill set you need to possess. Without it, you can’t improve performance, or effectively think, act, or innovate. And you certainly can’t inspire the best in others. If you find yourself continually exhibiting the ten aforementioned flaws, you should think carefully about your desire and readiness to be in a leadership role.
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Copyright 2016 Jennifer Touma Mindscape Mindscapemind