I like to study organizations and the people that makeup them up. I enjoy studying how people can have the same title and yet perform completely different. We love an underdog story. We love watching organizations with less resources out perform larger well funded organizations. Organizations with enthusiastic leaders and people will outperform mediocre ones.
What makes these realities possible?
How can people hold the same title, but be an uncommon leader?
First of all, it doesn’t take a title or position to lead. Leading is an influence. Organizations that recognize this have a shortcut to being uncommon leaders.
1. Uncommon leaders are readers.
On average, authors put about 2 years of life experience into the content of a book. 2015 I started mapping out my reading plan for my year. No matter what title I hold, I wanted to be like leaders who never stopped learning, and we’re always maturing.
Author and Pastor, Mark Batterson, read 3,000 books before he ever authored his first book. He wanted as much life experience as possible before he penned his first book.
My personal maturity map looks like reading 30 books a year, listening to 104 podcasts a year.
2. Uncommon leaders are completers.
This may sound simple, but there is something that stands out in our culture for keeping your word. If you say you’re going to do something and actually doing it, you’ll stand out in the right way in our society.
As we raise our sons, we are emphasizing this more and more. I want our sons to have a reputation for completing jobs and responsibilities. No matter their titles.
3. Uncommon Leaders Feed others.
In a world of negativity, anxiety, and depression, a person who encourages others is so crucial. Merrillville Intermediate School has a banner posted that says, Throw Kindness like Confetti. It’s a great reminder of how vital our kindness and encouragement are. Lead by encouraging.
4. Uncommon Leaders garden.
A gardener understands that gardening is a system. There is a time of preparing the soil, planting seeds, pulling weeds, watering etc. This is a system.
The harsh reality of all workplaces is that there is waste, imbalanced, & overwhelmed. Uncommon Leaders know this. They also don’t attempt to solve these issues on their own. Toyota factories have boards posted. These boards are for any associate to suggest improvements.
These suggestions used to reduce Muda (waste), mura (imbalanced), and muri (overwhelmed). Engineers and production team leaders set up a process knowing that it should change and improve. No production process stays the same. The constant process of kaizen allows for change to happen by the people who are doing the work. Uncommon leaders create a system to allow that to happen that goes beyond the suggestion box.
5. Uncommon Leaders heed.
We’ve all seen past successful businesses avoid and resist change. Companies like Sears, Blockbuster, and Kodak resisted the changing climate of business. They are now scrambling to stay relevant.
Uncommon Leaders heed the changing times and adjust. Will Netflix change with all the recent additions to the streaming market? Will we look back in 10 years and wonder how Netflix went out of business? Will they change?
No matter what capacity of leadership we are in, things change.
6. Uncommon Leaders plead.
Every leader has to hold people accountable. People will always fail at something. Uncommon Leaders know this. What makes uncommon leaders uncommon is how they address the failure.
Uncommon Leaders keep humanity while they address failures.
Uncommon Leaders plead for others to rise up to their standards.
Plead for humans to be more humane start by leading by example.
Which of these traits do you already show?
Which 1 of these traits will you begin to practice?