10 Ways To LIFT Your Leadership
Every leader needs a boost from time to time.
The newest leaders need to build momentum and loft to get their influence off the ground.
Experienced leaders need to find ways to stay aloft and refuel.
Successful leaders need to stay grounded and keep their vision clear.
These analogies from piloting a plane can serve as great examples to us in how to keep our leadership fresh and relevant. Virtually any leader knows enough to get themselves off the ground easily. The real challenge in leadership is keeping motivated during each new mission and knowing how to get your people on board consistently.
Here are 10 ways to give your leadership some lift:
- Start on the ground. Any pilot and their craft start on the ground. Good leaders stay grounded by coming back to earth from time to time to re-tool their purpose, gain new missions, and refresh themselves.
- Chart your course. A leader who travels without a map is just a tourist along for the ride. People follow leaders who are going places, and great leaders know where they’re going and how to get there.
- Clear the runway. Obstacles in the way will prevent the speed in which you start off with. These obstacles include having your vision clear as well. Remove everything that hinders your vision and the path forward.
- Sell tickets. An airline is irrelevant if they can’t get passengers to travel with them. Likewise, unless you sell your brand to your customers and clients, you won’t make much of an impact in your industry.
- Get your people on board. Your entire flight crew needs to be there to make things happen. Are they committed to the mission? Do they trust your ability to steer them forward? Make sure you have the crew necessary to man your mission.
- Fuel UP. In a leadership sense, this means to feed yourself on your culture, vision, and goals. It also means to take on a steady supply of ways to grow and refueled your leadership abilities during the flight. Reading, podcasts, seminars, and networking are great ways to keep yourself fueled as a leader.
- Check your systems. If all systems are go, your flight will be successful. But you need to check and double-check to ensure you don’t malfunction. Are your processes, policies, and people systems working smoothly? And your vehicle – your business model – is it sound? Checking on these things constantly and ensuring all components are in working order will ensure a smooth liftoff.
- Throttle forward and gain momentum. Once you have permission for takeoff, now is the time to hit the ground running. Dive into your mission with the fervency and power as moving the throttle all the way forward does in a plane. While slow at first, the momentum will build as will the excitement of a new mission, a new vista to be conquered.
- Spread your wings. Once you’ve started going full steam ahead and know that all systems check out, you can start to spread your wings and achieve some lift. As an organization, that means seeing your brand gleam in the sunlight of marketing and well-executed business plans. As a leader, it means knowing your crew is doing their job and you are on your way to your goal.
- Adjust your altitude and enjoy the view. No doubt challenges – turbulence – will come. At those times, adjust your altitude (and sometimes your attitude) to override or dodge those cross-currents and continue going forward. And whether the journey is smooth or bumpy, remember to enjoy the ride. The goal is the destination, but the journey in growing, working together, and seeing the entire plan come together is what makes leadership worth while.
These simple steps provide a great way to remember and apply these principles to your leadership. For more information on how to increase your leadership influence, you can find out more in my book “Leadership LIFT: Taking Your Leadership To New Heights”.
The role is yours – how high will you fly?