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Imagine yourself standing in front of a group of men and women who have never seen you before nor know how you lead. "WHAT DO YOU DO?"
Everyone assumes that being in the military is simple and leadership should be easy. The real truth is that you get a new batch of guys almost every four years. Now you can see how difficult this could be. Well with my 16 years of being in the military, I learned that Leaders must lead with L.O.V.E.
What I discovered as leader of over 300 people is that if a Leader doesn't have L.O.V.E. it will very difficult to get people to follow you. In this article, I intend to show you how I used this method to overcome any group I was given.
Let's break it down because I believe it will help you as a leader in any area of leadership.
1. L - Lead
Most times many leaders forget this. I know you may think well they are leaders and this should be a given. But I say there is a difference between positional leaders and transformational leaders, because someone who may be in the position of a leader does not mean the skills to transform a group exists within them. When you lead truly, there has to be a level of understanding that everything rests and rises because of you. A leader has to set this within their mind and heart to lead. It is more than a position. The team needs your guidance because you are the one with the knowledge and the in-between details to make the mission go. So, go and Lead.
2. O - Observe
This element is bigger to do that vision. Its base is on how much you are in-tune with your group. Do you see the character of your group? Do you understand who are the hard chargers and the slackers? Do you know what inspires EACH member to produce? Observing your group deals with what you can't easily. A transformational leader looks to improve these questions and observe to see the inner workings of each. Being the leader that uses this element, you can take a group that seems to be an unproductive one to one of the most productive groups in a company or organization.
3. V - Vocabulary
Number 3 is a very critical element. How a leader uses his or her words are essential for direction to the mission. The biggest key is that the leader says words that cast vision or words that send a message that your team can't accomplish the mission with you leading them. The leader has to understand that not only are they to keep guard of the mission or projects, but also have to guard their mouth. It is true what the bible says about the tongue: "no man can tame it." So look for words that will cast a vision of hope and watch how energetic and purposeful your team becomes.
4. E - Engagement
Lastly, engagement—the element that shows you care. A lot of times members of a group would say they have no connection with their leader. I understand seasoned vets (older leaders) say this to let everyone know who is the lead dog, but leading this way can hurt you in the long run. Example: I lead a team in the military with my rank/position. I understand I can enforce obedience because of my rank, but it made my team ineffective. It gave me long days and I had to write up people way too much. Then I changed my approach. I started to get involved in the work and even got to know how they were personally. They began to see that I cared for and then the effectiveness and production rose quickly. I know you may be thinking the saying, "people have to know how much you care and they will care about what you care about." A lot of leaders don't do this because they get consumed with work, but understand that work exists with people.
These are just a few lessons I learned when I was a leader and I believe that with the application of these four elements, your teams, groups, and company would see top-level growth.
Thanks and Go Out There and Lead with L.O.V.E.