Top 10 Leadership Lessons - Proteus Leadership | Leadership
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Top 10 Leadership Lessons

common thread to being an extraordinary leader is being open to new ideas and ways of thinking as well as staying committed to growing their business, themselves and others.


Top 10 Leadership Lessons

1. Questions inspire change

One determined executive is challenging and changing the status quo in her organisation and the broader business community. She understands the importance of asking good questions to uncover what people really care about first. Margaret Wheatley, author of multiple books on leadership and organisational behaviour, says: “Real change begins with the simple act of people talking about what they care about most”. As a leader, you can’t force change, but you can inspire change. Think about the questions you’re asking.

2. Change fosters growth

There are some executives who have made radical changes by taking on a new role within their own organisation. Other Executives have left their organisations to transition to new senior management roles in other companies. They have created new opportunities to grow themselves and make a bigger impact. Approach change as an opportunity for growth.

3. Dysfunction is everywhere

Some leaders are relieved to know that they are not the only ones experiencing dysfunction at work. Dysfunction exists in different forms in teams, partnerships and organisations. The best leaders are always working to improve conditions and performance. Don’t be distracted by dysfunction. Seek constant improvement.

4. Adversity builds strength

Some individuals have had personal battles with cancer and other illnesses that, to anyone else, would appear devastating. They have emerged stronger with a clearer sense of business priorities and personal mission. Their conviction to make a difference in and through their business is even stronger. Whatever difficulties you face will make you a better leader.

5. Surprise sharpens focus

No one likes being blind sided. When leaders are blind sided, they’re forced to look at areas of their business or people in their business that need attention. When a top performer leaves unexpectedly, when a competitor comes out of nowhere and takes a chunk of your business, when you discover money flowing out of the business into the wrong pockets, you’re forced to see what went wrong and what can be done to prevent the problem in the future.

6. Fit matters

Some of the most talented leaders become extremely frustrated when they find themselves in a corporate culture that doesn’t fit them. You may have outgrown your environment, or simply landed in a toxic environment that doesn’t suit you. You can be the most talented leader, but jeopardise results and/or your career if you’re swimming in the wrong pond. The most courageous people will make their leap into different waters that allow them to thrive. You must know when it’s time to jump.

7. Name the elephant

Inevitably, as a leader, you will be in situations that require you to talk about sensitive or difficult issues. Leaders who ‘name the elephant in the room’ have seen better results because they’re not dancing around issues. They’re moving through them with their teams even when the issues are uncomfortable to discuss. Name and claim your elephant!

8. Guard your time

A common complaint from executives is not being able to get things done. The higher your leadership level within an organisation, the more important it is to carve out ‘thinking time’, not just ‘doing time’. Understand the value of your time and spend it wisely. ‘Time management systems’ aren’t necessarily the solution. It starts with knowing what’s most important. Say no more frequently. Focus your time and attention deliberately on top priorities.

9. Trust your team

Even the most hands-on leaders have learnt to let go, or at least transfer ownership of some responsibilities to team members. Your team members want to grow.

They want to be trusted to assume greater responsibility over time. Give them the chance. You’ll free yourself up to take on more important responsibilities and achieve higher performance as a team.

10. Find the funny

Despite some of the most difficult problems, there is usually humour to be found somewhere. Leaders who maintain a good sense of humour engage their team differently, and just make work more enjoyable. They’re able to laugh at themselves. As one CEO said, “I’m out of my comfort zone when I roll out of bed and my feet hit the floor!”.

Republished from the International Institute of Directors and Managers (IIDM) –


Proteus Leadership is one of Australia’s premier leadership training and development companies. Proteus Leadership provides leadership courses and management training to a range of industries and assists organisations to build positive workplace cultures, implement change and Create Great Leaders. Proteus also facilitates a range of world-class management courses, workshops, conferences and events across Australia and beyond with the sole purpose of bringing leaders together to connect and grow.

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