7 tips for developing a unique voice of leadership

Here’s a just-in-time drum roll for the latest Rock and Roll Carnival of HR coming tomorrow, November 10, 2010!

Recently I read a great article in Modern Drummer by drummer Marko Djordjevic titled 7 Tips For Developing A Unique Voice On The Drum Set.

I really enjoyed it, being an aspiring “someday” drummer, so I went through it and adapted it to developing your unique leadership at any level.

  1. Acknowledge that you are capable of making a unique leadership contribution. What brings out the best in us as leaders, whether it’s personal leadership as individual contributors or company leadership as CEO’s, is the fact that we’re paying attention to our peers, mentors and those leaders who inspire us. If we apply what we learn, we can then develop and contribute our own unique leadership. Another reason why the best leaders thrive and grow in a coaching culture.
  2. Consider why you decided to be a leader in the first place. For whatever reason, you had the desire to become a leader. Zero in on those notions and feelings, and let them guide you. Work on developing, elevating and maintaining your emotional intelligence!
  3. Take a creative approach to transcription. Transcribing is a process where you do your best to understand and then model, as closely as possible, something you admire someone else does. But that’s only the half of it. The creative part to make it your own involves taking apart those “licks, grooves, and patterns” (styles/behaviors you admire) and altering things to better suit your personality and delivery style. The more you do this, the more you’ll find yourself developing your own leadership voice.
  4. Practice tripping yourself up (improve your self-awareness). The practice of knowing and becoming a great leader is doing. And this means that you’ll make mistakes along the way — and better to make them in a continuous learning environment. When you do make a mistake, stop and work on what caused you trouble — learn from it and alter your future behavior. The more self-aware and mindful you are, the better you’ll be at responding at the ever-changing world. The more you try to trip yourself up, the more you learn and the better you become at decision-making on the spot.
  5. Work on your “sound” self. This involves more of number 4 and the fact that sound leaders can embrace ambiguity and must learn to make decisions with incomplete information. It also involves “stretch” assignments and putting yourself in situations outside your comfort zone in order to make you “better and brighter.” Remember, failure is always an option if you apply what you learn for the next time around.
  6. Listen actively and attentively as much as possible. How true is this in every facet of life? Very true. In fact, this has been agreed on in many leadership circles as one of the most — if not the most — important leadership skill. Yes, I hear you.
  7. Write original compositions. Marko believes that composing music is one of the most creative endeavors a human being is capable of. I whole-heartedly agree (along with writing). I also feel developing your own empathic leadership style is critical to becoming a well-rounded leader of self, a sound collaborative leader and an inspiring leader of others. The best (mindful) improvisers — 21st century leaders — often refer to their art (leadership) as composing (leading) on the spot (in the moment).

These are who create the best places to work and keep us burning better and brighter.

Rock on with your bad selves.

Enjoy the Carnival of HR! ¬†And this amazing drummer…

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