12 Behaviors Leaders Model to Develop a Leadership Culture
People do what people see. This goes for your children, as well as your teammates at work. We all know it is true, but we often don’t take the intentional actions we need to take to ensure that what they see is what we want them to do. If you are wondering if this is true for you, ask yourself this question, “If the people on my team (or in my home) became leaders like what they see in me, would this be a good place to work (or live)?
Developing a Leadership Culture
As John Maxwell likes to say, “Leadership is more caught than taught.” This means that you can talk all you want about leadership and developing leaders, but what your team will walk away with is what they see you do. If you hope to establish a leadership culture, you need to be intentionally modeling 12 behaviors to solidify your leadership culture.
Culture is how we do things around here, and leadership is about influence, not position. So a leadership Culture is an organizational culture where everyone, not just the titled leaders, develops influence with those above, below, and beside them to drive engagement and performance.
12 Behaviors to Model
#1 – Integrity – It can be easy to think this is about lying, cheating, and stealing, and since I am not doing any of those, I have integrity. I think it is more complicated than that. Are you honest and above-board with everything you do? Are your motives clear in your decisions, or are you manipulating situations to your advantage? Trust cannot exist without integrity.
#2 – Self-Awareness – This could be easily overlooked because it seems like something others can’t see, but you absolutely know if someone has self-awareness. More accurately, you can tell when they are unaware of their behaviors and actions and their impact on others.
#3 – Authenticity – This stems from a genuine self-awareness that allows you to be a real person, no masks needed. This is who I am. A culture that encourages and allows every person to be themselves is a culture where leadership can grow.
#4 – Teachableness – Leaders are learners and a culture that promotes a growth mindset where everyone owns their development plan; it’s a culture where leadership will grow. When a leader is teachable, they ask more questions and allow others to enter the conversation. Teachableness drives engagement and connectedness.
#5 – Relationship Building – A leader who models relationship-building communicates that they value others.
#6 – Valuing others – When you value others, you generate buy-in from others, which leads to higher engagement and better performance.
#7 – Inclusiveness – Leaders who model inclusive behaviors make their followers feel valued, safe, and that they belong.
#8 – Accountableness – If a leader holds both themself and others accountable for commitments and outcomes, your culture will thrive.
#9 – Consistency – When you model consistency, the way you act, react, and your behaviors communicate that you can be trusted with the good, the bad, and the uncertain.
#10 – Courage – When you model courage, you communicate that it’s okay to do the difficult thing, the unpopular thing, the untried thing. Courage reveals your values and communicates your priorities.
#11 – Respect – If you fail to model respect for others, whether they are above you, below you, or beside you, you open the door to a very different culture than what I am guessing you really want. Respect communicates the value of another person and high regard for others. It is part of the foundation of a leadership culture.
#12 – Humility – Humility in a leader is a very attractive quality; by that, I mean it ATTRACTS followers or people who welcome your influence. Humility communicates that you know you need the team if we are going to accomplish what we set out to accomplish.
These are the 12 I would like to see, and I could probably come up with more. What behaviors would you like to see in your leaders to ensure you are designing a leadership culture?
About Perry Holley
Perry Holley is a coach and facilitator with Maxwell Leadership’s Corporate Solutions Group as well as a published author. He has a passion for developing others and seeing people grow into the leaders they were intended to become.
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