“Champion” is a noun, but it’s also a verb. I believe a leader’s ambition should be both: to be a champion, but also to champion others.
There’s something unattractive about the person who is great at what they do, but lets it go to their head. They forget that true success is not measured only their personal performance. Real, enduring success is about the whole team winning.
Be The Champion
There’s no doubt that your personal example is your most potent tool in influencing the success of others. As leaders we can’t say “Do as I say, not as I do” and expect to build a culture of greatness. Leadership begins with self-leadership. So there’s no escaping the leader’s personal responsibility to be a champion.
• Are you the best example of the values and goals you want to see in your team?
• Does the level of your achievement inspire those around you about what’s possible?
• Or do you make excuses for your own performance, while expecting others to rise to the occasion?
When I champion members of my team I develop the greatness in them. As long as it’s sincere (and not manipulative) there is real power in celebrating the strengths of those you lead. But it takes a secure leader to be able to make heroes of others without feeling like less of one themselves.
• Do you constantly search for opportunities to give your people the limelight, the credit and the spoils of war?
• How often do you use your meetings to praise individuals publicly? Or are your meetings more about fault finding?
• Is the legacy of your leadership that people slowly become the champions you had told them they were right from the start?
As leaders let’s remember “Champion” is something to both be and do.
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Paul Andrew is Founder of The Leadership Coach™
He is a Keynote Speaker and Management Consultant based in New York
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