Many leaders are appointed, but that does not make them true leaders. In this Expert Insight Interview, Mary Jane Mapes discusses how to become a leader who encourages fearless participation within the organization. Mary Jane Mapes is a founder of IGNITE – Next Level Leadership program, an executive coach, and a leadership keynote speaker.
The interview discusses:
- The idea of fearless participation
- The importance of soft skills
Having fearless participation within the organization comes from having an authentic, self-aware, and very self-driven leader. This leader is courageous, trustworthy, does things only because those are the right things to do, and is not afraid to talk about the elephant in the room. That is the leader that other people want to follow.
Being self-aware is extremely important for a leader. Many times it happens that people do not perceive us the way how we perceive ourselves. We spend so much time trying to be someone we are not and very little time getting to know ourselves. But when we finally discover ourselves, we can be pretty extraordinary as well. The key is to spend quality time alone, in thinking and self-reflection. During that alone time, we can figure out many questions that we were asking ourselves for years. For example, we can discover which beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions prevent us from responding to the situation differently and why.
Today’s culture pushes us to put ourselves too much out there and discourages us from having time alone. But being able to take some time off from the world and do self-reflection can make a big difference in your life. Also, people tend to think that self-reflection means trying to fix yourself. Instead, it means that you are working on yourself to operate at your highest and your best.
Earlier, soft skills were not considered as important as hard skills. But in today’s world, especially with everything being digital, authenticity, empathy, and good communication skills are extremely important. The research has shown that the most successful leaders are the ones who have genuine relationships with their people and a passion for serving them. It is always a two-way street. When people see that their leader values and respects them, they will also be passionate about their work and better performance. People can see when someone is real and when someone is just pretending. Thus, you have to have pure intentions and a mindset to serve your people in order to achieve higher performance at the overall organizational level.
My brand promise is to develop courageously authentic leaders who are capable of creating a culture of fearless participation….where all voices are heard, all inputs are valued and considered. Only then will people be willing go above and beyond for you as the leader and the organization, willing to give the best they have to offer.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.