In life, we often hear about “stars”. This word is often associated with people like Lebron James or Carson Wentz, rising above their circumstances and performing above and beyond what is normally expected. Or the term is reserved for people like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Chris Pratt, whose careers and lifestyles seem so far above ours, that all we can liken them to is “stars”. But what might a “star” look like in an everyday situation?
We define “stars” as people with the following qualities;
Set Expectations – People that can set expectations know where they are going. It shows that you have an internal drive. Initiative and ambition. Setting expectations within yourself is a great place to start. Don’t just coast through work, embrace it. Find a reason to believe that your skills actually make a difference and have value. Hold yourself to high standards. Work with vigor and ferocious intent.
Treat others with respect – You won’t be able to lead or influence anyone toward an expected outcome with a dismissive and disrespectful attitude. There’s no room for condescending speech and undermining behavior. Not saying you have to be everyone’s friend, but you have to respect them. Remember, you get what you give.
Alignment and accountability – Having the ability to get those around you to align around ideas and holding them accountable to the results is important. Aligning around company goals is a great catalyst to a productive culture. Accountability is key, but “stars” don’t bark at those who aren’t “carrying their weight”. Sometimes, it just takes a nudge. Proper accountability is constructive, not punitive. You have to allow others to hold you accountable, before you can hold others accountable.
Reliability – People have to trust you. This can be earned in numerous ways, but being reliable is one of the best ways to earn the trust of your team. You’ve got to show up and handle business. You’ve got to be honest. Staying humble and giving rewards to others, rather than looking for accolades yourself, is another way to earn trust. Again, you get what you give. The more you raise others, the higher you go.
Servant leadership – No “star” list can be complete without this. When you actively work to promote others and care more about their well-being than the bottom line, the results are amazing for the entire organization. Others will begin to believe in your vision, because it comes from a place of truth. This mindset spreads and pretty soon, you will begin to identify and develop the next set of “stars”. They’re easy to recognize, because they’ll be casting their own vision.
As leaders, we should always be looking for and developing the next set of leaders. These are folks that will take the helm when more seasoned colleagues have departed. And make no mistake, that day is coming. Probably sooner than you think. Being a leader in our organization is not easy. It’s actually pretty hard. Some people “say” they want to be a leader, but as Mike Tyson once said “everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. Do you have what it takes? Can you push through obstacles and rise to the top? Don’t be ashamed. Reveal yourself, because we need you.