May Busch

How to Be the Best Leader You Can Be (May Busch)

Winning Well Connection Reflection

May comes to us from London. We first got to know May when she invited us to share our Winning Well message in her Career Mastery Challenge. We’ve enjoyed getting to know her and the important work she is doing in the world.

These days, being a leader is about your behavior, not your title. So, every day you and I have a golden opportunity to be the leader we want to be – that best version of ourselves. Being that “best self” leader takes conscious effort, but it’s worth it. You’ll feel great, bring out the best in everyone around you, and make a greater impact in the world.

In my experience, there are three main areas to focus on as you keep advancing toward being that “best self” leader:

• How you work with People

• How you work on the Business

• How you work on your Self

And of course, these areas are interlinked.

The key is to figure out where spending some time right now will make the biggest positive difference for you. And that will change over time because we’re always a work in progress.

Here are a few quick thoughts on each area to get you started.

WORKING WITH PEOPLE

There’s a saying, “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” As a leader, it’s important to bear in mind the noble intent behind that advice but otherwise ignore it because it won’t make you effective.

Instead, treat people the way they want to be treated. Like snowflakes, no two people are the same. And just as I might prefer that you get right to the point, someone else might like some rapport-building small talk first.

The best leaders understand the person they’re interacting with and figure out how to communicate most effectively with that person. It’s not one size fits all, so start noticing how things land with others.

While it’s tempting to revert to your comfort zone, you’ll be more effective if you can adapt your approach to suit the person and the situation. Of course, while still being yourself… but the best version of yourself for that occasion.

WORKING ON THE BUSINESS

No matter what your work may be – whether it’s delivering commercial results, contributing to the social good or something in between – there are many dimensions to working on the Business. Having vision, being strategic, and delivering results in innovative ways, just to name a few.

Click on the image for more information about May’s book.

But at the core, being a leader means making decisions and acting on them. Often those decisions can be difficult, involving tricky trade-offs. And doing nothing is also a decision … sometimes the riskiest one of all.

I find that the best way to lead well is to make those decisions based on your core values. It keeps you from being buffeted by the winds of special interests that otherwise may be hard to resist.

So get in touch with your core values, and make sure you’re working in a place where there’s alignment between your values and those of the organization. And if you’re in charge, then make sure you hire people who share those values and can help you build the culture.

WORKING ON YOURSELF

The more you understand about what makes you tick, the more you can put yourself in a position to be at your best more of the time. When you have a strong foundation, you’re in the best position to support others.

Part of that foundation is confidence, and you’ll benefit from building confidence both in yourself and in others. Since no one is confident 100% of the time, the key is to tap into the areas where you do feel confident and build from that. It could be confidence in your technical expertise, or in a time you mastered a new skill. Use that as a touchstone you can come back to and recall the feeling of confidence. Then, channel that into the areas where you’re less sure.

Extend this confidence building to people you work with as well. Help them tap into their best, strongest selves. Encourage them to step forward, and support them along the way.

WHAT WILL YOU DO? Now, it’s over to you. What’s the one area that would most move the needle for you if you worked on it right now, and what will you do to move forward on it?

Winning Well Reflection

In her three areas where we work (on the business, with our people, on ourselves) May has captured the critical Winning Well focus of results and relationships. You cannot build sustained breakthrough results without working in all three of these areas. We appreciate May’s observation that it all begins by leading yourself. Cultivate confident humility and watch your influence soar.

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