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In Australia we have a notion called ‘tall poppy syndrome’ which means that culturally people who have merit are derided by their community. Not very productive really in a country which needs strong, decisive leaders more than ever.

True leadership does not reside in a title or job description – it comes from how we act. In the business I founded one of our core values is ‘leadership’. This is for every team leader not just those in a management position. Leadership is about being accountable, responsible and believing that “if it’s meant to be it’s up to me.”

So what are the tell tale signs where leadership is lacking – or lagging as the case may be. Here are six things to consider:

  1. Shift in focus or lack of focus.
    Don’t lose sight of what’s important. Leaders know what they are there to do – and they get on and do it, it is a choice you make every day – how and where you spend your time. Leaders don’t rush to the ‘urgent’ and forsake the ‘important’… they are clear that the important must get done – and they focus on it.
  2. Poor Communication
    A lack of focus leads to disorientation, which typically leads to poor communication. If you are a confused and uncertain leader, you may find yourself hiding behind ambiguous communication. Ask yourself – what am I hear to do? And does anyone know? Would it be easier if they did know?
  3. Risk aversion
    Past successes create pressure – you may start to wonder how you can top them. If you find yourself driven by a fear of failure rather than the desire to succeed, ask yourself which is more important: the attempt or the outcome? Prudent leadership is about action not being paralyzed by fear. Often the dance of leadership is two steps forward, one step back.
  4. Ethics Slip
    Your credibility is the result of two aspects:  what you do (competency) and who you are (character). A discrepancy between these creates an integrity problem. Leaders do what they say they are going to do. And they know that their word is their bond. Achieving results can never become more important than the means to their achievement.
  5. Poor Self Management
    Leaders are often perceived – even expected – to be superhuman, running on unlimited energy.  While leadership is invigorating, it is also tiring. Leaders who fail to take care of their physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs will struggle to support those around them. Think of having a gauge for each of these four areas of your life—and check them often! When a gauge reaches the “empty” point, make time for refreshment and replenishment. It is vital to your leadership that you continue to grow and develop.
  6. Lost Love
    I often speak about passion – and if your passion becomes an obsession or a chore then it is a warning sign about you as a leader. Paradoxically, the hard work of leadership should be fulfilling and even fun. But when leaders lose sight of the dream that compelled them to accept the responsibility of leadership, they can find themselves working for causes that mean little to them. Ask yourself ‘Do I still love this?’ It is much easier to lead – when you lead because you love it.

No matter where you sit inside an organization or community – we all have the opportunity to participate in a leadership role, but it is worth checking these six indicators – to make sure you really are following your passion.

This article first appeared in my LinkedIn Influencer Collection

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  • Happiness:
Think less, Feel more;
Frown less, Smile more;
Judge less, Accept more;
Watch less, Do more;
Complain less, Appreciate more;
Fear less, Love more....
Give it a crack 😎on a weekend like this what's to stop you! #naturalbeauty #happiness
  • Friday drinks must be here soon surely ... or I'm out! #friyay
  • In the 90s I left my cushy job at Apple.

I’d be a squillionaire if I still had my stock options.

I don’t regret it. Here's why:

After 10 years of corporate, I wanted to ‘do my own thing’. I started with freelance marketing.

My strategy? Hard work and build strong brands.

It seemed to work - new clients came from referrals.

But after 18 months, I came to a realisation:

All my clients wanted was “more customers”, not complex branding plans.

SO I thought I’d build a brand of my own. Something to get them “more customers”. RedBalloon was born. The purpose? Give people amazing experiences.

16 years on, RB has delivered 3.8 million customers to 2000 small businesses.

Now, when I give talks, I always get the same question: “How did you build such a strong brand?” Funny how it comes full circle.

I can’t answer that with a time limit.

Though I think I found a way - an online course. “How to Build your Business Brand” - years of experience in one place (link in bio if interested). But, that’s not the point of this post.

If I stayed with Apple I’d be unbelievably wealthy.

Quitting was still the best thing I’ve ever done.

So if you want to take a leap of faith, do it.

All I ask you is this:

Trust yourself and never underestimate the power of brand.
  • #tbt the originals circa 2004 🎈 it reminds that an entrepreneurs journey is long and full of twists and turns. What a ride! @redballoonexperiences
  • I have always been rushing! I need to remind myself of this one regularity. I'm intentional, not frenetic. Choose the one thing that needs to get done to make everything easier! #inspiration


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