Learning "The Six Super Powers That Leaders Need" From a Three Year Old...
Meet Eleanor…aka Ellie…
Ellie is three years old. Confident. Self-motivated. Creative. Full of wonder. Inquisitive. Intentional. She is Wonder Woman wrapped in a three-year old body.
Ellie spent the holidays at our house this year. The highlight of our time together was truly watching her face as she opened her Wonder Woman doll. Joyfully exuberant. According to her Dad, Ellie can rarely be seen without her Wonder Woman cape. Watching her for a few days, I have come up with the six super powers that every leader needs, based on Ellie’s actions.
The Six Super Powers That Leaders Needs
1. The Power of Intentionality
Ellie is intentional. Everything she does is deliberate…it is done carefully and in an unhurried way. Opening her presents from Santa was an amazing thing to watch. She opened a gift, studied it and then played with it for a long time. She was not distracted by the other wrapped gifts on the floor, but instead was laser focused on the toy in hand.
As leaders, we need to be intentional when we are working with the people we lead. Spend quality time with each person. Remove distractions. Put cell phones away and focus on them. Every action when with them should be deliberate and purposeful.
2. The Power of Self-Confidence
Ellie’s every move exudes self-confidence. Her words, her body language, her actions, her reactions and her catch phrase, “I can do it myself.” She is sure she can do it on her own, and 99% of the time she can.
As leaders, we need to model self-confidence when working with our teams. This means being aware our own body language and the words we choose. Leaders grow other people to be leaders. When they see our self-confidence they will mirror that and start to become self-confident leaders themselves.
3. The Power of Wonder
Wonder is that feeling of pure amazement. Every new thing Ellie learns amazes her. Her eyes sparkle as she stands in front of you with excitement and joyful exuberance, discussing what she has just learned.
As leaders, we need to be life-long learners, full of wonder. We need to keep up on trends, we need to read books on leadership. We need to grow and develop ourselves in order to grow others. We need to encourage the people we serve to do the same.
4. The Power of Being Inquisitive
This is one of my favorite traits that Ellie possesses. She asks really great questions. She has a love of learning. She received a puzzle game where there was a picture of an object and you had to match the picture with the letter of the alphabet it begins with. When she unwrapped this present, she opened the box immediately and started to play with it. I watched this incredible three-year-old stand there and tell me what letter each picture began with and what sound that letter made. She didn’t stop until she completed all 26 cards.
As leaders, one of the most important skills, is to ask lots of questions of the people we serve. Get to really know them. Ask them how they learn the best, ask them what motivates them, ask them what is important of them, ask them what keeps them up at night, ask them how you can assist them, ask them what their strengths are. Their answers might surprise you and will definitely help you to know more about them. Also, your interest in them will often times motivate them to ask questions of you and of other people.
5. The Power of Creativity
In Ellie’s world, things are not always what you think they are. She takes an object and creatively turns it in to something else. When you listen to her playing by herself, her imagination and creativity is amazing. She is in her own world, and is so happy and content in that world.
As leaders, we need to encourage the people we lead to think outside the box…and to be creative when looking for solutions. Team brainstorming sessions cultivate great results and a deeper sense of teamwork. Encourage creativity.
6. The Power of Self-Motivation
Self-motivation, in my book is the desire to achieve, to learn, to complete something. It is not giving up or throwing in the towel. That is how Ellie takes on every challenge. She figures things out. She finishes what she starts. Every tasks she starts…she finishes.
As leaders, we need to encourage each person to be self-motivated. Explain the importance of sticking with their tasks through their completion. We also need to know what motivates them. Keep your focus on those motivators when coaching them. During coaching sessions, share with them what motivates you and how you use that motivation to further develop yourself.
As I end this blog, I must thank Eleanor for the inspiration in writing it. I also need to thank her for the fun...the giggles...the hugs...the imagination and the love she provided our family during her three days with us. Most of all, I thank her for truly being Wonder Woman!