Do You Have These 4 Requirements for BOLD Leadership?

Rock ClimberWhen you think of bold leadership, what comes to mind?

If you’re like most people, the idea of bold leadership conjures up images of big, charismatic, larger than life personalities. Most of us think of bold leaders as being driven, visionary, and having a take-no-prisoners approach to accomplishing their goals. In the world of sports we think of bold players being the ones who want the ball when the game is on the line. They want to take the last second shot that will win or lose the game. In business, it’s the leaders who are willing to make the multi-million dollar decisions that will propel their organizations forward or put people out of jobs.

If bold leadership is limited to the popular definition I just described, then you and I don’t have much of a chance to be bold, do we? I mean, face it, most of us won’t ever be in those types of situations. We’re just average Joes trying to make a living, doing our jobs the best we can, and if we’re lucky, making a small, positive difference in the world in the process. Bold leadership is for the chosen few, right? Wrong!

Bold leadership is not what you think. BOLD leadership is:

Building trust – Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship and it’s absolutely critical for successful leadership. Leadership without trust results in fear, withdrawal, compliance, and risk aversion. Leading with trust creates an environment of safety and freedom that result in collaboration, creativity, risk-taking, and innovation. The most successful leaders are trust builders. There’s no two ways about it.

Others focused – Bold leadership is not about you; it’s about the people you lead. Do you put their interests ahead of your own? Are you striving to help them succeed or are they just pawns in your grand scheme to achieve corporate domination? Bold leaders take the strengths of their team members and blend them together in such a way that the team as a whole is stronger than any one individual. You can’t do that if you’re only focused on yourself.

Leading with humility – Popular culture says humility equates to weakness, the polar opposite of being bold. That’s a bunch of malarkey! Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking about yourself less. Humility is a quiet confidence in your skills and abilities that allows you to subvert your own ego for the greater good of the team, department, or organization. Arrogant leaders are the ones willing to pursue their own agendas at the expense of everyone else, whereas humble leaders consider the needs of all the stakeholders, recognize the stakes at hand, and make reasoned decisions for the welfare of the group.

Daring to be vulnerable – Bold leaders aren’t afraid to let down their guard a bit and be authentic with those they lead. Employees are yearning for leaders to express genuine care and concern, to acknowledge and appreciate them as individuals with hopes, dreams, and fears, and not treat them as mindless drones, valued only for the work they do on the job. Being vulnerable means sharing information about yourself and the organization and taking an interest in the lives of your people. You don’t have to pour out your life story and be BFFs with every employee, but you do need to open up and help your people see the real you.

Bold leadership isn’t reserved for the chosen few, and it certainly isn’t limited to popular culture’s definition of big, brash, loud leadership. Bold leadership is about the everyday behaviors we use to build trust, focusing on the needs of others, leading with confident humility, and vulnerably engaging with our people in authentic and genuine ways.

Be BOLD!

12 Comments on “Do You Have These 4 Requirements for BOLD Leadership?

    • Thanks Latonya. I agree that those two factors don’t get much attention but they are critical for successful leadership.

      Take care,

      Randy

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  1. This is a great article but when it says “Arrogant leaders are the ones willing to pursue their own agendas at the expense of everyone else…” that I disagree, arrogant people can’t lead,

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  2. Reblogged this on PsychoSoAnt and commented:
    I agree with other comments on this article, being other focused, and vulnerable are highly underrated. The scientific literature in the field of leadership is only really beginning to explore what followership means, what the importance is, and more importantly what it means to leaders to be good followers. We too often think that if we are a leader, we have been exalted to a position that puts us above many others, and then allow that to separate us from following as an example to others. Instead, we hear leaders in many cases talk about how they are forced to follow their leaders, and that decisions are out of their hands. Instead, I would love to see the conversation change at every level so that we can all understand that we all have something to contribute and that we all make mistakes.

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    • Excellent thoughts Chris. Leadership is so much more complex than one person volunteering to be out front and lead the charge. Much of leadership comes from the groundswell of followership a person cultivates, and I believe these characteristics of BOLD leadership I wrote about lay the groundwork for genuine, authentic leadership.

      Thanks for commenting,

      Randy

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  3. Reblogged this on The Edge and commented:
    Bold leadership isn’t reserved for the chosen few, and it certainly isn’t limited to popular culture’s definition of big, brash, loud leadership. Bold leadership is about the everyday behaviors we use to build trust, focusing on the needs of others, leading with confident humility, and vulnerably engaging with our people in authentic and genuine ways.

    Like

  4. Truth leads to Trust. Trust leads to Relationship! Leadership is all about working with people and that is where test of leadership related to behaviors dance. Wonderful article and salute to Randy Conley ! This is related to right from Street leadership to Board-room leadership. Winning ways of Leadership. Amazing one !
    My regards.
    Mrigender Chauhan

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  5. Pingback: BOLD | The Book Chamber

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