John Crnokrak & Associates

How to be


Being a Leader


Knowing and believing in yourself as a Leader represents a simple starting point essential to succeeding in your personal career, but even more importantly, in your organization and life. Listening and asking questions are great competencies for your march to success as a Leader.

My experience selling, managing, and coaching people enabled me to learn that debating a question without settling it often works more in your favor than settling a question without debating it. An old anonymous saying remains valid today — “There is nothing as annoying as arguing with a person who knows what he’s talking about.” Remember, perspective remains in the eye of the beholder and we all typically have our own way of looking at things. Is it not far better to draw out your adversary’s or your colleague’s unique perspective in the course of “debate” than to assume his/hers is the same as yours? For in this space is where the true growth resides.

Today, leaders must be more cognizant and observant about cleaning up the “battlefield” after any disagreement or heated discussion, whether directly involved or the result of a debate between or among your reports. Let’s face it, everyone wants to know they are seen, heard and matter. A true leader leaves that message no matter what course is chosen.

A good Leader teaches team members never to gloat over a victory, since hope for rebuilding a future together may be irreparably dashed by celebrating victory right under the opponent’s nose. The opportunity for a Key CRNOism comes to mind: Always seek to praise your opponent/teammate to quickly rebuild the respect of those with whom you work daily. There is always an honest compliment to be given when observing the situation as a whole.

A good Leader also teaches that losing from time to time is a part of life and can be turned into a Team benefit, if the loss provides insight and improvement to the Team. Uber-competitiveness may irreparably damage the Team relationships. You don’t have to win every disagreement. In fact secure people can, and do, lose arguments on purpose due to their refined leadership and team-building skills! There are things in life far more important than winning every argument. People, caring relationships, and certainly, the affirmation of another person’s worth must all be far more important. Effective Leaders know and participate accordingly.

Competitive environments exist in today’s world of work and the Leader must seek and find a sound balance for the benefit of the Team members. Remember that the notion of “born leaders” remains a popular myth, therefore the need to study and learn Leadership principles and methods lies before you. If you care enough about your Team, you can, and will, become better! Setting the right example as a Leader provides the ideal learning environment for the Team Members than merely studying it from a book.

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