Hello and welcome to the final instalment in this three-part series about transformational leadership, leadership skills and leadership qualities. In the first article, Transformational Leadership, Mary Gregory talked about how much the world has changed in such a short period of time—and how we need Future Fit Leaders to navigate that change.
In part two, Essential Leadership Skills, she introduced and explained the first three Cs of Leadership (COMFORT with Ambiguity, CONSCIOUSNESS and CREATING a Positive Legacy).
Now it’s time to look at the final three Cs of Leadership.
If you have not seen the full Brand Builders TV episode from which this series is taken, you may watch it here. Or, just keep reading for part three.
So without further ado, let’s learn a bit more about Mary Gregory, and then read about the final three leadership qualities you’ll need to advance in your leadership journey.
More About Mary Gregory
Her clients are purpose-driven leaders with all types of skill levels. She works with them to develop their leadership skills, navigate uncertain areas, think strategically, maximise their impact, increase their confidence and achieve the outcomes they want most. She has done this type of work with companies like O2, Ralph Lauren and Tesco.
Now, in Mary’s own words:
The Final Three Leadership Qualities
4. Be COURAGEOUS
You will take the action, even though it may frighten you.
I’m reminded of The Wizard of Oz. The lion wanted to find his courage. When he found the Wizard, he was given some type of gruel to eat, which was meant to give him courage.
I don’t think that’s how you get courage. I don’t think courage is acting without fear. I think it’s about acting with fear. You might feel frightened, but the idea is to still take the action and step forward despite it. It’s the willingness to take fear with you.
To develop that muscle, you should do something every day that makes you feel uncomfortable. That’s the way to keep stretching and strengthening that muscle.
If you feel there are things holding you back, do small things that will stretch your leadership qualities at first. Then move onto the bigger things. Courageous steps help leaders become Future Fit.
5. Have Compassion Toward Yourself
I know a lot of people who are massively compassionate toward others, but leave themselves out. As a Future Fit Leader, it’s so important that you look after yourself. You’re going to need all the resources you’ve got to make all the differences you want to make in the world.
Self-care and self-compassion are so valuable. Having a variety of ways to refill yourself when needed is also important. You must speak kindly to yourself, with a compassionate voice, acknowledging the successes you’re achieving rather than focussing on the gaps.
How often do you hug yourself? Acknowledge the progress you’re making? Recognise the leadership qualities you’re developing? How often are you compassionate with yourself when things don’t go as planned?
6. CONTINUOUS Learning and Growth
Commit to learning from every experience you have. Be aware that you’re an open book. Be open to the experiences you have, rather than closing yourself off to them.
There are times when you’ll feel more open than others. When you’re feeling sensitive or defensive, or don’t want to take feedback, that’s also a great learning opportunity. There’s a chance you’ve been triggered by something that’s important to look at. Maybe it’s time to do some work on that.
The more you can maintain that open-book approach, keeping your mind and your approach open, the better.
A great lady named Carol Dweck has written a book called Mindset. In it, she talks about the power of Yet. “I haven’t done that YET.” “I’m not a Future Fit Leader YET.” “I’m not as assertive as I want to be YET.”
Whatever your development area might be, using the power of YET can help to maintain an open mind.
We are on the journey together, and we will develop.
Your Own Leadership Qualities
I’d like to invite you to grab a pen and paper. Draw a big circle and divide it into six segments. You can use this as a self-assessment against those six elements of leadership. Rate yourself. The outer edge of the circle will be 10, and the center of the circle will be 0. Draw a line and colour in the most central portion of the slice. Repeat for the other five Cs. Then you’ll have a sense for which ones you have strengths in and which ones you’re not so strong in. It will give you an idea of how smooth your wheel is.
Are you having a bumpy ride or a smooth ride? It will give you an indication of which elements of being a Future Fit Leader are your strengths and which ones need some attention and development.
Developing Your Leadership Qualities
Sammy again! I hope this three-part series about leadership has helped you to see your own potential, as well as the potential differences you can make for others.
Mary has filmed a number of shows on Brand Builders TV, and you can find all of them on the Brand Builders TV YouTube channel. And, if you wish to stay informed about upcoming episodes (and even participate live) then Like and Follow the Brand Builders TV Facebook page.
One more thing: I would love to see you in the Brand Builders Club, where entrepreneurs gather to support one another. We ask for advice, give feedback, network, make introductions and hold one another accountable. You can join with no long-term commitment, and even put your business in the hot seat when you join a Thinkubator.
There will be more series and Brand Builders TV episodes coming, so until then, keep developing those leadership qualities. Find your purpose. Decide on the difference you want to make. Use the Six Cs of Leadership for guidance. And join the Brand Builders Club to rub elbows with some of the most influential leaders on the planet!
Welcome back to this, the second of three instalments in a series by Mary Gregory, The Future Fit Leader. Mary has already talked to us about the unprecedented change we’ve seen over the past decades (and especially during the past year) in Transformational Leadership with Mary Gregory. Next, she’s going to talk about critical leadership skills in the first three of her Six Cs of Leadership.
If you are a Future Fit Leader—or you have the potential to be one—these are strategies that you can implement into your everyday interactions, to help build your essential leadership skills.
We need proactive, flexible, confident leaders now more than ever, so I hope you’ll continue along this path with us.
If you’d like to view the entire Unlock your Future Fit Leader Potential (Part One) video, produced by Brand Builders TV, you may do so here. Or, read on for part two of this series, delivered in Mary’s own words.
More About Mary Gregory
Mary works with purpose-driven leaders of all skill levels to maximise their impact, develop leadership skills, enhance their personal resources, navigate uncertainty, increase confidence, think strategically and achieve the outcomes they desire.
Her resume includes working with leaders in companies like Tesco, O2 and Ralph Lauren.
Now it’s time to hand it over to Mary, so she can tell us more about the Six Cs of Leadership, in her own words.
Mary's Top Leadership Skills
In the first part of this series, we left off with the importance of seeing our leadership blind spots. We have to take a step back—and take a good look—in order to keep growing and developing.
And in order to help you do that, I have drawn up the Six Cs of Leadership. Each one is open to interpretation, so you can apply it to your unique, inborne leadership style.
1. Being COMFORTABLE with Ambiguity
Being Comfortable with Ambiguity. It’s important to have comfort around not knowing. If you like control and micromanagement, that’s a development area for you.
How can you start learning to let go, trust the process and trust others to take on a task for you? How can you be comfortable with not having all the answers? It’s not about being directionless. It’s about holding a vision to give you some direction for where you’re headed. That provides you with a focus. But it’s also about being flexible in how you go about achieving that direction.
If you think about getting on a plane from London to New York, you know your destination. But every plane doesn’t take the same route. They have to navigate around storms, winds and various weather conditions. The route will vary depending on the circumstances. The plane and the autopilot are able to flex, in order to get you to New York.
Similarly, a Future Fit Leader needs to be comfortable with not knowing and with ambiguity. It’s important to flex and be agile in relation to the circumstances.
Consider how comfortable you are with not knowing. How much are you able to trust the process?
2. Being CONSCIOUS of Ourselves and the Impact we have on Others
I’m talking about leaders who are awake. As a leader, you cast a light and you cast a shadow. Leadership is about showing the light and the way forward. The shadow is also cast, and that shows up in the way you interact with people, how you engage, the moods you’re in…however you show up.
Recognise your beliefs, ego traps, behaviour patterns…so you don’t cast a shadow on those you’re leading. You are a lamp guiding others. You must be self-aware to building positive relationships so others will come onboard with you.
How conscious are you of yourself? How much do you collaborate? What’s your commitment to your development? Robert Kegan talks about the idea of Deliberately Developmental Leadership, which says that leadership going forward needs to have a strategy that encourages and enables everyone in the organisation to be working on their own development as leaders. I think that’s a fantastic premise. To be a Future Fit Leader, there’s a degree of commitment to your own development, and self-awareness is key to that.
3. CREATING a Positive Legacy
This is about serving others, doing something bigger than yourself, thinking beyond your own ego, thinking about what you can contribute and what difference you can make even though you might not be able to see it through to the end. Because it might live beyond your lifetime.
I have to thank Sammy Blindell because she really challenged me about my own vision. She made me step up and think about what I wanted to be creating in one hundred years’ time, not just in ten years. That made me stop and think.
When you think long-term, you are thinking beyond yourself. I’m not going to be around in one hundred years. What do I want to start now that will still be carrying on (in some shape or form) a century from now?
What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want to create that will still be continuing in one hundred years? That is a very big question, and one that confronted me.
As a Future Fit Leader, you’ll be willing to play outside your comfort zone. Transcending our egos causes us to do just that. Our egos can cause us to play small. It can be an over-inflated ego, where we want all the attention and we drain all the energy in the room, or an under-inflated one that’s holding us back, keeping us playing small.
Developing Your Leadership Skills
Do Mary’s first three Cs of Leadership sound like some things you can work on to enhance your influence? I believe they are not only highly relevant to the development of leadership skills, but to the development of the special kind of leaders we need in this quickly changing world.
She only covered the first three here. For the final three, go to Leadership Qualities for Future Fit Leaders. In that final instalment, Mary will also provide you with an exercise to see where you currently land in all six leadership skills.
Brand Builders TV is working to build skills and confidence so we can all benefit from developing the type of leadership we need now. If you have not subscribed to the Brand Builders TV YouTube channel, please do so. There is an expansive library containing all types of advice from many, many different sectors—all of which will help you to move forward in life and business.
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Welcome to another article series, brought to you by Brand Builders TV. This sequence is quite timely, considering how much our world needs transformational leadership. Mary Gregory will be sharing her decades’ worth of wisdom and advice so each one of us can be the Future Fit Leader we were meant to be.
Mary will delve into the elements that contribute to being a Future Fit Leader. She will explore questions like, “What sort of leaders does the world need now?” and, “Why does being Future-Fit matter?”
As always, we are bringing you deep-dive topics, tools and resources from global thought leaders in the Brand Builders Club. The strategies you’ll learn will help you move forward with ease and flow in every area of your life and business.
If you’d prefer to watch the entire Brand Builders TV episode (Unlock your Future Fit Leader Potential, Part One), you are welcomed to do so here. Or, just keep reading for article one of this three-part series.
Together, let's learn it, model it and get shit done!
Meet Mary Gregory
Mary is the best-selling author of Ego: Get Over Yourself and Lead, international speaker, senior executive leadership coach and consultant. She works with purposeful present and future leaders to navigate uncertainty with confidence, develop skills and personal resources, engage strategic thought processes and achieve more desirable outcomes.
Mary Gregory has accomplished these things for numerous prestigious organisations, such as Ralph Lauren, Tesco and O2.
Now let’s hear from Mary, in her own words, about what transformational leadership means in this day and age.
Learn it, model it and get shit done. Let’s go!
Transformational Leadership, with The Future Fit Leader
Hello! My name is Mary Gregory and I’m very excited to be delivering this series to you. I am The Future Fit Leader and I’m committed to supporting others to be Future Fit Leaders as well. This is all about unlocking your Future Fit Leader potential.
I would imagine there are a few Future Fit Leaders in the Brand Builders TV community already. I have come across a number of Brand Builders whom I would say are Future Fit Leaders—and there are many on the journey. You may be just starting out, or getting clear about your purpose…and whatever that is, you’ll be on your way.
This series is about me sharing some of my thoughts around Future Fit Leadership with you. And also inviting you to look into yourself and figure out where you are on your own journey, or the ways you can grow and develop in order to become even more Future Fit for the world we live in.
Rapid Change Calls for Transformational Leadership
I want us to think about how the world has changed over the last few years, is changing and continues to change. In the last 15 or more years, we’ve seen rapid change.
My passion (in my day job) is about empowering people and leaders to create great places of work where people thrive. I’m committed to help build a collaborative learning space, to share our freshest thinking. My intention is to start opening up enquiry about what Future Fit Leadership is. We can start growing together as a Future Fit learning community.
There have been lots of things going on in the world over the last year (and the last 20), especially. That requires something different from leaders. I don’t want to focus on what our current leaders are doing wrong, but rather on the positive. I want to focus on what’s being done right—and I’ll be asking some questions around that.
No matter what stage you’re at in your journey, you may feel you’re very clear on your purpose as a leader. I have come across a number of leaders within the Brand Builders Club who are absolutely on-purpose. They know what they want, know what they’re causing in the world and they know the difference they’re making. I know other leaders who are just in the formation of their purpose, getting clearer about themselves. I hope that whatever stage you’re at in your journey, this will be a valid series for you and that you’ll take value from it.
Some Questions for Future Fit Leaders
For this series, I want you to suspend judgement. Put away criticism and put on your curiosity hat. Be really curious about the topics and reflect on how they relate to your own leadership, as well as the leadership you encounter out there in the world, in your organisation and in your family.
This is an enquiry into leadership and into what Future Fit Leadership is. First, let’s talk about what we think Future Fit Leaders are, and why we think the world needs them. I’d also like you to look into yourself and where you are as a Future Fit Leader.
Future Fit isn’t necessarily about being physically fit, but being holistically fit to lead and navigate the constant terrain of change we’re facing in the world today.
I want to explore some important questions and ideas about leadership—what elements contribute to it and then do some reflection around it.
Let’s start really big. I’ve already mentioned how much the terrain of the world is about constant change and challenges. The last 15 to 20 years, we’ve seen cataclysmic change. And within the last year, we’ve seen massive challenges due to the pandemic we’ve been experiencing.
When you think about the world today, what does the world need from leaders? What sort of leaders does the world need now? What have you seen from leaders over the last year (or five)? Those leaders could be close by, within your family, within your organisation or across the globe. What qualities have really worked—in the current circumstances and in a world of constant change? What positive quality does the world need now? This can include your own leadership.
That quality could be confidence, or the ability to show the way by shining a light. It might be truth, clarity or honesty (or all of the above).
Authenticity is really valuable, as well, but we don’t always find it easy to be authentic…so it’s rare.
Another important leadership quality might be the empowerment of others, to have an impact.
True leadership is not self-serving. If you’re in it just for yourself, you won’t get very far. There must be something bigger at play.
Leaders say what they’re going to do, and do what they say they will (consistency, congruency, showing up with values, actions aligning with words).
They make a contribution.
Leaders know the difference between managing and leading. Management is about tasks and getting the job done. Leading is about interaction, inspiration, empowerment and the co-creative process.
It can be tricky to separate our egos (self) from what we’re trying to create or contribute. Sometimes the two do get merged. In doing a good deed or making a difference, you may find that fulfilling.
If you’re purely serving yourself as a leader, then you’re not taking care of the people who may be following you. It’s not about status. If it is, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons. It’s about making a difference that will go beyond your lifetime. It’s about making a legacy difference.
We all have our blind spots, but it’s important to take a step back and have a look so we can keep developing and keep growing.
Don’t stop here! Move ahead to the second instalment, Essential Leadership Skills, where I will get into the Six Cs of Leadership.
Just the Beginning of Transformational Leadership
Mary is so right about the past few years being filled with change, isn’t she? Sometimes I feel like we’ve seen more change—in technology, society, etc.—than our forefathers and mothers did in their entire lifetimes.
And those rough waters mean that we need leaders who are ready to navigate the unknown, to lead us through with confidence and a willingness to try new things. Are you that leader? Are you Future Fit? Or would you like to be?
Then I suggest that you check into the Brand Builders Club, where entrepreneurs, business owners, experts, professionals…gather to share experiences, give and receive feedback, learn together, network and hold one another accountable for achieving their goals. There is no long-term commitment, so you have nothing to lose.
Transformational leadership is a common theme among our Brand Builders, and we welcome you to join us today!