The Top 5 Qualities in a Great Leader

The Top 5 Qualities in a Leader!

Think of an incredible leader that you have had, or have, in your life. What qualities do they possess?

The great leaders in my life were always honest, humble, secure and had the ability to laugh at themselves.

I want to give you the top 5 qualities that all great leaders NEED to possess!

Trust
This may seem like a no brainer to have this quality, but it is absolutely crucial that you are a leader who is trustworthy. Make your yes, yes and your no, no. People become dishonest when it’s inconvenient and when they want to cover themselves or something up. Simon Sinek says “If you’re not consistent in the things you say and do, no one will know what you believe” (and I’ll add, no one will know who you really are.)
Other words related to trust are: respect, integrity, and honesty.

Compassion
Make sure you actually care about the people you lead. Managers have a hard time putting themselves in other peoples shoes, so as a leader you need to make sure you have perspective and view things the way that others are experiencing it. Go and talk to your employees, see what it’s like to do their work every once in a while!
Other words related to compassion are: caring, loving and happy

Stability
People need leaders who provide a solid foundation and know what they value. During times of stress and chaos are you even keeled and stable or do you break down? Be a problem solver and a solutions maker!
Other words related to stability are: security, strength, support and peace.

Confidence
A great leader is confident and provides clear direction. You want to follow someone who is confident in their plan and humble in knowing that their plan may need tweaking. I am confident in my hair stylist because she doesn’t question herself with every hair that she cuts (that would just be exhausting!) She goes in there confident but at the same time asks questions if I’m liking what she is doing!
Other words related to confidence are: direction, guidance and faith.

Service
A great leader is someone who serves others well. To serve is taking the focus off of yourself and onto others. Think of the last time you had incredible service, and how did that make you feel? People remember the way you made them feel. How you serve others is a direct reflection of the type of leader you are!

Becoming a great leader takes time and work. Do inventory on yourself to see where you are lacking, and change.

“How you make your employees feel about themselves says a lot about your business.” -Dale Partridge

Go and be great!!

Show Your Courage!

What’s your courage level at??  (Think of a number between 1-10, 1 = super low and 10 = you are the most courageous person ever)

I was reading about David and Goliath this morning and was so encouraged with David’s courage, confidence and perseverance! He was confident in the Lord and knew that God would fill him up!

There are a lot of Goliath’s that we face every single day. Now it may not be an actual giant, but we do blow things up in our mind and create unnecessary giants all the time.

A Goliath that I face pretty daily is comparison. The way I fight that Goliath is to remind myself that I am different and that I need to be and do what I was created to be. The fear of messing up, or looking ridiculous can be overwhelming in my mind, but then I am reminded that I am the only Nikki Udicki in the world and that God has specifically gifted me to show His glory. I absolutely love that I can relate to so many people, but I need to remember that relating doesn’t mean that we are the same. I want to be courageous in who I am. I want my friends and family to know who they are and strive daily to be that.

I also have the Goliath of not wanting to ship the gifts that God has gifted me with. It’s scary out there, and I like my safe harbor! I like my comfort zone. This is what I have to say to myself when that Goliath comes to mind:

“GET OUT THERE AND SHIP YOUR GOODS!!!”

Seth Godin talks about how we all have gifts and goods to ship daily! I thought of how Amazon ships out so many good things every day, (which I take full advantage of). You are a very unique amazon! You have ideas, you have gifts, you have abilities, and you have plenty of things to ship daily!

I know that a lot of us aren’t dealing with courage that we risk our lives for, but the daily courage of doing what’s right and what’s abnormal, is the courage that will leave a legacy that matters!

Have courage to love others well, and be against the grain!

So I encourage you to:

-start that new thing that you have been putting off

-start sharing your ideas and thoughts more

-start complimenting more people

-start shipping your goods each day

Leaders ask yourselves:

As a leader, are you courageous?

Are you standing up for your people and what they need?

Are you being vulnerable with how you encourage, support and discipline?

Are you being the example for others so they see what it looks like to be who they were created to be?

My sister in law says, “you do you.” I love that!

Start celebrating and stop comparing!

Be courageous!!

Shift

I come before you today as a person who is learning how to shift better! The actual definition for shift is: a slight change in position, direction, or tendency. In my company I am shifting the direction because people need different tools. In my personal life I am shifting my tendency of becoming anxious with time and having everything in order, to focus on what matters and to worry less. Leaders need to know when the right time is to shift (whether that’s a small shift to 1st gear or a large one that will need to works its way up to 6th gear). I do not know how to drive stick shift but have had a few lessons and definitely need to improve! Reading up on tips for stick shift I realized they can easily apply to shifting our position, direction and tendencies in our lives.

manual-trans-1

 

How to drive stick shift = How to shift ourselves!

  1. Get a feel for the pedals, mainly the clutch before you start driving.
    • Communicate! Have conversations with your family, friends, and peers (get a feel for the pedal and clutch) and see what needs to shift.

      Examples: If a manager notices his team is having more sick days or people are arriving late and wanting to leave early, then you need to check the “pedals and clutch” and see whats going on. You will begin to identify the problem and find a way to shift. It could be as easy as touching base with each person daily so they know what they are doing matters.

      If a wife starts to notice her husband coming home anxious and unhappy, she needs to get a feel for the “pedals and clutch” and start asking what it may be. It might just be that things are out of order when he comes home, or that the kids are instantly handed to him the moment he walks in and she started nagging about the time. You may need to shift your attitude and expectations. He may need to shift the way that he helps.

  2. Practice! Find an empty parking lot and get comfortable before hitting the open road.
    • Practice! Going from 1st gear to 6th is not smart (it may not even be possible)!!! So create gradual goals so that you are successful!

      Examples: If you need to shift your job then read the book 28 Days To The Work You Love and test out new job ideas. (don’t just quit and then you have no income!)

      If you need to shift your expectations from your employees, call a meeting and discuss with your employees whats working and whats not and test out what changes you want made and how that will be done.

      Don’t be afraid of change, find out whats working and find out whats not and test it!

  3. When parking your car, engage your emergency brake! Your car will roll if you don’t!
    • Have a plan! Make sure you count the cost of what it will take to make the shift. Big or small, count the cost! Have a backup plan. Don’t make this be the point where you never launch the shift, but ask yourself all the hard questions and realize that you may have to shift again and again until you get it. But remember there is risk, just make sure you have an emergency brake to engage if need be.
  4. Fully engage the clutch by pushing it all the way in. If you don’t you will grind and destroy your cars gears.
    • Don’t just do it half way! Go all the way! It is a great thing to get to the next gear, there may be a little bit of grinding at the beginning, but be confident and go all the way so that the grind becomes less and less.
  5. It can be frustrating but keep driving and you’ll get it!
    • When life isn’t going your way, and when you keep stalling, just remind yourself of the basics and keep going.

Great leaders know when its time to shift, when its time to stick it out, and when its time to move on. (keep, tweak, toss)

Be the type of person that has the ability to keep learning in all that you do. Don’t get stuck into a gear that you are comfortable in, keep shifting and you will eventually have the drive that is smooth and seamless!

Smell the Bread!

A baker said to me recently: “I’ve lost the romance and can’t smell bread anymore.”

That is my worst nightmare! I am so glad I can smell freshly baked bread, even though I shouldn’t eat it as much.

Let’s analyze why this baker made that comment.

  1. He didn’t want to sound crazy by telling me his true feelings about bread, so he underplayed it.
  2. He has simply lost sight of how amazing bread is because of his daily dealings with it.
  3. His only motivation for making bread is to make money and pay his bills.
  4. He was having an off day and still has a fondness for bread.

Whatever his reason behind his bread comment, it got me thinking about why we lose who you are or why we hold back. 

Hesitation and fear. You can also call it procrastination. But when you let hesitation and fear make the decisions in your life, than each day you are becoming less and less of you.

  • We hesitate in telling our spouse that they are cute, funny or smart, out of fear that they may not receive it well or that they don’t think the same about you.
  • We hesitate in speaking up in meetings because we have a fear that our idea is stupid or not in line with what they are really asking.
  • We hesitate in paying our bills on time because what if we are short on money and we haven’t created a plan for where our money goes (I could really go on and on with this point because I am a major Dave Ramsey advocate). Quick quote: Don’t let your money run you, you run it!
  • We hesitate in sharing our goals and dreams, because others may not understand.
  • We hesitate in getting healthy, out of fear that we may fail and that we may have to be kept accountable.
  • We hesitate in putting others first, out of fear that we won’t get it in return.

A lot of fear and hesitation keeps us from being incredible people!

What if the baker said this instead, “To deal with bread everyday is the most wonderful thing in the world! Not only does it smell good and taste great, it brings people together! The act of breaking bread is my favorite thing in the world!!!” 

I would then say, “I”m sold! I will buy all the bread that you have!”

I also believe we hesitate in sharing our true selves because we will get opposition.

THAT’S OK!! Not everyone likes bread. I have family members that have actually said, “I don’t get the big deal with bread.”

I often hesitate in sharing the things that I love out of fear that I will fail, that people will make fun of me, not understand, and that it may sound stupid. But here it is:

I love to serve others! I love to connect with people and help them see their gifts and talents! I want people to wake up every day and chose to serve others, remind themselves daily of the things that they love, and go after it. 

Being vulnerable is hard. But when you align yourself with God’s will for your life and how He created you, then you can be confident in your daily decisions! Each day wake up and align yourself with Him! You will mess up, but don’t stay there, just make it apart of your dance and learn from it.

Fight hesitation and fear by remembering who you are and why you were created!

Great Leaders bestow Grace and Truth!

Recall the last time that you gave!

Well Nikki,

  • I gave the driver on the road a piece of my mind!
  • I gave a mean look to the lady with all of her kids going crazy at the grocery store and made sure she felt even more alone.
  • I gave my husband a guilt trip when he said he had to work late, even though I know he works so hard for the family.
  • I gave my employee a hard time about not meeting the deadline, even though they are swamped and made every other deadline.
  • I gave myself a big pat on the back for not being like everyone else and having my stuff together!

Every single day we are faced with opportunities to give, opportunities to be selfless, and opportunities to show others they care and matter. Our first knee-jerk reaction is to make sure that we are the first in line, that no one cuts me off, that people get the judgment they deserve, and that leading in fear and guilt is the way to improve our respect.

When people are given grace and truth they are happier and more productive. These two have to be paired with one another because if you have a leader that is all grace, then no one can do wrong and everyone deserves a second, third, forth, fifth chance. And a leader that is only truth can be taken as someone who gives harsh critique and gives their people anxiety every time they encounter that leader. So to be a dynamic and great leader you need to bestow grace and truth!

Grace: undeserved favor; an attractively polite manner of behaving; courteous goodwill.(Webster dictionary)

Truth: that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality; a fact. (Webster dictionary)

  • I recently heard a story about this young girl who had been in an accident and had major burns on her face. She was beginning to heal, but the burns were still noticeable and wouldn’t go away. This young girl and her mother decided to get out of the house and go to the mall. You can imagine that her mother was very protective of her daughter, but knew that this was their new reality so she had to face other people. They went from shop to shop and people would stop and stare but eventually move on. They found themselves at the food court and had some ice cream. While they were sitting there people would walk by, glance over and keep going. This one older man sat down, close to them, looked up and saw the young girl. He stared (like most people), but didn’t look away. He kept staring and staring to the point where it was making another bystander uncomfortable and almost told him to stop. The older man interrupted them and said to the young girl, “I am so sorry for staring, but you have the most beautiful eyes.” After that the three of them started talking and ended up laughing and having a great time. I believe that this man portrayed grace and truth!

We see peoples marks so much faster than we see their beauty. img_1393

My challenge for you, as a leader and as a person, is to live your life with grace and truth. I know that people who error on the side of grace might be thinking, “I rock at this,” when you may need to show more truth and honesty. And those who error on the side of truth may think, “I’m not harsh with my words, people are just too sensitive,” and that might be the case sometimes, but reflect on your tone and purpose when you become critical. “The way truth is said is just as important as truth itself!” -Al Lopus

Some people may need to hear that they mess up, and some may need to hear that they rock. Just remember that with both statements, come at it honestly and graciously!

When there is both grace and truth, then you have the recipe for a safe, inviting, efficient, and a caring workplace! Recognize those situations where you may be heavier on the grace or heavier on the truth, and shift your words and actions.

Christ is the ultimate example of a servant leader. Follow in His footsteps.

John 1:14″And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.