Servant Leadership Part II: Enthusiasm Makes the Difference!
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Since we define leadership as “Influencing Outcomes and Inspiring Others”, what is the spark that ignites the desire to produce results in response to extraordinary leadership? That spark is enthusiasm! With all the knowledge, technical skill, experience, and good intentions you can muster, the servant leader will likely fall short of the mark if he or she does not cultivate an enthusiastic attitude. Enthusiasm is an excited state of mind directed toward a fact or situation in life. Enthusiasm can make anything you do easier and most often, more productive. Leaders who are infused with enthusiasm make things happen; indeed, nothing happens until someone gets excited, excitement causes action and that action, gets results. When a passion for servant leadership is combined with an infectious enthusiasm and directed by a compelling vision the result is inspirational leadership that has the power to transform people, cultures, teams, families, and organizations. Here are ten ways that a servant leader can build enthusiasm:
In the words of Mary Kay Ash – “If you act enthusiastic, you will become enthusiastic, and it spreads like wildfire!”
Learn to embrace an optimistic mindset by putting your focus on:
What you have, not what you don’t have. Be grateful!
What you can do, not what you can’t do. Be powerful!
Where you are going, not where you have been. Be visionary!
The opportunity, not the obstacle. Be creative!
Be mindful of your self-talk. Psychologists tell us that 70% of our self-talk is negative. Be careful of what you say to yourself…because YOU are listening!
Framing: Practice framing people and situations in a positive light; behind every danger and difficulty lies an opening and opportunity.
Remember that enthusiasm, like optimism, is a choice.
Catch people in the act of doing things right and offer them genuine praise that is specific, sincere, immediate and personal. The fact is, your genuine praise may be the only positive words that person gets all day, at work or at home!
Surround yourself with people who are enthusiastic and optimistic.
Monitor what you let into your mind through your eyes and ears (TV, movies, radio, social media, music, etc.) Negativity and pessimism are enthusiasm killers.
Embrace a healthy lifestyle. It’s difficult to be enthusiastic when you are chronically tired. Eat right, exercise and get enough sleep for starters.
Nothing succeeds like success! Celebrate your success and the successes of your team
And finally, since all good leadership is by example, here is a shout-out to the President and CEO who begins this day, and every day with an enthusiastic and resounding…WOW!!!