Let’s play a word association game. If I say (or technically, write) the word “leader,” what word pops into your mind? I’m not a psychic, so I can’t claim to know exactly what word you chose, but I guarantee it wasn’t meek, timid, cowardly, shy, cautious or mild. And I would also bet that the word is a synonym for audacity.
Audacity is many things but it is never ignored.
Leaders do not rise to the top by avoiding risk, being reserved or allowing nerves to rule them. The greatest leaders find power in audacity and use it for good, not for feeding their ego. A leader who infuses audacity with love and courage strikes the perfect balance for truly impactful leadership.
But who leads the leader? Extreme Leaders know they need guidance and support to maximize their impact, which is why they bring in a leadership keynote speaker to act as their North Star.
What Is an Audacious Leader?
With the success (or failure) of an organization and its employees resting squarely on their shoulders, audacious leaders zero in on key factors to lead their teams effectively. In addition to being profoundly transparent and truthful, they are also unafraid to admit when they are wrong or don’t know something. Audacious leaders inspire a mindset that allows a shift in existing patterns of behaviors both internally (employees) and externally (clients). Their impactful leadership sparks habits that increase productivity and build growth.
Audacious leaders believe in inspiring employees by leading with courage. They understand they cannot achieve success alone, so they engage employees in problem-solving and opportunity-making. They do not claim the credit for the positive outcomes that follow and instead recognize their team’s contributions.
Audacious leaders understand the difference between a boss and a leader and they model key aspects of those differences by leading with courage and love, encouraging others to revel in their insatiable curiosity, seeking alternative solutions to challenges and blazing new trails when facing old obstacles.
The Difference Between Audacity vs. Ego Is the Key to Impactful Leadership
Audacity is defined as a bold and blatant disregard for normal constraints. When taken at face value, this may not sound like the foundation of impactful leadership, but when you dive deeper into the definition, you’ll discover a couple of variations. The first is about leading with love and relates to courage, and the other is about leading with ego and is synonymous with impudence and temerity.
A leader cannot lead if others do not choose to follow.
An effective leader inspires employees because they know how to harmonize audacity with love. Leading with love-inspired audacity shows your team you are courageous, bold and filled with valor. This type of audacity is required to change our world for the better.
On the flip side is ego-inspired audacity, which is just a pain in the ass. When you lead with ego, you get nowhere, fast. Unless your intention is to gain attention, well then, mission accomplished. Ego-driven leaders only care about their own image and aren’t bothered by tarnishing the reputations of others in pursuit of their selfish goals.
Are you an audacious leader? I encourage you to ponder that question deeply, because it’s vital to understand what type of audacity you are striving for and if your actions match your intentions.
Be an Audacious Leader That Inspires and Motivates Your Employees by Leading with Courage
With love-inspired audacity having such a razor-thin definition, how do you ensure that you blend the right amount into your leadership style to inspire employees? It takes hard work, consistency, self-awareness and mentorship to strike that perfect balance.
The audacity of asking for help, right?
Seeking out expert guidance is an important difference between a boss and a leader. A leader will not feel ashamed if they need help, but the boss might not show their vulnerability to keep their ego. Keep reading to learn more about how to level up from boss to leader.
Lead with Love
Love is what makes the world go round and this includes the world of business. It may seem counterintuitive, but leaders who express love tend to be more effective than those who don’t. And when you think about it, it makes sense. In every other relationship in our lives, we incorporate love, so why not in our work relationships as well?
Love means showing vulnerability and building connections with others. Impactful leaders create alliances with their team, which fosters trust and respect, making employees much more likely to follow their lead.
Leading with love inspires loyalty in employees, which is absolutely vital to create lasting and impactful change within an organization.
No, we are not going back to physics class, but we can transfer one of its important lessons to today’s topic (see what I did there?).
Energy transfer is the relocation of energy from one place to another. Extreme Leaders empower their team to be audacious, bold and courageous by ensuring their energy transfers to their employees.
If you show passion for the importance of your work and the incredible future you’re striving to build, it will draw others in, generating the energy needed to work through inevitable obstacles and challenges. Your energy will be contagious to others.
Energy is power.
The possibilities are endless when you spark energy in the workplace. And when you combine that spark with your impactful leadership, it will ignite a flame that blazes its way toward phenomenal success.
Communicate Openly through Empathy
Empathy is another trait that pairs perfectly with audacity. If employees do not have the natural courage within themselves to share ideas, input or feedback, it is your job to show them how.
Communicating effectively empowers your team to be open and honest without fear of retaliation. After all, a business without communication is like a garden without water. No matter how many seeds you plant, they won’t blossom if you don’t water them. One of the best ways to ensure that a garden of communication grows is by cultivating empathy in the workplace.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. When your team has the ability to see things from each other’s perspective, they will find common ground and build trust. And when you model empathy, you show your employees they are valued and respected, and they will feel encouraged to open up. By putting yourself in the shoes of the other person, you will be cultivating empathetic communication.
Let Go of Fear
Throughout our lives, we’ve been conditioned to believe that fear is bad. In many instances, that is accurate. Fear is the body’s response to danger, so it can save your life or stop you from making a bad decision. But when you let it rule you, it can be a barrier to greatness. If you give in to fear, you may not learn new things, achieve success or grow as a person.
Fear is a natural part of growth.
Growth, change and evolution are all on the Extreme Leader’s agenda, so go ahead and get comfortable with fear because it comes with the territory. Accept it, but don’t let it control you. Don’t let other people try to strike fear in your heart. If you believe the hype that the world is controlled by a select few or that your heart isn’t big enough, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Nobody controls your world unless you choose to let them.
Have the Courage to Face Change
What’s the opposite of fear? Courage. You may not think you can change the whole world, and that’s up for debate, but one thing’s for sure…
You can change YOUR world.
You can change the world of your company, your employees, your industry or your family. To deny that incredible power is to deny your capability as a human being. As my dear friend Adam Markel said, “As human beings, we all know how to build long-term resilience in the face of constant change.”
Don’t. Ever. Pass. The. Buck. Taking responsibility is a crucial component of leading with courage. In fact, if you compare the roles of a boss versus those of a leader, the traits of a leader incorporate responsibility across the board.
Being a boss includes:
- Creating goals
- Making plans
- Developing strategies
Being a leader includes:
- Creating visions
- Inspiring action
- Empowering others
- Developing a passionate company culture
So boss up and become a leader.
People love and need to feel appreciated. In fact, it is an essential human psychological trait, so it is imperative that you incorporate appreciation into your leadership style.
Leading with love means thanking employees and acknowledging their contributions. Gestures like these may seem small, but they have a huge impact on productivity and encourage employees to take the next step to personal and professional development.
Invest in Employee Growth
Even if you show appreciation, motivation can fade as time passes. If you don’t pay close attention to employees whose dedication is wavering or who feel demotivated, you may lose their potential achievements and miss out on valuable company assets.
Employees who show great potential are ideal candidates for leadership training. Recognizing their skills and giving them the opportunity to grow their career is not only inspirational to them, but also to their co-workers.
Providing training and resources to your employees improves morale and productivity and is a win for everyone. Investing in employee growth allows your team to elevate their careers and aspire to reach even greater heights.
Inspire Your Team to Become Audacious Leaders with a Leadership Keynote Speaking Event
Imagine the audacity you would create if every one of your employees became an audacious leader in their own right. By transferring your audacious energy to your team, your organization could achieve success greater than you ever dreamed of.
Initiate this bold move by hiring a leadership keynote speaker who will guide your team of audacious leaders to infinity and beyond.
Audacity is contagious, and no cure is needed.