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Are You An Impactful Leader?

True leaders open the door for other people to succeed.

As we sail full-speed into a new year and a new decade, this is a good time to reflect and recall the person (leader) or persons (leaders) who made the most significant impact on our lives and careers – a catalyst that changed the way we think and, ultimately, our career direction.

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Even though this critical juncture is frequently described as a discrete event, in most cases it’s a leader who causes us to change both our focus and journey. This moment of impact is indeed a game-changer. The key is to share this experience with others, to in fact be a positive game-changer for other automotive aftermarket professionals. Remember, it’s our human nature to be poised for movement and motivation.

Leadership impact reinforces the notion that someone believes in you – more than you believe in yourself. The question to ask is: Don’t we all need someone to believe in us? Not for what we do, but for who we are and for who we can become.

Count the number of people who truly believe in you. Sometimes we don’t realize our potential, and what makes us sing, until someone recognizes it in us first. We make the move from vitamin to victory – in life’s challenges and difficulties – when we have that one special person who believes in us, more than we believe in ourselves. They give us our voice.

The key is to make opportunities to be seen so others “get you” – in a sense, discover you. We live in a world of large numbers, but it only takes one positive impact of someone reaching out to you and unleashing your talent and career aspirations. We seek fulfillment in life and in business. True leaders open the door for other people to succeed.

A rewarding career results in:
• Employees feeling worthy of their contribution
• Employees feeling connected to their inner strength when others view their work
• Employees feeling curious and connected to their professional purpose

Impactive leaders live by the mantras:
• Experience is at the heart of wisdom.
• Strive to increase the flow of positive emotions in others.
• Create a positive mood.
• Notice and pay attention to others.
• Focus on building a strong bench of future leaders.

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Energy in organizations begets energy! Impactful leaders tend to be high-energy individuals. Positive impact should not be viewed as power. It’s the truest sense of support for others.

Cultivate reliability through consistency. Inconsistency destroys trust and morale. Consistency demonstrates a high degree of dedication. The watch word of impact is that it’s personal, and involves really getting to know people, and to be human. Our actions – or lack of action – speak louder than our words.

I wonder how many people (employees) feel that they’re really heard and understood. In effect, do they feel validated?

“Impactful leadership is embedded in vision, value and validation.”

Vision, Value and Validation

Validation, in essence, is the act of listening to and understanding others. In this hectic and busy world, we tend to be more interested in our “to-do list” than in validating the people around us. Validation is the recognition and acceptance of another person’s internal experience as being valid. It is the true moment of impact!

Validation communicates acceptance and acknowledging the value of yourself and fellow human beings. It guides us to stay on the right track and regulates our emotions. To be heard and understood is a powerful experience. Face it: We all seek acceptance and acknowledgment that we’re important. Validation replenishes our willpower, and encourages people to follow their own paths. It’s our own seal of approval! It celebrates and recognizes one’s own worthiness and legitimacy.

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Impactful leadership is embedded in vision, value and validation.

Clear direction inspires us and unites us, and is emotionally impactful. Vision grows stronger when it’s connected to values. Values help us live our best lives, work more effectively in teams and serve with purpose.

The question to pursue is: What values are we creating for our employees and our customers? Value is only an assumption until it’s validated by the company culture (moment of impact) and the market!

Impactive leadership is driven by this formula: Employee validation + vision + value = a strong and successful organization foundation.

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