Jul 5, 2012 11:00:00 AM

Want to be a good leader? First, help yourself.

Posted by Melissa Bennett

How do you define being a good leader? Does it sound something like:leadership, neuroscience, brain, leader, leadership skills

  • I need to have the answers to the questions people ask
  • I should get things done and work as hard or harder than my staff in order to set the example 
  • I need to be good at getting people to do what I need them to
  • I’m the one responsible for the success of my business

A good number of pharmacy owners come to coaching, and to the Neuroscience of Advanced Leadership Program, with one or more of these beliefs. But what if I were to say that these are the thoughts that are keeping you from being a successful leader?

We have all heard the analogy used in different ways, and it is equally true here. There is a reason they tell you during the airplane safety talk to put your oxygen mask on first. Without it, you are less effective in assisting others. Business is no different. The quality of your state of mind determines the ongoing success of your business. This is because the quality of your state of mind determines the quality of your thinking.

The link between neuroscience and leadership is not the most intuitive leap to make in the beginning. When I shared with friends that I was entering this field they would ask, what makes a leader’s brain any different than anyone else’s? There is a shorthand answer that I like to give, and that is: though their brains are not necessarily different, it is their positions as owners or managers that are.

A leader has:

  • Higher visibility. 
  • Greater responsibility – not only to the business, but for his or her staff. 
  • To put the oxygen mask on first in order to help their employees, their businesses, their families, and their communities. 

The trick with this is buried in that last sentence. Leaders are the ones that have to put the oxygen mask on first. Having the answers, getting things done, setting the example, motivating my people, driving my business… has to come first, right? This is what makes us good leaders. "When things settle down a bit more, then I’ll get back to taking better care of myself." Sound familiar?

The quality of your state of mind determines the quality of your thinking. How are you being effective if you're always putting yourself last? At the risk of turning your world upside down, I’m here to tell you that you aren’t, at least not as effective as you could be. 

You need to:

  • Stop giving answers
  • Stop setting the example
  • Stop taking responsibility for motivating your people 
  • Stop taking sole responsibility for the success of your business!

How is it possible that this could make me more successful?

Cliffhanger time! The Neuroscience of Advanced Leadership Program will help you connect these dots to create a clear picture of how this actually works. Learn how to take charge in putting your oxygen mask on first and advancing your business by joining the next Advanced Leadership Program beginning the weekend of August 17-18, 2012. Click here for more details.

In the mean time, here is your first tip: Start noticing how many times throughout the day you are interrupted by others asking you questions (outside of customers). In person, via email, by way of texts, or a quick intercom call. Share your findings below!

Topics: Training Leadership pharmacy business training successful leader Management Tool Advanced Leadership neuroscience training program brain Pharmacy Management

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