The Olympics have a way of shining a new light on the meaning of dedication.
The opening ceremonies were comprised of one spectacular vignette after another, with thousands of performers, musicians and athletes knowing exactly where to go and what to do during every minute of their moment in the spotlight. That’s dedication.
Every commercial that runs during the Olympic Games tells the athlete’s tale of foregoing dessert, not watching TV, not skipping a single day’s workout in order to be the best. That’s dedication.
Then there was the Chinese farmer who spent the last two years traveling to London via rickshaw just to see the Olympic games. A little extreme, but yes – that’s dedication.
Being dedicated to your goals as a leader is practically a given. Pretty basic stuff. It was probably a prerequisite before you were made a leader in the first place. But what makes an effective leader, one that’s inspiring, is a leader who shows their dedication to their team.
Don’t get trapped by the cliche images of dedication – coming in earlier, staying later, talking more in meetings, sending the most emails – real dedication is not so obvious as these “look-at-me” practices. If you really want your team to know how much you care, try some of these on for size:
-Have a clear vision, and encourage your group to keep going to your destination.
-Communicate clearly, in a way that meets the needs of your group.
-Encourage others to speak. When they do, listen with respect and focus on the speaker entirely.
-Ask yourself, “What more can I do?” Then, ask your group, “What more can I do?”
-Be the change you want to see in your group by modeling/demonstrating what you’ve asked of others.
-Celebrate when goals are achieved and check-marks are reached.
In short, be present, be aware, and be approachable. Your team will pick up on your dedication and follow suit.
The best part of all this dedication is that you still get to eat dessert.