“All A” Leadership – How to Lead Though Influence by Leveraging Awareness, Aptitude, and Attitude

Published On: October 11, 2023Categories: Blog

We all know – whether consciously or just intuitively – that there’s a difference between someone who’s merely an authority figure vs an actual leader. Authority can exert its will upon you due to status, but real leadership is about behaving in a way that excites your team and gets their buy-in so they become active participants in everyone’s success. 

One of the best ways to practice true leadership is to practice Be There, one of the core pillars of the FISH! Philosophy. Being There is about showing up for the emotional needs of your team, rather than acting merely as a removed managerial presence. This means that instead of just acting like “The boss,” you take an active role in standing alongside them through both good times and more challenging situations, and guiding your team as they learn, grow, struggle, and adapt.

Being There doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it can be practiced and learned – and you can do so without ever leaving the first letter of the alphabet! “All A” leadership means leveraging three fundamental concepts to become the emotionally intelligent leader that your team wants you to be:

A #1: Awareness

We all like to think we’re very aware people, right? We pay attention to the objects, happenings, and people around us and try to adapt ourselves accordingly. But when it comes to business and social situations, awareness isn’t always that simple – in fact, it’s almost universally complicated.

Awareness becomes more than just paying attention to who’s nearby; it requires deep analysis of who those people are. What are the power dynamics – are they your superiors, your peers, or your direct reports? What are the personality types – are they a group of logic-minded engineers or more creative artists? Think of them as individuals – what type of motivation does each person respond best to, and are they going through any particular circumstances that might alter their behavior or abilities? It’s a constant calculation!

And to make things more complex, awareness isn’t just an external matter – your internal self-awareness is important too. The better you understand your own feelings, the ways you tend to respond to particular situations, and how you want to present yourself to others, the better you can prepare for the complicated dynamics of team management.

A #2: Aptitude 

Be There isn’t only about emotions, however – it’s also about how you can be professionally supportive and help your team grow and develop in their roles and beyond. That means taking an interest in learning what people want to do, their goals and aspirations, and what motivates them to succeed – then having the aptitude to guide them towards those goals.

The key here is in not just understanding your team as individuals, but by employing a proactive – rather than reactive – approach to professional development. So rather than just being the authority figure that dishes out punishment and criticism, you work to build forward-thinking plans for the future. You may help your team set 3-month, 1-year, and 3-year goals for themselves, and check in on those goals ahead of performance reviews (often called “Performance Previews”) to see how you can help them succeed.

Developing aptitude is key for any great leader, because Being There is far more than just offering a shoulder to cry on – it means molding your direct reports (both individually and as a team) into the types of people that benefit themselves and benefit the organization on the whole.

A #3: Attitude

 Something unique about the FISH! Philosophy is how all the basic tenets interact and intertwine with each other. For example, in order to really Be There for a team, we need to also practice Choose Your Attitude every day.

At its core, Choose Your Attitude is about self-awareness, which we touched on earlier. It’s about leveraging our understanding of our internal feelings, motivations, and reactions and channeling them into outward behavior that’s not just honest, but productive and beneficial to those around us.

It means rather than reacting to external stimulation, we’re acting as our own emotional checkpoint – engaging with our immediate feelings, checking the facts of the situation, and making a conscious decision about how we want to present ourselves outwardly.

When we practice Awareness, we can more effectively choose our Attitude. When we effectively choose our Attitude, we can show an Aptitude for helping others, emotionally and professionally. By following this chain and practicing the 3 A’s consistently, we become not just another boss, but a real leader that motivates our team to truly be their best selves and perform as best as they can for the organization.

Ideas to Reflect On:

  • What can we do each day to engage in greater awareness of the world around us? Of the world inside ourselves?
  • What do your performance reviews look like? Do they only provide feedback on past actions, or do they look towards future goals as well?
  • When faced with a tough situation, do you pause to consider your reaction, or do you just react to your emotions without thinking? If the latter, how might this cause trouble or discomfort within your team?

Want to Implement FISH! in your organization?

Are you a leader?  Do you train others?  Do you want others to be leaders?

Charthouse Learning, the creator of the world-famous, award-winning, FISH! film is offering an in-person, 2-day workshop, interactive Train-the-Trainer lead by our Senior Trainer.

During our time together you’ll learn how to:

  • Share the motivation and foundation of FISH!
  • Introduce the FISH! film with the four practices.
  • Present the invitation to apply the practices in everyday interaction with others.
  • Build a sustainability and reinforcement program to transform the culture.
  • Pick up tips from other FISH! Philosophers and develop a strategy to embed the practices into the DNA of your culture.
  • Create an energized organization that is the “first choice” for employees, faculty, staff, leaders, and customers.

Plus, you will learn how to create a workplace where people choose to “be and bring” their best self everywhere, every day.

At the FISH! Train the Trainer you will:

  • Dive Deep: Discover The FISH! Philosophy – full of “A-ha!” takeaways and perspective-shifting realizations.
  • Transform: Make the four FISH! practices – Play, Be There, Make Their Day and Choose Your Attitude – an essential part of your professional and personal skill set.
  • Discover: Learn practical ways to apply the FISH! practices to improve teamwork, service, leadership, retention and performance.
  • Develop: Brainstorm strategies to embed The FISH! Philosophy into the DNA of your culture, strengthening your mission, vision and values.
  • Collaborate: Learn and laugh with like-minded folks from across the globe.

Click Here for More FISH! Train the Trainer Information

FISH! Starter Kit

The first step in a successful FISH! journey is a remarkable introduction. A FISH! Philosophy kickoff event:

  • Inspires people to find the joy they have been missing at work.
  • Teaches four powerful skills you can use immediately for team and personal success.
  • Unites team members to accomplish any goal.
  • Is incredibly fun . . . and people learn more when they have a good time!

The FISH! Starter Kit provides all the tools you need to plan and lead a great kickoff.

Click Here for More FISH! Starter Kit Information

Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and introduce Play into your organization. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or info@charthouse.com to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

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