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ePublication of Australian Fitness Network

FILEX’s Keynote Speaker and performance expert looks at how to build your leadership effectiveness and make yourself worth following.

It was such a privilege to help celebrate 30 magnificent years of leading the way by Australian Fitness Network during FILEX 2017. The event was fabulous, and so were all the attendees (thanks for your glowing response to my presentation!)

So how can we, as individuals, take inspiration from this sort of leadership and grow our own influence and team building skills? Leadership effectiveness can be significantly improved with a little daily practice and perseverance.

First, be a person who is fun to work with and to be around. No one wants to team up with someone who has no sense of humour or fun. No matter how important the job is, life is more enjoyable when we work with people who are a pleasure to be around. Smile often and show teeth! Do not underestimate the power of pleasantries. Expect your team to use them.

Next, be a person who takes risks and participates at every opportunity. Those who get involved at all levels of their business develop conscious competence as well as connection. They take action rather than procrastinate or spectate. People who take the lead, fast track their own growth because their weaknesses and strengths are quickly revealed to themselves. When you participate, it helps people to know you and grow with you. Trust is built when you are willing to put yourself in a position where everyone knows you could end up looking foolish. In reality, you are modelling how to lead.

It is critical to learn to speak nicely to yourself, about yourself. The self-talk of leaders is an integral part of their success. You must be able to encourage and affirm yourself even when others criticise or stay silent. The most powerful words you will ever hear in your whole life are those you say to yourself, about yourself. You speak hundreds of words to yourself throughout the day, so make them count for good. Then practice on others.

Next, apply focus to the areas where you want to grow. Multi-skilling is a useful talent to have, but to improve quickly you need to focus. Practice focused thinking and putting all your energy on one aim until you bring about significant change. Progress comes in lots of incremental steps on a regular basis.

Finally, coach yourself and one of your team on a weekly basis. Repetition builds skill, competence and confidence. Keep your comments specific and encouraging. Good leaders are good coaches. Don’t score keep – coach! Remember how fascinating you can be! We are all works in progress.


Lisa McInnes-Smith is a dynamic, internationally recognised keynote speaker and bestselling author who has presented to over two million people globally and shared the stage with two American Presidents. With a background in sports psychology and high performance, she empowers everyone she encounters to ‘lift their game’ and contribute their talents to society.

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