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A Leader’s Boundaries; How to set boundaries as a Leader!

Boundaries, what a powerful word… Boundaries work to set limits, expectations, and standards; three things you’ll need to enhance your leadership, the leadership of those around you, and work/life harmony! There are times in life when you will feel compelled to Stand Up and be a leader… standing up to set boundaries for yourself, your dignity, or to right an injustice. No one is exempt from injustice and bumps and bruises that a job, relationships, life, and positions of leadership will deal out from time to time; Standing Up to defend and claim your sense of Personal Leadership or your position of leadership doesn’t promise to be pretty… sometimes it’s simply necessary! When you decide to stand up and set boundaries… the goal is to come out the other side better not bitter!

First The most important guiding principle to remember before, during, and after you set a boundary is… Remembering (in most cases) you’ve allowed it. Obviously, there are awful life-events that are beyond our control, however most of the things we are upset about are within our control and we allow them to happen to us regularly at work, in our relationships, with our children, and in our lives. You picked that job and continue to stay; accepting raises, promotions, the paycheck every two weeks, and the perks, you picked your significant other as much as they picked you… and YOU continue to stay, you had your children and allow them their routine and ways in which they interact with you; I can go on… but I’m sure you understand. This first thing to acknowledge is… your consistent actions or inaction has compounded and led to where you are now, what you’re receiving, and how you are feeling. So, before you stand, blame, and attack… this soul-searching first step acts to temper your response and allow your upcoming decisions to be beneficial not spiteful. Remember… People tend to treat YOU the way YOU allow!

Second Raise Your Value! This step makes sense to do throughout the process, but tremendously valuable after accepting personal responsibility for your life, professionally and personally.

A friend once told me, “If you raise your value higher than your customer’s stack of money… you’ll be just fine”. This simple sentence changed my entire life, business, and lifestyle! Be willing to raise your value professionally and personally by “Understanding the Opposition”. There are opposing forces everywhere, it may be your employees, your boss, your partner, kids, etc. Ask yourself these powerful two questions:

  1. How do I understand this person to be; why are they the way they are?
  2. What do I believe is there biggest and deepest need from me right now?

Whatever you believe there deepest need to be from you… is what you know you need to do to enhance your value. Do it and do it a bit past your comfort zone; being sure your effort doesn’t make you bitter. If you’re interested in evolving past this point… use the “Get-Great Question”! It may sound like, “I want to be great here (professionally/personally)… I want to be the greatest leader ever or the best husband/wife ever… what do I have to do? If they don’t have an answer right away or tell you to keep doing what you’re doing… allow them time to think. Everyone isn’t prepared for the suddenness of such a powerful question.

When you get your answer, you’re going to learn a lot about the person who answered it… and how they feel about you! Your job is not to defend or fight their answer, rather to listen, evaluate the truth of their perspective… and choose to implement. Keep in mind, if you ask enough people and there’s a common theme… they can’t all be wrong!

Raising your value will lead you to feel truly better about YOU, allow positive opportunities to come to you instead of you always chasing it, and increases your bargaining power in all relationships… as great character, great knowledge, and a great willingness is a combination that cannot be denied and will take you far in your current relationship with yourself, your relationships, your job… or the next!

Third Yes, there are times when “enough is enough” when we’re compelled to stand up, yell out, and make a scene. Hopefully, you and I don’t have to be in too many of these situations. This Blog is not about those situations. Setting Boundaries is the third step… as it involves setting boundaries and advocating for yourself. Setting boundaries are personal and can be a tough thing to do; especially when it’s your first time or confrontation isn’t your thing. Whatever boundary you’re setting, be sure it is reasonable, doable, and YOU ARE ABLE TO ENFORCE IT or FOLLOW THROUGH!

Is your boundary reasonable? You know the people in your life and at your job… is your new boundary reasonable for the way you know things to really be? For example: you want a raise, knowing you work in a company that is financially struggling. Is your Stand and Boundary doable for the people in your life… you know them, what they are capable of, and their beliefs… is your boundary doable for them?

Lastly, are you able to enforce the new boundary? We must be aware of our limitations as well as the limitations of the people we want from; being able to assess our demands and boundaries reasonably for the situation, doable for who the people are, and enforceable by YOU. As a leader, this does not mean you lower your standards and expectations; rather it prepares you for the inevitable uphill climb and awareness of the amount of resistance you’ll encounter. Remember, with your new boundary… everyone that started with you, will not finish with you… and that has to be OK!

Fourth Move Forward with Understanding. Remember, this is old to you, but new to them! You’ve been processing this change within you, what you needed, what you wanted, you’re reading this article, and have been in the process of thinking, feeling, and doing… they have not! Or, they may have been doing a process of their own… and need something different! Your boundary is new to them; coming out of the blue like a Mack Truck! Just as you needed time to process, they (your job, partner, kids, etc.) may need time to adjust. They are not going to all of the sudden become or act like the picture you see, want, or think you deserve in your head.

It’s a new habit for them to create all of the sudden; they need to evaluate if they want to, the benefit or lack thereof, and stumble through this process as you did. This does not mean you lower your bar of standards and expectations… keep them high! However, it allows you perspective and will save you frustration and rash decisions made out of emotion. Setting Boundaries doesn’t promise to be pretty… sometimes it’s simply necessary. When you decide it’s time for you to Stand Up and Set Boundaries… do your best to come out the other side “Better” instead “Bitter”. Enjoy your evolution!

“Boundaries work to set limits, standards, and expectations; three things you’ll need to enhance your leadership, the leadership of those around you, and work/life harmony” – Andre Young

Written by: Andre Young

Take the pain out of your company by enhancing Leadership and Work/Life Harmony in your Company, your Teams, and Employees with Andre Young’s on-site Leadership Training Programs and Speaking Engagements! Download my App, YEN Push and allow notifications to enhance your Leadership, Personal Leadership, and Work/Life Harmony! Enjoy your EVOLUTION!!!

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