7 Unconventional Ways To Step Up Your Game And Lead

I don’t know about you but one of the things I love to learn about is unconventional leadership styles. Most of the unconventional styles you see come from leaders who are stepping up their game and taking chances. Are you going to be one of them?

Image by Amanda Fam

Image by Alexis Fam

1. Be Flexible: Chris Guillebeau has been one of the most unconventional leaders I’ve seen. He took up the task of traveling to every country in the world by a certain date. There were destinations were Chris had to be flexible and change his plans. It didn’t ruin his trip, just made it different.

Are there areas of leadership you need to be more flexible in? See the need to be flexible as more of a game. Make it fun and flexibility becomes enjoyable.

2. Love People:  Joel Manby in his book Love Works (affiliate link. I get paid a small commission if you click and buy from this link) shows us how love can help you step up your game and lead better. Through agape love, his company has helped their staff work harder and better. All because someone cares about them.

Herschend Family Entertainment stepped up their game by loving their employees. You can too.

3. Care About The Details: Steve Jobs took notice of the internal components of the computers Apple was manufacturing. He was interested in what was done down to the color of the motherboards. Now, most people will never see this but Steve knew what was contained within the machines and wanted them to be special.

The details matter. It’s the small things that will endear you to your customers and staff. Think of the small things you can do to change the opinions of others.

4. Stay Creative: Matt Appling, author of Life After Art, reminds us that we’re all creators. Regardless of what we do, we’re creating art and we should remember this fact.

By staying creative you will see new trends and movement before others. Be on the lookout for what you can create and how you can move forward.

5. Use Your Time Wisely: Every person has a limited amount of time. But not everyone uses their time the same. Be wise about your time and how you use it.

Do what Zig Ziglar says and create an automobile university by listening to CDs, podcasts, audiobooks, or seminars while you’re driving. To take it a step further, do what I do and listen to them during early morning runs or other exercise times.

You’ll suck up the knowledge and be ahead of the game because you were wise and doubled up on activities.

6. Be Generous: Leaders like Michael Hyatt have stepped up their game and gained influence by being generous. They’ve given away their knowledge for free to help you become better leaders. Not only that, they’ve given away books, audio, and more. The generosity is amazing.

Generosity seems to attract others. People love those who are willing to give to others and help them out. Be one of these leaders and step up your game.

Question: Oh wait. I said there were 7 unconventional ways to step up your game and lead. Where is number 7? This is where I need your help. I want you to come up with the 7th way to step up your game. So, what unconventional way do you step up your game and lead? Please share number 7 in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Have fun

    • Great answer Larry! Leaders need to have fun while leading. How do you have fun as a leader?

  • Engage your team by asking questions that lead them to solutions.

    • Jim, excellent! I can see this helping improve the competency of your team members and letting them feel part of the solutions. Would you mind sharing a few questions that you’ve used to do this?

      • “If we go in this directions, what conflicts do you anticpate?”
        “I can tell there is not much excitement for this project.How do we change that?

        I like the book – Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions By Knowing What To Ask by Michael J. Marquardt

  • In the spirit of last week’s Chick-Fil-A Leadercast I would say, be simple. Take complex ideas, structures, and networks. Then break them down to simple and easily understood components for people to follow. Be humble enough to not want to be complex.

    • Great one Adam! Complexity often comes from the fact we don’t know our processes/purpose/etc enough that we have to make it sound more difficult than what it really is.

  • I think Adam is right – Simplicity is important. Simple communication. Simple processes. Simple outcomes.

    Thanks for sharing this, Joe.

    • My pleasure Michael. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion. In difficult industries or situations, how do you use the simple concept?

      • We regularly review communications, processes, and outcomes to simplify them when possible. Growth brings complexity – so growing organizations must plan these evaluations regularly to maintain the simplicity that is required to fulfill their vision with focus and clarity.

  • DS

    Being simple also encourages acceptance, and increases the likelihood process will be followed/adhered to.

    • Yes, DS! I think simple is a key to great leadership as well.

  • #7 Stay Passionate because your team is looking to you for the passion and motivation to keep moving forward. Great list! Thank you! Have a fabulous day!

    • Ohhh! Good one Lauren. We’ve got to keep up our passion if we expect our team to have passion. How do you do this when you’re not feeling the passion you used to?

      • Good Question! Get back to the roots of the passion, or shift directions and follow a new passion. I believe we can have multiple passions – not just one for life.

  • Great List. My #7 is to Keep It Simple. We deal with enough complex things in the world. I like to create simple tools and resources for people to incorporate in their leadership and living their vision.

    • Simple seems to be a winner around here Bernard. It’s a great way to step up and lead well.

  • Never be too busy or work so hard that you don’t have fun. Be willing to look and feel silly…it’s contagious. Everyone needs a laugh in their day.

    • Great reminder TC. We need to be able to have fun and enjoy our work if we want our work environment to be a joyful one.

  • Wow – like 12 people beat me to it …. but mine is to keep things simple. The best leaders I’ve worked with have understood complexity but been able to boil it down to its most simple form.

    • Thanks for reaffirming the others Tom. Simplicity seems to be a key factor in great leadership.

  • Ask those you lead what leadership they need from you that they’re not getting

    • Feedback! That’s excellent Gary. How do you apply the information you get from asking?

  • Along the lines of #2, know your people. I mean, really get to know them. Their strengths, weaknesses, motivators and demotivators. Then set them up for success, and step out of the way.

    • Right on Jonathan. Too many leaders neglect getting to know their staff and realizing how to motivate them towards success.

  • True this facts do pay off quite well. Two things that i focus upon always is to be creative and unique and it has always paid off for me.

    • That’s awesome. What creative and unique things have you done that has led to success?

  • Barb Hammer

    Believe in possibility.

  • Be an empathic leader.

    • Yes Dan, that’s another way. Getting to know your team and feeling their pain can be a great tool in leadership.

  • Have fun! It’s so easy to be a stone-faced, serious leader. Team members need to see you having fun. I need this lesson.

    • Having fun is a great way to lead unconventionally!

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