The truth of the matter is there are no naturally born leaders – I believe it’s a learned behavior. There is a “Norma Ray” in all of us. We all have the capacity to lead but not everyone sees themselves as leadership material. What key characteristics do you believe a good leader should have? Think about a leader that you admire. What is it about their leadership style that you identified with? What made you decide to follow them? If you decided to follow them – what makes you think that no one would want to follow you? When will you know you’ve made the transition from follower to leader?
You know you’re a leader when:
- When you care more about the success of others then your own.
- When what you say and what you do are congruent – when you are talking the talk and walking the walk.
- When you can give up some control and put your faith and trust in others.
- When you realize you’re not the most important person in the conversation.
- When you never lose sight of your goals and work towards accomplishing them.
- When you live your authentic life. The kind of life you envisioned for yourself.
- When others choose to follow you.
- When you decide honesty, integrity and treating others with respect is non negotiable no matter the consequence.
- When you see a wrong and you work tirelessly to make it right.
- When you care more about what you think of yourself then what others think of you.
- When you decide who you want to follow
- When you decide to do what is right – not what is popular
- When you can agree to disagree and move on.
- When you can let go of the past and not let it interfere with the future.
Henry Kissinger, former USA Secretary of State and National Security Advisor said that the task of a leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. Wikipedia defines leadership as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task – somebody who guides and directs others”. We are all leaders waiting for the right opportunity to shine. Waiting for the right opportunity to make a difference in our own way. 🙂
Copyright 2013. Brian Smith. Not to be reproduced without permission. Brian Smith – Author, Communications Expert and Management Consultant is available for keynote speaking, seminars and workshops. Visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more.
Geese in Flight (2) (Photo credit: Johnath)
What do great Leaders and Geese have in common? They both give up control to get control. They both let others lead from time to time. Great leaders know they don’t have to control everything all of the time. They don’t have to have all of the answers all of the time. They just have to surround themselves with people who do know – and then get out of their way and let them take the lead.
“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere” – Ronald Regan
Let’s pretend for a moment that you’ve decided to give up some of your duties and you’ve decided you’re going to delegate some of them to those you feel are capable of and are willing to take on more responsibility. Think of all the tasks that you do and list them on a piece of paper. Now look over your list and circle the ones that only you can do. If you’re being completely honest with yourself there will be some things on that list that you haven’t circled. Those are the ones that you are going to give up.
“Never learn to do anything. If you don’t learn, you’ll always find someone else to do it” – Mark Twain
If you don’t delegate some of your duties and responsibilities you’re robbing your people of their opportunity to grow. If you don’t delegate some of your duties and responsibilities you won’t have time to step back and think about where the organization needs to be and how you and your team are going to get there. You need time to step back and see the big picture and have an idea where all the pieces are going to fit. If you don’t trust the people around you to do the task on their own – then why did you hire them in the first place?
“I’ve got an ego and all that, but I know I need help. So I hire the very best people” – Ross Perot
It’s important that you show trust and confidence in your people. Remember not to get too hung up on how they go about doing the task. Yes – you can give them some pointers here and there – but keep in mind that most people want to put their own stamp on things. The end result is not open for debate. Company standards must be maintained – but how we accomplish them can be. The key to great leadership is about “inclusion” not “exclusion”. Great leadership is about including others in the decision-making process. It doesn’t have to be just your way. The more that you allow your people to have input – the more likely it is – that they will want to come along. The more likely it is that they will want to follow you. – 🙂