The calling/responsibility of leadership is an important responsibility. You must take it seriously because what you do as a leader each day has a major impact on where you end up long term. The posts below are great posts because they help you to understand how to be a better leader.
Congratulations! You’ve worked hard to be a leader in your company. But don’t think you can sit back and relax from now on because great leaders understand that they must always be developing themselves and their employees.
Leaders lead others, but sometimes they don’t realize that the best leaders never stop improving themselves; they are passionate about learning and teaching, and their passion spreads to those who work around them.
It has been said that leaders are discovered, but really they are developed. Success is an ongoing process of improvement and adjustments.
As Beth pointed out, leaders must focus on their own improvement on a regular basis. They must also focus on the development of those they lead. As they train those they lead, they improve their team and the skills of their group. The training helps their team be more successful because it will increase the overall skills. Many leaders have a fear that training their followers is bad because it will make their followers replace them as the leader. In reality, the opposite is more often the truth; the leaders that train their followers to be successful end up being more successful themselves. By helping others succeed, they help themselves to move up the ladder because people see them as effective leaders.
What you pay attention to is important. At least that’s what your team members think, and it gives them clues about how to act.
If you reward performance, they will strive to perform better. If you praise effort, they will work harder. If you brush off their ideas so you can talk about office politics, they will stop bringing you their ideas and start analyzing their actions for the political implications.
What you pay attention to sends a powerful message. Pay attention to what you pay attention to.
As a leader, it is important to know and understand what you spend your time working on and talking about. What you focus on as a leader, has a great impact on those you lead. I have found many times that this is very true in my own career. The leaders that gossip a lot have followers that do the same. At the same time, the leaders that work very hard have followers that also work very hard. Followers are just that, they are followers. They follow the leader. What the leader values becomes important to the followers because they want to be successful.
Oscar Pistorius (in case you haven’t heard) is a fast runner – one of the fastest. He may also be the first double amputee to run in the Olympics, using prosthetic legs called Flex-Foot Cheetahs. Everyone seems to be watching and rooting for him.
Oscar was born in South Africa (where he still resides) without a fibula (the long thin bone that runs from the knee to the ankle) in either of his legs. On the advice of his doctor, his parents made a tough decision to amputate his legs below the knee before Oscar got used to using them in advance of his first birthday.
Perhaps part of Oscar’s strength and stamina came from not remembering what it was like to have legs. He has also worked very hard at excelling at everything he’s done. But I suspect that the balance of his ability to surpass expectations came from a mother who didn’t just hope he would make his way in the world; she expected him to perform no differently than his siblings. She believed he had the potential to do what any other person with intact legs could do. His family was active in sports, so Oscar wrestled, boxed and even water skied as a youngster.
This story is a great story because the mother of Oscar saw potential in her son and helped him become great. As a leader, you can do the same for your followers. You must hope for great things from your followers, but in addition to hope, you must work as hard as you can to develop the potential they have.
Leaders must think of the development of their followers a serious responsibility and not take it lightly. Leaders that develop the potential in their follower are more than just good leaders, they are great leaders.
When you have a vision, you know where you want to go and you can see your next steps – but you won’t be able to see the entire path.
Vision is not about the path, it’s about the destination. As you take each step, the next step becomes clear as long as you stay focused on your vision.
You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. ..~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Goals quantify and define the steps you must take. They are the signposts that let you know you are moving in the right direction. They are measurable and answer questions like When? and How much? (rather than Why? which is addressed by your vision).
This is a great post. In leadership, it is very common to hear people talk about having goals and a vision. It is important to have both, however, it is important to understand the difference between the two. As Jesse explained, a vision is ongoing whereas a goal has an end. I think it is very important to have a vision.
From there you should set goals that are short, medium, and long term to make your vision a reality. Whenever you have a vision of your future, you must think about it and review it on a regular basis, so you can make it a reality. If you don’t review it regularly, you will lose sight of it. You must also set out the goals, so you move in the right direction.
There’s been a lot written about the concept of “authentic leadership”, that is, being a leader that is comes across as sincere, genuine, and real. Authentic leaders lead from the heart and are true to their values and principles. Authenticity builds trust, credibility, and inspires – all essential elements of great leadership.
Becoming a leader isn’t just about studying famous leaders or role models and then trying to emulate them. Nor is it just about assessing yourself against a competency model, and attacking your weak spots with a development plan.
While those can both be effective leadership development strategies, they won’t help you to be an authentic leader.
Becoming an authentic leader involves transformation. It’s not “doing” leadership, it’s figuring out who you are and who you want to be as a leader.
As a leader, you can’t be someone else. You must be yourself. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to refine yourself. As a leader, it is important to identify your strengths, weaknesses, and qualities that are neither strengths nor weaknesses. While you are trying to become your best self, you shouldn’t try to be someone else. If you try to be someone else you are not going to be as sincere because you will be trying to change yourself into someone else.
I hope these posts are as helpful to you as they are to me. As a leader, it is very important focus on the improvement of yourself, as well as, the improvement of those you lead. Along that journey, it is very helpful to review the things that people have done before you and the examples they have set.
What do you do as a leader to help those you lead to improve? What do you do to improve yourself? Do the posts above help you to be a better leader? What was your favorite post out of the posts mentioned above? What are your thoughts on the posts? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!