For many of us, when we think of leadership it’s the mega successful corporate boss, billionaire or guru who comes to mind. But leadership doesn’t work that way, it’s alive and well in all walks of life.
The biggest thing I have learned about leadership is that it has nothing to do with the industry you’re in or the size of your team. Leadership is Leadership; you either practice it or you don’t.
Leadership is not formulaic, it is most certainly not positional; we ALL have the potential to lead.
I think most of us can recall Leaders we have worked with who were a leader in title only, and others who have not been in a senior position but have been great leaders; they’ve beautifully shared a purpose and garnered the support and commitment of others to reach the goal.
The great thing about leadership is that you can build the skills. Born leaders are very rare.
There are those people who are naturally extroverted, who step up and take charge, but how long does it last? How well do they follow through? Do they do the hard yards and take the team where they need to go? Not always.
To develop and maintain a trust based leadership role where others choose to follow and support you as a leader, a specific set of skills are required.
And it all begins with the self.
Self-leadership is the key to being a great leader, all of the behavioural management strategies we use to lead others are fairly pointless if we’re not using them to lead ourselves. People can see through that pretty quickly.
“Effective leadership is really a transformational journey beginning with self-leadership”— K. Blanchard
Many Academic studies have failed to produce a profile of an ideal leader – because it doesn’t exist!
Leaders are complex human beings, people who have distinctive qualities that cannot be sufficiently described by lists of traits or characteristics. There is no correlation between age, race, education or personality types. What has become apparent is that leadersmake the people around them feel empowered, motivated, inspired and committed to the vision and purpose.
Engaging and empowering others to lead is the true sign of leadership. It has nothing to do with being extroverted or charming; it has to do with passion, beliefand most importantly communication.
Effective Leadership comes down to knowing the vision & purpose of your business, where you want to go and how to communicate with others so that they engage and want to give their all to make sure everyone gets there.
One way to effectively communicate with others is to know ourselves and to know your team members. When you understand yourself and your goals, and you understand the goals of your staff, it becomes easier to communicate in a way that resonates with them.
Take the time to get to know your team members, talk to them and most importantly; listen to them.
When you are sure of yourself and you’re sure of your team, you are well on the way to building great leadership skills.