Lesson: Leader – It’s Not Just a Title
I’ve had the pleasure of learning from some great business people throughout my career. Some benefits include learning conflict resolution, strategic planning, group dynamics, and so much more from my experiences encountered with great leaders. I’ve also been fortunate to foster ongoing relationships with people I’ve worked with and for, so much so, that I can call them for advice on current situations.
Many times you can’t choose what team you’re working with or your work environment. What you can do is use the circumstances to enhance your leadership abilities. I found that the best leaders have certain qualities that produce results. What makes great leaders? Great Leaders:
- Diffuse tense moments: Understanding why certain behaviors take place is essential to understanding people. It’s difficult to appropriately respond and help if you don’t know what’s driving the actions of others. Diffusion occurs when you can identify the problem & its source, be compassionate toward the parties involved, and create resolutions.
- Prioritize objectives: It’s easy to lose focus. I speak with business owners often and one of the hardest things is to stay on task. Great Leaders are also Great Planners. They know where they want to go, they map a path to get there, and they follow it.
- Speak to everyone with respect: We all want to vent sometimes, but as a leader, speaking respectfully garners respect for your message. You risk your message being misunderstood, diluted, received offensively, or simply ignored.
- Become providers: Info sharing is an awesome tool. It’s a great way for people to recognize you as a reliable resource. Sharing also indicates you’re not selfish and you care about the growth of your team. Leaders are judged on the growth of those they lead.
- Love Learning: Any professional should immerse themselves in their profession. There’s always an opportunity to learn – formally and informally. Take advantage of the resources around you and build your knowledge.
- Integrity Driven: Doing the right thing goes hand in hand with self control. When you know the guidelines you live by, making the right decisions become easier. You build your personal brand based on trust.
- Exercise Humility & Magnanimity: Give credit where credit is due and know how to appreciate the efforts of others. You’re not better than those around you and that belief has to be transparent to those round you.
- Employ Assertive Behaviors: Decision-makers produce success stories. Being Assertive means you’re comfortable in varied situations. Assertive people listen, but also know when to affirm what needs to be done.
- Practice Tenacity: It’s easy to get derailed. For one, you will meet opposition on your journey. It’s also common that your natural entrepreneurial creativity becomes a threat to your focus. Remain steadfast on your mission.
- Resilience: What happens when there’s a cultural shift? What happens when the economic conditions or new laws affect your functionality? How about when a business relationship doesn’t go as planned. Being flexible and tough enough to weather adversities are signs of a seasoned leader.
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter F. Drucker
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