Let's Talk About LEADERSHIP. - Why don't we clarify the role.
There are more followers than leaders. However, there are very few GOOD leaders. On many levels of leadership, far too many take the role for granted, regardless of whether you are a foreman, a group leader, a supervisor, manager, director, department head, President or CEO of a small or large company, a leader in the military, or the President of a country. With leadership comes great responsibility. A responsibility that far too many take for granted. In this article, we will discuss the traits of a good leader. Before I go any further, allow me to state that a good leader has nothing to do with GENDER, RACE, COLOR, OR CREED. There have been numerous books written about the great leaders of our time, and there were and are many. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to judge a good leader based on their own opinion, which means if they agree or are happy with what an individual has accomplished. Should they not agree, they do not consider that individual a good leader. This is NOT an honest and unbiased opinion.
That is a colossal error, but then that is the nature of our species—the most accurate phrase ever written by a fifteenth-century monk and poet, John Lydgate.
"YOU CAN PLEASE SOME OF THE PEOPLE SOME OF THE TIME, BUT NOT ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME."
No one individual has all the answers. Why? Because no one individual has experience in every aspect of what they are doing. An intelligent leader knows this. Therefore, they do not take it as a sign of weakness. Instead, they turn it into a show of strength.
TRAITS OF A GOOD LEADER:
Good leaders will surround themselves with more competent people than they are in the areas they are not well versed in.
Good leaders will NEVER be surrounded by "YES" people. We all know the type—the people who will agree with anything to stay in the good graces of another.
A good leader will want to be surrounded by those who will provide constructive ideas even if they are not in line with what they are presenting.
A good leader knows a good idea is a collaboration of many smaller ideas that, when refined, produce a great idea.
A good leader will have clear goals and present them clearly to their team.
A good leader will always do what is best for the many rather than the few or the one and should keep in mind they have a goal to reach.
A good leader will always listen before they speak.
They will possess excellent people skills and know-how to motivate others.
Of course, there are more. So many more I could write a book. However, I believe this gets my point across.
HOW DOES A LEADER ACHIEVE THIS SUCCESS?
This part is not as difficult as it sounds, providing the leader knows how to be a leader. I used the word collaboration earlier. Leadership is a collaboration. It is a partnership of people. All are working towards one common goal. A leader ALWAYS leads by example. A good leader will never expect anyone to do something they would not do themselves and is always willing to pitch in. It is never the mentality of 'Do as I say, not as I do.' A leader can achieve and motivate people by having an upbeat attitude towards the project at hand. Positivity leads to more positivity. It is catchy, similar to a cold.
A leader praises and does criticize or belittle others. However, many times correction is in order. A good leader will correct problems or mistakes through positive reinforcement. A quote I came up with years ago goes like this.
"Never expect perfection. No one has it to give."
A leader must always self-evaluate themselves and the progress they are making. Anticipating problems before they arise is key to the success of any project or mission. No one plan is written in stone. That plan may change multiple times as your goals are approached. Keep in mind that as the leader.
Others are following you and your lead. They are looking to you not only for guidance but for your approval. Let's face it. Everyone needs to feel they are doing a good job. Praise is positive. Praise is important. Unless you are the owner, everyone has someone to report to at every level. As the leader, everyone must be in the same loop. Back doors, going around someone's blindside doesn't get it done and only diminishes the work of others and leads to trust issues. Dissension among the ranks is a poison. A poison a leader cannot afford, and one they should certainly NOT be a part of causing.
The reality is we have only touched the surface of this topic but covered the key points. Never forget that this applies to all levels of leadership. The President of a country may not be the best military strategist, but they will have someone on their staff, that is. The same holds in other areas of their responsibility. I do have one last thought that I feel is essential. The leader is precisely that. That individual may be doing the delegation.
However, it is others that are doing the actual work. This brings me to the word 'CREDIT.' Everyone likes to receive credit for what they have done. From the worker bees to the Queen Bee. The CEO of a company, the President of the United States, or any country will always get the credit when things go as planned. However, they must also take responsibility when things do NOT go as planned. The buck always stops at the top. However, when things go as planned, the leader must share the credit with their team. They MUST acknowledge the work that others have put in. This leads to positive motivation and better outcomes for all future projects. Success never lies in the arms of one person. It lies in the arms of many people.
A GOOD LEADER KNOWS THERE IS NO "I" IN TEAM.
Stay safe and be well,
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