In this blog introduction to 7 Steps to being a great leader, We present a short introduction to:
Great leaders have clarity. Clarity of vision, mission, purpose, plans and goals – centred on achieving value for the customers and clients.
Great leaders are exceptional communicators because the are fully aware that communication is the real business of leaders. Think about all the great communicators who you know:
- Do they inspire people?
- Do they create connections with insights and emotional intelligence?
Do they speak directly to people’s needs?
Courage to do what is right, courage to go against the crowd, courage to take different approach when needed, courage to stand alone, if and when your conscience tells you to do so. Courage to be innovative, to live your truth, speak your truth, courage to act on your truth and lead with integrity. People will wait to see if you are courageous as a leader before they’re willing to follow your lead. Connected – As a connected leader you strive to learn more and be more consistent in finding even more ways to deliver value and you are committed to the preparation required for serving people and your business in the most effective manner. As a connected leader you understand the value of networks. As a connected leader you strive to develop a connected workplace and that requires collaboration as well as co-operation. Both collaborative behaviours (working together for a common goal) and cooperative behaviours (sharing freely without any quid pro quo) are needed.
Trust only emerges when knowledge is shared and diverse points of views are accepted. Connected leaders know how to foster deeper connections that can be developed through meaningful conversations. As a connected leader you know and understand the importance of tacit knowledge in solving complex problems.
Businesses now more than ever need to find creative solutions to the challenges brought about by disruption in the forms of new technology, merging business models, and soaring customer expectations. Leading creative disruption is about breaking existing patterns of behaviour and the status quo within a culture. Disruption signals departure from the norm and from mediocrity.
Creative disruption is also about instituting challenge (disruption) within your business to break old corporate habits; by signaling and leading this disruption your leadership require the business to adapt and improve its business model so that it can better succeed. Every business continues to adjust to disruptions, as competitors respond to a business’ unique offering.
Calm, centred and clear thinking under Pressure – The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good.
Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom – James Allen
Level-headed and maintenance of composure in a crisis
Times of crisis are unavoidable in the current business world which is fraught with uncertainties-. It is your role as a leader to steady the ship amidst the storm; panic in such times only adds fuel to the fire especially when others will turn to you to restore calm. Great leaders are exceptional problem identifiers. Great leaders are better problem-solvers. One trait that separates great leaders from
the field of problem-solving is the ability to delve into a problem. Great leaders have the ability to ask the right questions, and understand the root cause of an issue. Although this might not be easy, great leaders, however, not only intuitively understand how to delve into a problem but they also know how to construct and assess the problem in terms of a solution.
A committed leader knows the difference between the talk and the walk. A committed leader knows that leadership exists at all levels. Committed leaders understand the distinctions of commitment in various forms; such as commitments:
- To the self – how much you work on developing yourself as a human being, to be the best leader you can be. In fact, it is self-awareness that is the first major step toward becoming truly committed. Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence, a skill that 90% of top performing leaders possess in abundance. Great leaders’ high self-awareness means they have a clear and accurate image not just of their leadership style, but also of their own strengths and weaknesses. They know where they shine and where they’re weak, and they have effective strategies for compensating for those weaknesses.
- To people – how much you really focus on connecting with those around you in order to work effectively with them.
- To the business – how much you are devoted to the intentions and performance of the place where you work so that you show up with maximum energy and conviction.
- To the truth – how much you tell and invite the truth, even when it is hard, in order to keep yourself, others and the organisation on a right course.
- To leadership – how much you answer a call to lead and choose to engage in proven, effective leadership habits and behaviours.
Examples of commitment to: Self: “Know thyself,” said Socrates to the ancient Greeks and his advice is every bit as important today as it was thousands of years ago. To be a great leader you need to firstly, learn about yourself and with this knowledge, secondly, commitment follows. One effective way of learning about you is to invite feedback. Blind spots, oversights and faulty assumptions can all be surfaced from effective feedback.
People: People want to be appreciated. When people see that you are only focusing on a task, output or goal, they can feel as though they are no more respected than machines in a factory. People want to know their contribution is valued; no one ever thanks a machine.
The committed leader responds by doing more than just saying thank you. One way is to build followers’ capacity by helping them develop skills to further their importance to the business along with their careers. Another means is for you as a leader is to always recognise your people’s willingness to help and acknowledge their role in making a difference. Recognition can be a huge motivator and people may work harder for recognition rather than money.
Great leaders demonstrate empathy with people. This is the capacity to see things as others see them, and is a key skill needed to influence others. Leaders unsympathetic to a people-centric commitment are empowered by 7StepsToBeingAGreatLeader.com to develop their Emotional Intelligence. IT IS RECOGNISED IN PSYCHOLOGY that there may be nothing more essential than recognising our deepest feeling about what we do and what changes might make us more truly satisfied with our work.
Committed leaders have no problem letting go of the notion that the only function of people is to get in line and do their jobs. A display of empathy is a welcome outreach to those looking for signs that a leader respects their work.
Commitment in Business: The basis of this commitment is your business mission statement – its reason for existing – and your willingness as a leader to sacrifice
personal interests or agendas to support it. A committed leader finds meaning, value and purpose in the business and then shares that commitment with everyone else. One way is to align the corporate mission statement with a personal one that covers what the leader is passionate about, why leading the business, the vision of accomplishment for the business and how this commitment gives power, meaning and fulfillment. Anything less than a total commitment here is likely to be picked up by sensitive staff, which could easily lessen your leadership effectiveness.
Truth: Jim Collins in his book Good to Great says “Confront the brutal facts, but never lose faith.” This is perhaps the most difficult of all the commitments because it requires up-front honesty. Any attempt to sanitize reality regardless of the situation through spin or less than forthright assessments could permanently damage your leadership credibility and erode any possibility of trust. Anything less than the truth from your leadership is unsustainable.
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