Leadership is not about you. It’s about the others. Once you make the transition from valuing yourself to valuing the people you lead then you will become a transformed leader.
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is a danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” Nelson Mandela
To make a good leader, it’s appropriate that you actually understand what leadership is all about, so the adept question is what is leadership?
Each of us believes we have a good idea about what it means to be a good leader, but when it comes to defining the concept, the picture is not so clear. For some, leadership is motivation, for others, it equals results, and yet for the rest, it is an inspiration.
One thing is certain, you can’t be a leader if you are a ruler. You must learn to stand up for the team. It will amount to a grievous mistake, and very often one which is very difficult to detect if you don’t.
Leadership is about being with the team in both good and bad times, but most of all a leader must support their collaborators when something is not working well. There are always going to be problems and the important thing is not to pass the buck, the buck must always stop at your table.
All may not always go well for you as the leader and you will never find an exit if you have not previously stood up for your team. Yes, everyone needs to know that you are in charge, but you also shouldn’t shy away from humility.
What are those things that outstandingly mark you out as a leader?
1. Your adaptability to change
Your followers have their individual differences and as a leader, you should know how to adapt to changes and each of the members of your team. Learn to leave your ego at the door.
You may or may not have a particular personality that will provide you with a certain character, don’t hesitate to pick up some certain social skills that you can learn in order to lead your team more effectively.
2. Strategic visioning
Real leaders do not lose sight of the strategic dimension of their businesses, and this is why you have to invest time to identify threats and strengths that affect your competitiveness. Be bold enough to take risks and don’t shy away from taking responsibilities when your decisions go awry.
Your subordinates will respect you the more and identify more with you when they realize that you are human and can also make mistakes like themselves. As a leader, you want to be up to date on the news, innovations, and transformations in your sector.
3. Empower your people
Your subordinates want to make decisions and see their decisions count. Empower your people to make certain decisions. Do not shortchange them.
Allow them opportunities to shine rather than discounting their abilities and doing it yourself. It adds up to your value in life if at the end of the day somebody who has passed through your tutelage gets to become a very important person in life.
Do you have a big presentation coming up with your executive team? Allow one of your top performers to give the presentation instead. Empowerment builds up their courage and confidence which will eventually help them strive for larger-than-life goals.
4. Optimal use of resources
Effective leadership skills which border on reputation and relationship in an attempt to generate revenue, the three Rs of strategic marketing are supported by an appropriate use of material, human, and financial resources so that results are obtained in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
5. Prompt and fair resolution of conflicts
There are bound to be conflicts among the group and it’s your duty as the leader to effectively manage the situation. You must be resolute in your decisions while being fair and just.
A true leader does not take sides, you must treat each situation with merit and a good dose of empathy. As a leader, it’s your responsibility not only to solve the conflicts that will be inevitably generated within your team but also to nip them in the bud before they even happen.
It’s more cost efficient to be proactive. Frayed nerves may not be easily healed.
Mahatma Gandhi, aptly capped it when he said: “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles, but today it means getting along with people.”
How many people have you been able to help get along? How many of your subordinates have your ensured and enhanced a better status in life for? Leadership is all about motivation, inspiration, reputation, and relationship.