People are always asking me what the secrets are to great leadership, and the truth is, there are none. The fact of the matter is that leaders that are described as ‘great’ leaders have gone out of their way to ensure they are always learning and improving their skills.
Results take consistent hard work, and this also applies to developing and improving your leadership skills so that you too could be deemed a ‘great’ leader.
Although I may not have a definite list of ‘secrets’ that make a great leader, I do have 5 things that you can do to go from an ‘average’ leader, to a ‘great’ one.
5 things great leaders do are:
1. Identify purpose
Great leaders have a clearly defined purpose that enables them to always envisage their long term goals and work towards them. Having a clearly defined purpose ensures that there is passion and dedication in working towards a long term goal, and this gives a leader a competitive advantage over other ‘average’ leaders.
2. Prioritise people
Leaders can’t be leaders if they have no one to lead, and a great leader understands this. Because of this understanding, great leaders ensure that they put their people first. They will treat them with respect and worth and will develop a trusting relationship with them to ensure loyalty. Great leaders don’t just see people as something to ‘lead’, but as people that they can help to further develop and that will become great assistants to them.
3. Be aware
Great leaders are people who are self-aware, organisationally aware, emotionally aware, contextually aware and culturally aware. They are the embodiment of the term ‘awareness’, and value attention to detail. However, they are aware that they don’t know everything, and are always open to development and growth.
4. Promote simplicity
A great leader understands that complexity is not their friend. Complexity means that valuable resources, whether tangible or not, are being used disproportionally thereby eliminating an opportunity for innovation which naturally will slow improvements in processes. Average leaders will accept this and let the complexity consume them, but great leaders will search for ways to simplify the complexity and not add to it, because in the long run simplicity is inexpensive.
5. Be personable
Leadership is personal, and great leaders understand this. Great leaders will go to great lengths to engage with their people, they are kind, display empathy and compassion, and generally care. By being personable you not only make yourself more approachable to your people, but also help to create a mutual relationship based on respect and loyalty.
By implementing the above points into your work, you will be on the way to becoming a respected, ‘great’ leader.