‘Leave your ego at the door!’ We have all heard this many times and yet we still see leaders who continue to focus on themselves. We clearly understand that that the human ego can hurt the dynamics of a team, and therefore affect the outcomes for the organisation, and yet leaders are still getting caught up in trying to impress others people in order to feel good about themselves.
This article by Terry St.Marie has restated and highlighted the key characteristics of truly great leaders. The truly great leaders focus on selflessness, are calm and quietly determined and they never take the credit when things are working and always take the blame when they are not. The key characteristic of great leadership comforts me and it is a leadership lesson that I try and pass on to many of our clients. For some, taking on this responsibility can be a challenge due to their innate need for recognition and reward. However, if as a leader they can get past this and focus on “we-centric”, rather than “me-centric”, it is more likely to produce the best long-term results; and over time the positive effects will be apparent throughout the whole organisation.
As a leader you need to be able to accept responsibility for your actions and the actions of those you oversee, while also allowing your subordinates to bathe in the achievements you accomplish. If you can do these two things, you will be well on your way to becoming a better leader and person. One sure way of understanding which of these characteristics a great leader you display to undertake a regular 360 degree feedback process to enable all your stakeholder to provide accurate feedback on your leadership behaviours. This will enable you to manage your behaviours to become more focused on the ‘we’.