We hear this word tossed around on a near-daily basis. From childhood, the ideas and concepts of leadership engulf us.
When we were toddlers, we looked up to our parents. When we were school children, we followed our teachers. We have all had managers and bosses that inspired us to achieve. Some of us have had those that made us run for cover.
We all know what a leader is. …or at least, what they should be.
The textbook definition certainly doesn’t hold any surprises: ˈlēdərˌSHip/ noun
- The action of leading a group of people or an organization.
- The state or position of being a leader.
The leaders of an organization, country, etc
There have been countless books written on leadership. Some of the most famous have even become a cultural phenomenon. These leadership books have answered a litany of questions:
- What makes a great leader?
- Who was a great leader?
- Why is leadership important?
- How can I be a good leader?
This blog post is taking a bit of a different approach and we’ll continue the investigation into leaders in the workplace over the next few weeks.
At the highest level, leaders help us collectively reach or work toward our (or their) goals.
Different leaders will take different approaches to this, but the end goal is pretty much the same. Get a group of people to follow your lead and accomplish something. While that vastly simplifies what goes into being a leader, in general terms that is what they all set out to do.
It’s the how they do it that makes the difference.
We all know, some do it better than others. What is it that separates the successful leaders from the failures? To get to this answer, let’s ask another question.
Who are the leaders that inspire you?
I am sure every single one of us, can think of a handful of leaders who inspire us. Take a second to think about it.
They are the ones who connected with us in an inspiring and authentic way.
Think about what it was that made them stand out. I bet it’s not their business smarts or financial prowess. Sure this probably helped them manage a successful company, but it isn’t what made them leaders we admire and choose to follow.
If you dig a little deeper and focus on skills that are integral to great leadership, they are skills each one of us should adopt in our daily lives. Keep that in mind! My list isn’t an exhaustive list of traits every leader has. But it is a list of leadership qualities I feel turns good leaders into great leaders.
Great leader should possess:
- Ability to Delegate
Now think about those leaders that popped into your mind, and cross-reference them with the list above. I think it is a safe bet that your chosen leaders who checked off most of those skills above. If they didn’t then you can be sure that they excelled at a number of them.
These leaders are the ones we all aspire to work with and around. They are the ones who help create cultures where employees feel valued and businesses thrive. If you know a great leader, give them kudos in the comments and tell me what makes them someone we should all know about.
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