A great leader inspires those around them to reach their fullest potential, cultivates leaders, protects culture, and casts a clear vision of the mission.
I think it is far to say we have all experienced good and bad leaders. What sets them apart? Why does one drive their employees to drink while another inspires and gets the best out of their team?
Let’s explore the characteristics of great leaders.
First, Red Flags of Poor Leadership:
- Plays Politics: Great leaders do not play politics with relationships. Don’t use those around to you better your personal position. As a great leader, your job is to help your peers, your subordinates, and those around you to improve their position or situation.
- The “Yes Man”: The “Yes Man” has two distinct drawbacks. The first directly impacts the leader: being surrounded by “Yes Men” dulls great leaders because it never challenges them. Secondly, if the leader is the “Yes Man,” the organization simply bobs around without direction or guidance.
- Leading From a Position of Fear: As a great leader, we need to recognize that fear is a horrible driver and motivator for our actions. Bettering ourselves and realizing success is a far better motivator.
- The Hot-Air Balloon: Great leaders are aware of the current state of the organization and backs their vision with consistency and communication rather than just bellowing hot air with a lack of follow-up. Grandiose ideas with no follow-through drive teams to a lack of caring and engagement.
Defining What Great Leaders Do
1. Casts Clear Vision
Great leaders take an accurate pulse of their organization. If necessary (hint: it likely is), great leaders accept responsibility for past failures, admit the previous faults, and cast a clear vision of what the mission is moving forward. There is no need to dwell on the mistakes of the past, but it is necessary to acknowledge their existence to establish rapport with the team. Additionally, this marks a line in the sand, of sorts. It clearly states that where we have been is not where we are going. We are moving forward and our goal is clearly articulated.
2. Cultivates Leaders
Great leaders must continually educate themselves so they have something to dispense to those around them and grow strong leaders. Additionally, you must constantly be looking for those around you to involve them, unlock their potential, and nurture their own gifts. There are people on your team that want to be delegated to and want to help carry the load of the organization, great leaders recognize those people and aim to unlock the best from them.
3. Protects The Culture
Once we have created a healthy environment for our staff and customers, we must switch to a protective role. It is far too easy to let others dictate their idea of an ideal culture and force it upon your organization. You must be the one to defend the culture. You must be the one to cast the expectation of what is acceptable and what is not. You must be the one to define, “This is what we stand for and who we are.”
Don’t leave this to chance!
Great leaders inspect what they expect.
Finally, great leaders positively influence those around them — even if there is no direct reporting. We don’t need to be the supervisor or boss of someone to effectively lead them.
A great leader inspires those around to reach their fullest potential, cultivates new leaders, protects the culture, and casts a clear vision of the mission.
Where do you fall on this spectrum?
I encourage you to examine who and how you are leading. You have the power to be a great leader.
Go. Do something amazing.
All the best,
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