The paradigm surrounding leadership has changed greatly. So much so that the corporate generation gap is wider than ever in the history of modern business. Those who opposed authority twenty years ago are now sitting in a position of leadership fighting to make sense of it all. This is a modern conundrum of grandiose proportions that carries serious repercussions for future leaders.
As we study the example set by some leaders in history, we see a common and recurring thread emerge. That most of those who left a significant legacy gave us important markers that indicate the level of a successful leader. The elements that emerge from the final analysis have a name, such as image, reputation, reliability, integrity, etc.
If your subordinates feel they know, like, and can trust you, then you have successfully set the stage for proper leadership. The image is important because it shows what you are made of. A good leader does not go to the pub to get drunk with the rest of the team, or do things that can be publicly seen as unpleasant. This is where he gets a reputation for him, labeling him as the type of person who leads the organization. Reliability means that every time he promises to do something for a team member, he keeps what he promised. Integrity means all of the above with a dash of honesty and a dash of fairness to show equality towards each individual.
There is a strong parent element to being an effective leader. In other words, a leadership position is no different from the family structure insofar as you are the one who complies with the agreed rules and regulations and the one authorized to correct things with understanding and courtesy. It is useless for a leader to reprimand someone in front of others if his goal is to improve the situation and create a productive environment. A good leader will practice what he preaches and show justice. A leader who apologizes for an honest mistake will earn the loyalty of the entire team and not just the individual.
Sometimes the ego can get in the way, blocking the path to successful leadership. The most damaging thing is when a leader suffers from low self-esteem and makes decisions based on fear. A good leader has a healthy handle on who they are and considers the welfare of others with a positive mental attitude. This is how you get the most out of your team. Communicate with your people and let them know what’s going on. Let everyone feel like they are part of the show too. Communication is the blood flow of any organization. Companies that do this enjoy consistent positive results from their staff, regardless of the economic climate. Leadership is not just about you.
If you can see yourself as a mentor, a coach who leads by example and is a ‘people person’, then you have already won half the battle. Too often, those who have a brilliant mind for technical matters, but lack social skills, become leaders and end up hating their jobs because a round peg doesn’t fit a square hole. We know.
There are so many facets to being a proper leader and it all starts with seeing things from the team’s point of view first. People need leadership today, more than ever. Work harder on yourself and strive to become a better leader before trying to change others. Otherwise, proper and effective leadership will continue to languish until it simply evaporates into history.