Leadership. The Sum of 3 Human Essentials.
Leadership is the combination of three human essentials, Being, Knowing and Doing.
In the following lines I tried to describe some common attitudes and behaviors that based on my observations, all natural leaders seem to have in common.
Nothing too complicated and in most cases pure common sense, but I like to revisit this list from time to time, as power and authority are very addictive and can make us forget about what true ledership means.
Good leadership is about making people want to do what needs to be done!
- Be innovative.
Be open to change. Instill a Culture of innovation and continuous improvement in those around you. Don´t ask what happened, make things happen.
“The best way to predict the future, is to create it.
- Be passionate.
Express passion and emotion in what you say and do. Get excited about the future. Show your people your enthusiasm for what you all can achieve as an organization. Passion is the key to engagement.
“Leading without passion is like cooking without salt. Extremely boring.
- Be coherent.
Treat everyone respectfully and make rational decisions based on coherent arguments. Inconsistent decision making can destroy your reputation as a leader. People do not follow unreliable leaders.
“The bigger the title, the better the person behind it must be.
- Be assertive.
Express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view, but also respect the rights and beliefs of your people. Avoiding confrontation by always saying yes will poison the organization; equally speaking aggressive communication undercuts trust and mutual respect.
“If you want it to be heard, don’t shout it from the rooftops, whisper it in the basement.
- Listen to your people.
People don’t want to follow someone who is only concerned about his or her own agenda. People at lower levels of the organization see things that you don´t. Your goal as a leader shouldn’t be to be the one who calls all the shots.
“The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.
- Learn from mistakes.
Victory teaches you nothing. Identifying what went wrong and then adapting accordingly to it is the only way to success. When you acknowledge mistakes and use them as learning lessons you create a more collaborative learning organization.
“Any man can make mistakes but only an idiot persists in his error.
- Provide direction.
Providing direction is more than just issuing directives and giving instructions to your team. Many leaders tend to think that they provide direction by telling people what needs to be done. True leadership consists of sharing your vision, communicating the plan and showing a supportive behavior.
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
- Zoom In – Zoom Out.
Flying at all altitudes is key to develop deep influence with those around you. It helps understand what is the organization reality in terms of capabilities and therefore, whether the business will or will not be able to execute your strategic thoughts.
“Distance tends to dilute uglyness, making things look prettier than they truly are.
- Put your money where your mouth is.
Your actions must reflect your words. If you believe in what you tell your people, the best way to show your public support to it is by making it happen. Telling people one thing and doing the opposite or simply doing nothing about it, will kill your reputation and their trust in you.
“Don’t make any promises that you can’t keep. Walk the walk before you talk.
- Delegate with confidence.
Delegation is one of the core competencies of leadership. The opposite of effective delegation is micro-management. Spending time closely supervising your employees will have three adverse effects. 1. – Make you ineffective. 2. – Make them ineffective. 3.- People disengagement
“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”
- Lead by example.
Did you know that Baboons look at their pack leaders every 20 seconds? Your actions can have a huge impact on your people. Remember, people only respect those who they trust, so become a role model to your people and you will gain their respect.
“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.”
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