Being the Best Leader You Can Be
While the challenges of the past year have been many, the topic of leadership and what it takes to be a leader in the current environment is one that needs further examination. Many organizations have not spent an adequate amount of time examining the minefield of maintaining proper leadership in business today. Leadership in my mind includes: hiring, directing, guiding and developing your team or organization.
While this is too large and exhausting a topic to fully cover in a single blog, I’d like to share some of the characteristics I feel are important to have as a leader. I have gathered these from countless conversations with Owners, CEO’s, President’s, Mangers and staff personnel. Several themes are consistent regardless of the level of individual I hear from.
Whether you are an individual contributor or manage many, take some time to reflect on your leadership style and think about ways to improve in the coming year.
Below are some of the qualities I feel are more important than ever to have as a successful leader:
1) Accept your Role
Employees are looking for leadership and for someone to advise them on how to be most successful in an organization. People are hungry for direction and a leader to communicate this to them. Commit yourself to studying the dynamics of successful leadership as much as you do to the day to day aspects of specific job. If you are a successful leader business success will follow.
2) Be Proactive
Don’t lead from a reactionary mode – anyone can do that. Get ahead of the curve. Understand the difference between tactics and strategy and plan for both the long-term and short-term future. Consistently reassess your plans and strategy to make sure they are still on point and that your goals and direction are still applicable.
3) Drive Change
Your competitors’ leaders are always looking for a way to do things differently. If you aren’t willing to change they will pass right by you. Don’t fear the failure that may come with change. Accept that as part of leading. People aren’t looking for perfection from their leaders, just answers.
4) Be Human
Create commitment from others by recognizing them, communicating honestly and rewarding them.
5) Be a Sponge
I know the information age seems overwhelming at times. However, we must take advantage of it. Learn new business and technical skills. Are you using social media to your advantage??? LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are only the beginning. We must use the resources around us.
We must ask ourselves:
*What are we doing to develop and improve our leadership skills?
*Are we doing enough to help those around us improve their leadership abilities?
*If we are taking some steps, what more can we do?
I hope you have found some items to reflect upon as we approach 2010.
Enjoy the Holidays!