Leadership for Great Leaders
Leadership is a skill that some people are born with. The history books are filled with tales of great leaders who have inspired nations, lead their men to victory, and achieved the impossible in the face of great obstacles. But whilst leadership is a skill that is often an innate talent, it is also a skill that can be learnt by those who are keen to progress their professional and personal life to the next level.
What makes a great leader?
If you ask a random selection of passers by what makes a great leader, you will probably receive a wide selection of answers. However, there are some qualities that are universal to all great leaders, and by taking note of these essential skills, you can learn to be someone whom other people respect and look up to, both at work and in your personal life.
Strategic thinking. To be a great leader, you have to be several steps ahead of the competition. It is not enough to make up the rules as you go along-you need to be able to think forward and plan ahead for the potential problems that might lie before you. By developing reliable contingency plans, a good leader can deal with any problems as they arise.
Be passionate about your vision! If you want people to follow you into the abyss, you need to make them believe that it is the only way forward and to accept anything less is to sell out. Great leaders are truly inspirational. They can inspire their employees with the same enthusiasm for the vision, which is what drives the company forward.
Be a great manager. This might seem obvious, but it is a skill that is often overlooked by many people. If you fail to manage your team well, no matter how inspirational your vision is, you are doomed to failure. Good management is all about managing the numbers: knowing how many people it takes to achieve a task, what the costs are, how much revenue was earned, etc. Genghis Khan was a great leader. Imagine how different the history books might have been if he has miscalculated how many men it would take to conquer Southeast Asia?
Assemble a quality team. Good leaders surround themselves with quality people. A good leader knows he cannot be everywhere at once, so he relies on his deputies to deal with some of the tasks. A good leader always knows when to cut the dead wood-if someone’s performance becomes an issue tough decisions are not shied away from. Can you imagine Genghis Khan accepting poor team leaders? Exactly.
Leadership is about keeping the employees happy. If employees are unhappy with their working conditions, they are unlikely to put themselves out for their leader. A good leader will make sure that employee needs are satisfied because he knows that happy employees are productive employees.
Communication. Leadership revolves around excellent communication. Many managers think they can manage from a distance. They leave their employees to get on with the job and only appear when things begin to go wrong. However, this is not the mark of a great leader. Leadership is about maintaining regular communication about all aspects of the employee’s job. From discussing planned changes to relaying details about expected future performance, a great leader is always communicating. However, shouting angrily across the boardroom probably does not count.
Feedback is a mark of a great leader. Leadership skills involve using feedback to reinforce the vision, values, and company strategy. Positive feedback can help to motivate employee morale during difficult periods.
A good leader is a combination of many factors. Great leaders usually have great personal charisma and the ability to inspire their employees, but fundamental to these skills is a solid base in good management.
Genghis Khan was a great leader for many reasons, not least his propensity for quashing rebellion with genocide, but if he had failed to unite the Mongol tribes, he would never have been able to conquer great swathes of Eurasia and China. Whilst decimating your rivals in interesting ways is probably not recommended as good business practice, the underlying principles of his leadership are still applicable today.
We can show you the difference between managing your staff and leading your staff with our training. Click the link to visit the course.