Would you say your manager is a great leader? Do you aim to emulate them? Do you feel you’d do things differently if you were in that position?
If you are already a leader, do you think you are managing people well?
Becoming a leader is more than just about sticking that plaque on your desk that says “Manager.”
It’s about working every hour of every day to make sure you are growing to become someone your peers and subordinates can look up to and respect.
Great leadership is a work-in-progress. Let’s take a look at the four pillars of leadership to help you rev up your progress.
A true leader realizes that the overall success of their team is their responsibility. This means casting a certain vision, aligning workforce, creating a strategy and establishing goals so that the organization knows where it is headed.
A true leader is accountable. They know they have been in charge since the beginning, and ultimately, it is their responsibility to tackle a poor outcome. They do NOT allow themselves to become entrapped in the blame game; they do not make excuses for any setbacks, even if the slip-up was someone else’s fault or the situation was not in their control.
As a leader is granted a more authoritative position and gains more power, their influence grows.
However, an opportunity such as this should NEVER be seen as a way to try to control people.
Your employees should want to follow you. People are willing to be led—it is simply a matter of finding an individual worthy of following a certain vision.
Here is the thing: relationship development is not just about catching up with your employees so that they don’t feel isolated. It is about you and those under your leadership working in sync.
It’s about consistently walking alongside others, inspiring them to achieve what they never thought was possible.
Most leaders believe it is their job to direct others, point out their mistakes and blind spots, and sit back while others do the work. On the contrary, leadership works the other way around—it focuses on providing service to others by working alongside them to empower them.
The art of service is not mastered naturally by everyone. Practicing organizational servanthood takes some effort by:
- Helping others to follow the organization’s vision. This cannot be achieved without embracing those values yourself.
- Supporting instead of judging. Those below your position will fall back on their work every once in a while, and you need to fill in the gaps by helping them compensate.
- Delegating tasks to employees to leverage their strengths, minimize weaknesses, work as a team and ultimately reach their full potential.
It’s all well and good for you to dedicate yourself to helping and empowering others, but how can you ask others to do what you yourself cannot? In the fast-paced world of business, leaders often forgo balancing their time between their work and themselves.
Take some time out to figure out your strengths and your weaknesses. What helps you become more competent and what slows your progress. Personal development is a crucial element of leadership; people want to follow those who are sure of themselves.
You will not become an effective leader overnight. Each one of these pillars consists of a number of steps toward development. Start off your growth with yourself, proceed on to your team, to your organization—and then beyond.
It’s the philosophy Scott Burrows lives by. As a keynote speaker on change, Burrows identifies with the challenges of leadership, delivering compelling business keynotes in every presentation.
Check out some of his videos to start inspiring yourself toward effective leadership!