The success of a business or organization many times comes down to the quality of their leaders. Even the best concepts will fail if there are not enough people to direct the energy to the right places. So you may ask, what makes a great leader? The answer to this question is multi-facetted, and I will be hitting on a few ‘Key Ingredients’ today. The mere fact that you are taking the time to read this is a testament to your ability and likeliness to be a great leader.
Much of the drive and energy that makes someone able to move an organization forward comes from that individual’s desire to make something better than it was. Drive cannot be taught. It is a result of a person taking ownership of their part in the puzzle. It is a result of a person’s belief / commitment to the cause. When a person has that
commitment, they become more willing to invest time and effort needed into building something up. It is no different than owning a home or a car. You have a desire to make it better…make it your own. And on the flip side of this statement, if a person does not have that commitment, a long look in the mirror will be needed to determine if they are doing the right thing by hanging on to their leadership position. Second only to one’s own drive and belief in the organization is a person’s ability to keep communication flowing (both up and down). And this requires a certain level of finesse. I say that because, as an organization, the message MUST be cohesive and pertinent. This puts a burden of responsibility on the leaders at the top to craft the message carefully. It also puts a burden on ALL leaders to pass that message along as it was written. An organization will not flourish if each leader has their own message. It is important to say, as a leader, there are times that you may not completely agree with the message. We are all individuals. We each have our own personal agenda. When you disagree with the message or direction, it is your responsibility to bring it up with the other leaders. This must be done in closed session and with open minds on all sides. But when it comes to leading a Group, we need to be able to set that aside and give our people the Group’s message, not our own. If, in fact, you have the commitment to the organization, it SHOULD be important to you to spread the message for the organization. That is a big part of making it grow.
A big part of a great leader is one’s ability to shed the fear of failure. I hate to be the one to tell you, we ALL fail. It’s what you do with that failure that determines your ability to lead. Any failure is a lesson. It cannot be a deterrent to continue (or to try in the first place). We, as leaders, must be strong and confident enough to take a miss and turn it into a hit. And the worst thing a leader can do is avoid taking on new ideas for fear they will fail. If that was what was driving this Country, we would never have gotten to where we are now. That ability to overcome fear of failure is what fuels innovation. Take all lessons learned from a failure and turn them into a win!!! We all have new ideas, we need to run with them.
This is a very short list of ingredients that make a good leader. Books have been written on this topic. I ask you all to take a look at yourself as a leader. Do you have commitment to the cause? Do you keep the message flowing? Are you willing to learn from your mistakes and make them successes? I could go on for some time on this topic. The points I make here are what I feel need to be addressed RIGHT HERE / RIGHT NOW. Walk to your mirror and ask yourself these questions. The BEST thing a leader can do is evaluate yourself on a regular basis. Lifelong learning…
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