“You need the humility to remind yourself that you’ve got to get better at everything you do,” insisted Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos. “I don’t know about you, but I’m never done growing my company or myself.”
Charter for Compassion provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.
Whether in fact a person is born a leader or develops skills and abilities to become a leader is open for debate. There are some clear characteristics that are found in good leaders. These qualities can be developed or may be naturally part of their personality. Let us explore them further.
Becoming a leader does not mean becoming someone you fundamentally are not. We all have our idea of what the “leader” straight from central casting looks and acts like, and while that type might be great for movies, it isn’t universal in the real world. Not even close. The “right” leader is right for the specific place, time, and situation in which he or she is placed, and not necessarily for all places, times, and situations. Someone may, for example, be the perfect person to lead a jury in a criminal or civil trial, while being completely wrong for leading a busy café during lunch hour, and vice versa.
There are a number of things that leaders can do to ensure that they are leading “with purpose”. The first is to make sure that you know what the overall organisational vision is or, if you’re in a senior role, that you have developed and disseminated a meaningful vision. Each leader will then need to think about how that vision can be made relevant to their team. Regular discussions about vision and values are important for people to see how their work fits in and contributes.
Non-profit Ushahidi has helped seed the fast-growing East African tech industry and reimagined what technology can do. Witness its crowdsourced mapping platform, which helps communities track everything from violence to floods.
Self-Direction. You’re able to direct yourself effectively and powerfully. You know how to get things done, how to organize tasks and how to avoid procrastination. You know how to generate energy for projects, to calm yourself when angered. You can make decisions quickly when necessary, but can also slow to consider all the options on the table.
People learn by doing, and letting staff work things out for themselves and make their own mistakes is part of growing as a person and an employee. Times may be tough and change may be complex to cope with, but if the boss wants maximum energy behind the mission then don’t wrap them in cotton wool and don’t let them hide behind processes. The “computer says no” culture is holding back many large organisations.
Jump up ^ Matthews, Michael D.; Eid, Jarle; Kelly, Dennis; Bailey, Jennifer K. S.; Peterson, Christopher. “Character strengths and virtues of developing military leaders: An international comparison”. Military Psychology. 18 (Suppl): S57–S68. doi:10.1207/s15327876mp1803s_5.
A team is normally comprised of a number of team members and a team leader. Needless to say, the onus of success lies on the shoulders of the entire team, but the team leader bears most of the burden.
Unfortunately, commanding leaders often inhibit critical thinking and demoralize employees’ team spirit as their opinions are not valued under such leadership. Team members are there for execution; they do what they’re told, and only the commanding leader gets to drive a decision forward.
Although Steve Jobs is known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members – like Tim Cook – Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even while he had to be absent for extended periods of time.
Individuals with high emotional intelligence have increased ability to understand and relate to people. They have skills in communicating and decoding emotions and they deal with others wisely and effectively. Such people communicate their ideas in more robust ways, are better able to read the politics of a situation, are less likely to lose control of their emotions, are less likely to be inappropriately angry or critical, and in consequence are more likely to emerge as leaders.
Personal Story: There’s a local Mexican restaurant that I love, not only because the food is awesome, but I love how it’s run. The owner brings food/drinks to customers, answers the phone and everything in between. He even makes sure to say hello to every person that comes into his door, even with over 100 packed tables. Now that’s an engaged leader!
Good leaders tend to be extremely good listeners, able to listen actively and elicit information by good questioning. They are also likely to show high levels of assertiveness, which enables them to make their point without aggression, but firmly. They know how to build rapport quickly and effectively, to develop good, strong relationships with others, whether peers or subordinates. These skills come together to help to build that quality of ‘brightness’ which makes people want to follow a leader.
Start with a positive and fresh mind. Imagine becoming successful. Einstein said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. The more vividly and accurately you imagine your success, the easier it will be for the rest of yourself to follow through. The same way engineers first imagine a bridge and then build it, you can be the engineer of your success, too.
In this situation, exerting influence and taking control can be a challenge. Here are tips on how to be a do-it-yourself leader.When your manager hands over the reins of a project to you, it’s a sure sign your talent and hard work have not gone unnoticed. Here’s the chance to highlight your managerial and leadership skills. But what if you’re put in charge without being given formal authority?
Means treat all people and all problems, according to the principles of Reason. Treat everyone reasonably. If you don’t treat people reasonably then, you will be treating them unreasonably. And nobody will, for very long, follow a person who treats them unreasonably.
The purpose of a leader is to achieve a goal by inspiring the best performance from the rest of the team. In order to be a good leader you must be able to get the best performance from others. And you would probably agree, before you can get the best performance from others, you must first be able to get the best performance from yourself.
“Real leadership is when everyone else feels in charge,” Bono tells Fortune. And he has lived by this maxim. He helped persuade global leaders to write off debt owed by the poorest countries and encouraged the Bush administration and others to vastly increase AIDS relief. Now, through his ONE and (RED) campaigns, he is enlisting major companies and millions of people to combat AIDS, poverty, and preventable diseases.
In organisational settings, we often hear that levels of trust in leaders are at an all-time low in the wake of the financial crisis, a series of corporate scandals, and the ongoing challenges faced by employees in securing “good work”. Although we inevitably hear most about high-profile cases of failure, leadership is not a process that just takes place at the top of the hierarchy. If we want to know about leadership and how it works in an organisational setting, we also need to look at how leadership behaviours and attitudes are diffused throughout the whole organisation.