Many of the most important and influential texts ever written, like Sun Tzu’s the Art of War, Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, or even Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, are about leadership. With hundreds of books written about leadership, it would be easy to understand how to become an effective leader, but unfortunately that simply isn’t the case.Many of the most important and influential texts ever written, like Sun Tzu’s the Art of War, Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, or even Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, are about leadership. With hundreds of books written about leadership, it would be easy to understand how to become an effective leader, but unfortunately that simply isn’t the case.
In most cases, these teams are tasked to operate in remote and changeable environments with limited support or backup (action environments). Leadership of people in these environments requires a different set of skills to that of front line management. These leaders must effectively operate remotely and negotiate the needs of the individual, team, and task within a changeable environment. This has been termed action oriented leadership. Some examples of demonstrations of action oriented leadership include extinguishing a rural fire, locating a missing person, leading a team on an outdoor expedition, or rescuing a person from a potentially hazardous environment.
Always be looking for ways to improve your business and to make it stand out from the competition. Recognize that you don’t know everything and be open to new ideas and new approaches to your business. (For related reading, see: How do I determine my company’s competitive advantage?)
The lesson, says Nohria, is that Churchill and other great leaders are pragmatists who can deal with difficult realities but still have the optimism and courage to act. “Enduring setbacks while maintaining the ability to show others the way to go forward is a true test of leadership,” he asserts.
I used to fight organizational changes with every ounce of my being. (Those who know me would agree–there are a lot of ounces when you’re over 6-feet tall.) I viewed an org chart as my enemy. What I didn’t realize is that org chart changes create opportunities for leaders. We can adapt and grow once we know how things are changing. We get a clearer picture of what the company is trying to do. It’s a cheat sheet for better leadership.
“Leaders are coaches with a passion for developing people, not players,” said Randy Stocklin, co-founder and CEO of One Click Ventures. “They get satisfaction from achieving objects through others. Leaders inspire people through a shared vision and create an environment where people feel and fulfilled.”
Based on a leadership foundation of declared philosophy, purpose, values, beliefs, strengths, and vision, character-based leadership requires an intentional shift in setting an example from the inside out. And that takes a large dose of both resiliency and courage. Let’s explore these notions further.
There are people who are less accomplished in their personal and professional life, and there are people who are more accomplished than us. If you spend time with those who are behind you, your average will go down, and with it, your success.
To become a good leader, you must have all these qualities but if you lack some of these qualities, then you might struggle to make the mark in the world of leadership. You will have to set a good example for others to follow. That is where your commitment, passion, empathy, honesty and integrity come into play. Good communication skills and decision-making capabilities also play a vital role in success and failure of a leader. Lastly, innovation and creative thinking, as well as the futuristic vision, are a couple of key traits which make a leader stand out.
Meaningless things and distractions will always be in your way, especially those easy, usual things you would rather do instead of focusing on new challenging and meaningful projects. Learn to focus on what is the most important. Write a list of time-wasters and hold yourself accountable to not do them.
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Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Rather, it is the ability to clearly state what one expects so that there will be no misunderstandings. A leader must be assertive to get the desired results. Along with assertiveness comes the responsibility to clearly understand what followers expect from their leader.
Leaders are hard to find. They exhibit a unique blend of charisma, vision and character traits that attract people to follow them. They exhibit the other nine characteristics around which this article series was developed as well. But, mostly, as they exhibit these traits and characteristics, people will want to follow them.
As Pathfinders, leaders are expected to continually change or renew that part of the organisation for which they are responsible, working on ways to make things better, more effective, or different. Pathfinding calls for taking followers to a place they would not go by themselves.