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Breaking with tradition, Judge Rakoff rebuffed the SEC’s bid to let Citigroup settle charges of securities violations without admitting wrongdoing. The case went to the heart of the financial crisis, he said, and the public deserved to know more. An appeals court still deliberates, but the bold stand, in our view, is an act of leadership.
Show your commitment to your team’s betterment. For your organization to grow, everyone has to get better. This has nothing to do with just you being great — you have to make your team great. Ideally, when the task is done the team will say, “We did it!”, not you exclaiming, “I did it!” It’s about the whole of the group, not the one.
Become passionate. Would you look to someone for guidance and leadership if they did not truly care about the goals of the group? Of course not! Great leaders are not just focused on getting group members to finish tasks; they have a genuine passion and enthusiasm for the projects they work on. Start by thinking of different ways that you can express your passion. Let people know that care about their progress. When one person shares something with the rest of the group, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate such contributions.
You have to know where your destination is before you can map out a plan to get there. To improve your leadership skills, first set specific life goals with appropriate timelines. Design your goals by moving backwards from the end of your life to the present week. Then, formulate action plans you can commit to that will get you to where you want to be.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, has said that one of the key elements of being a good business leader is the capacity to tell the hard truths. “Leaders struggle with this problem all the time,” says David Thomas. “From a leadership point of view, you always want to move toward telling the hard truths and helping people cope with the realities of change. But as a manager, you might be more inclined to minimize the complexity of a situation so things can run smoothly for as long as possible. It’s often a judgment call.”
The skills outlined here are perhaps the most important, but others may also be helpful. The best leaders know that they still have much to learn, and continue to try to develop a wide range of skills all the time.
A commanding leader can make decisions quickly. They don’t need to go through any discussions to come up with a decision most of the time. This saves time and is helpful especially during a crisis. Commanding leaders are often respected and are rarely challenged by the team.
Practise what you preach. You must believe, in order for people to follow and buy into your vision. Show you are passionate, enthusiastic and proud. People spend a large part of their lives at work, and having a leader who is genuinely excited about the future of the company is hugely motivating and inspiring.
The first woman to head the 212-year-old company (DD), Kullman took over as a dismal 2009 began and by year-end had publicly vowed to raise earnings over three years at a 20% annual compound rate. She did 24%, as she accelerated a major strategic change — “and nobody likes change,” says a colleague — that downplayed chemicals and positioned agriculture and nutrition to power DuPont’s third century.
Even in the worst situations such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figure out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.
Leaders solve a coordination problem. Thus, a ‘price leader’ may be a small firm but if it is considered to have a good understanding of the market, then its actions are followed by other firms in the industry and this behaviour may not trigger alarm bells for Competition Policy. A ‘dominant firm’ which is the price leader, on the other hand, is more likely to be manipulating prices for a strategic purpose so as to increase or exploit market power.
In order to grow as a successful leader, pace-setters should ask for team members’ feedback often and give them space to work. Instead of focusing on deadlines, they should focus on the process of reaching quality work.
Once you’ve committed yourself to achieving your dream, the world will start helping you achieve it. But this only happens if your mind is open to see and experience this: “When you carry your own dream within, you too will be able to touch the hearts and minds of the people around you in much the same way; and it is a truly wonderful and uplifting experience when you find out for yourself that the universe does indeed help you to achieve your goal.”