After 15 years of house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi was voted state counsellor in Myanmar – one of the highest-profile and most powerful positions in the country. She became a symbol of peaceful resistance when she attempted to bring democracy to her country.5 In the early years of her detention, she was often in solitary confinement. Suu Kyi is a perfect example of committed and belief-driven leadership, which she openly demonstrated during her many years of house arrest.
Democratic leadership is good for boosting team morale and improving relationships between leaders and members. An open environment encourages a constant stream of communication and idea exchange. For example, the idea of Gmail was brought to Google decision-makers by a lower-ranking staffer, as was the idea of AdWords. AdWords is a huge revenue driver for Google and it didn’t necessarily begin at the absolute top ranks, but the top ranks weren’t threatened when a new idea came about.
In order to be a truly effective leader, you need to take stock of your personal characteristics and skill sets and assess your strengths and weaknesses. Further education in leadership and management coupled with continued professional development of your skills are key. In this age of digital enlightenment and rapidly evolving workplaces, the definition of effective leadership is constantly evolving and to keep up, leaders need to continuously ask questions of themselves.
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.
Managers, however, dance on a fault line – they either have the behaviours that inspire followers to do what they otherwise may not be willing to do, and without creating any psychological distress, or they do not and the costs will escalate and ripple for a long time
They communicate, not just the overall direction, but any information their followers need to successfully and skillfully carry out their responsibilities. They recognize that for their followers to perform most effectively they need to understand the big picture. They also know that their job is to remove barriers that may have a negative impact on the employees’ success—not to micromanage how the employees accomplish their work.
Make time for family every week. Whether it’s for cooking an Italian meal, watching a scary movie, or just having family board game night, it’s important to carve out quality time for all the members of your family.
In short, what makes a good leader isn’t so much a series of predefined core competencies, but more about a personal attitude that can be developed to guide you towards the missing competencies and help you on your leadership journey!
Don’t let failure define you. When asked about his 10,000 failed attempts to develop a storage battery, the prolific American inventor Thomas Edison responded: “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
What comes to mind when you think of fabric that is resilient? Something that is flexible yet durable? Elastic yet tough? Similarly, a resilient leader needs to strike a balance between being flexible and durable; in other words, between pathfinding and stewardship.
4. Do your fair share. Even though you’re the project leader, you still have to do some of the heavy lifting. Others will notice if you aren’t pitching in or continually push off unexpected and last-minute problems to someone else. You’ll exert the most influence when others see you working as hard – if not harder – than they are.
With the results of Atman’s psychometric test, it will be easy to identify those individuals who are natural-born leaders, or who have the capacity to become good leaders. The results will also allow you to clearly identify which specific areas need improvement in order to further develop the qualities of a good leader.
Leader-ryhmät ovat oiva kunnille ja maakunnille asukkaiden osallisuuden edistämisessä. Maaseutualueiden ja pienten kaupunkien asukkaat, joita on noin puolet suomalaisista, voivat osallistua oman alueensa kehittämiseen Leader-toiminnan kautta. Yhdistykset, asukkaat ja …
To develop your leadership skills, it’s best to pinpoint the areas that you feel you are not ‘up to par’ with, and strengthen them. To make this easy for you, I have a complete guide on all the most important leadership traits categorized into three areas:
The “how to be a better leader” test: Ask five employees what the vision and mission of your company is. If you receive blank stares or five different answers, you may be a boss. To be a better leader, it may be worthwhile to home in on your company’s vision and mission, and begin creating a company culture that reflects those values.
Further, leaders people follow are accountable and trustworthy. If progress towards accomplishing the goals ceases, the leader takes responsibility to analyze the problem—he doesn’t search for people to blame.
The Law of Respect states that people naturally respect and follow leaders who rank higher than them on the leadership scale. So, if you’re a 7, you’ll be the leader in a room of 6s and below but as soon as an 8 walks in, you’ll look to them.
No matter who you are, it’s always helpful when you have someone to look up to who is experienced with strong leadership capabilities. It makes it a lot easier to see someone perform in action than living by words on paper.
Transformational leaders also provide inspirational motivation to encourage their followers to get into action. Of course, being inspirational isn’t always easy. Fortunately, you don’t need motivational speeches to rouse your group members.
A leader needs to understand change management in order to lead an organisation through the process. For example, change management requires the creation and communication of a compelling vision. It also requires the change to be driven forward firmly, and leadership to make it ‘stick’ if the organisation is not to revert within a very short period.
All great leaders are great communicators. That means the ability to transfer the content of your mind into the minds of others. With no error. With no confusion. With complete understanding and accuracy. Leaders train themselves to become master communicators.
Leadership also includes looking for leadership potential in others. By developing leadership skills within your team, you create an environment where you can continue success in the long term. And that’s a true measure of great leadership.
As a Level 5 Leader, you don’t believe you are perfect. You must, however, believe in yourself, and be convinced that you have what it takes to succeed and that you can get better. You are always looking for new ways to develop your leadership qualities and take your game to the next level.
In every strategic planning session that I have conducted for large and small corporations, the first value that all the gathered executives agree upon for their company is integrity. They all agree on the importance of complete honesty in everything they do, both internally and externally.
There is little point having a leader incapable of making a decision, even if it turns out to be the wrong one. Being indecisive can undermine confidence and trust. Leaders must lead, take a chance and make a decision based on the facts to hand. This is the core skill of any successful leader. Gordon Brown as prime minister lost much of the confidence of his close allies when he failed to decide to call a general election in 2007 that he could have won with ease. A lack of decision making and clarity of purpose will lead to a rapid loss of support and credibility.
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.
While it is important to be personally organised and motivated as a leader—and see our pages on Time Management and Self-Motivation for more about these areas—it is perhaps even more important to be able to plan and deliver for the organisation.