“True leaders always practice the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others, Responsibility for all their actions” – Anonymous
Let’s face it, we live in a world that’s changing ever so fast, that we can hardly keep up. Technology advances have become a norm and something we have become accustomed to and in that same manner must adapt to the changing trends of leadership. We live in a very competitive and diverse world, and a world in which a large portion of the population have become entrepreneurs, it’s become a popular career choice among many, especially women. Many who never thought they would rise to the top with a simple idea. So many schools and organizations promote entrepreneurship and the importance of being a successful leader.
The purpose of this blog post is to focus on what it means to be a true leader, what leadership is, and how to be an effective leader which drives the overall success of any start-up, small business or any other type of organization. The definition of a leader as per Google is “the action of leading a group of people or organization”. While that may be the textbook definition, the “real” and simple definition is your ability to see a problem and being part of the solution, as a team.
Often we confuse the word “leader” and “leadership” as titles and are used incorrectly to describe people who are actually managing and managers. This person may be the top performing employee and is very good at their role but doesn’t necessarily make them an effective leader. A leader does not manage people. Today, we depend heavily on leaders in the form of coaches and mentors, whether they are male or female, or if they are at the start of their career or near retirement. Good authentic leaders help develop other good authentic leaders. It’s important that we separate the meaning and understand the differences between a manager and a leader. Leaders or “good” leaders are those individuals who inspire, motivate, mentor and direct an idea and/or goal.
Successful leaders practice and promote the following behaviours:
- They are enthusiastic and passionate that is contagious. You show passion and drive to do more and not give up without a fight.
- Show integrity always.
- They listen.
- They are loyal to their team members and to the brand. They ensure all employees have the proper training and resources and always stand up them during a crisis, if they are facing a conflict or when they need help or support the most.
- They empower – they become role models, someone to look to, learn from and thrive with.
Effective leaders invest their time into getting to know their team and themselves. They take the time to understand everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. They identify who thrives where and provide tools and resources for areas where they may need your support to grow. You understand what their individual career goals are, what motivates them, and understand what value they bring to the group.
Leaders do not order their workers around, talk down to them, manipulate, discourage, or take advantage of vulnerable situations. They, in fact, take the initiative and put trust into their employees to perform efficiently and independently. You inspire them to share your vision and create an environment of positive culture, a safe space, a place to brainstorm, think outside the box, be creative, innovative, and bring value to the overall goal and vision. It’s through supportive leaders that a company or organization finds the most value.
Leaders maintain a positive attitude; they do not let emotions affect their reactions especially in a tough situation. Business outcomes can vary, clients come and go, deals can be made or broken regardless, leaders must stay strong, keep their head up and guide their team through the challenges and encourage positive attitude along the way. This is done without pride standing in the way. A great leader inspires other great leaders through this continuous changing and disruption business world.
Written by: Geeta Gosain