CEOs, bosses, supervisors, coaches, managers, all are expected to be leaders, but being a GREAT leader is a WHOLE LOT more than a title, a position or a responsibility, it’s the ability to void certain death traps, today we will discuss two big ones.
Over the years of working closely with “leaders” of all calibers, I have noticed a patterns of qualities displayed by some, usually the most successful ones, but, wouldn’t you agree that, what makes some very successful is NOT as important as what makes some hit the wall, drive into the ditch and fail at being leaders.
WHO cares about what makes some success stories, let me know what makes others fail, I don’t want to walk around with these nasty traits!
Interestingly enough, a GREAT NUMBER of “leaders” will really NOT LIKE the first point, yet it is probably the most important one!
Let’s dive into this topic with a first quote, one of my all time favorite:
The challenge of leadership is to be strong but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly. Jim Rohn
1- LACK OF HUMILITY
Being a leader, a great leader, REQUIRES humility, and a thick dose of it. Inherent to the position of leadership is the requirement to take decisions that at times requires risks, boldness and uncertainty. These decisions WILL not always be good ones.
A great leader must be able to listen to his advisors, employees, peers, and enemies! A great leader MUST be able to take in counsel, advice and criticism that might not sit well at first. With humility though, a great leader can decipher lessons from the biggest mistakes, the harshest opinions and learn lessons, apply these lessons to progress and improve.
Great leaders are BOLD yet, don’t let their pride get in the way of their ultimate goal, success. They share their success and credit their teams and support, they stay away from greed and alienating arrogance. NO ONE is a great leader alone.
Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan. John F. Kennedy
2- DELEGATING (THE WRONG THINGS)
The best way to illustrate this point is by sharing the thoughts of leaders that are acknowledged as some of the greatest to date.
Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. Peter F. Drucker
The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things. Ronald Reagan
Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. George Patton
Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing. Albert Schweitzer
Bottom line, a great leader takes actions, they are involved and they delegate ALL that can be delegated, surround themselves with people better than they are, they give them trust and power to make decisions, to succeed and to fail, to try to dare to take action and to be held accountable for the good and the bad.
Leaders don’t ever delegate leadership, they delegate tasks, authority and projects.
3- BECOME LAZY
When a leader becomes comfortable in all his ways, he probably lost the drive to lead, the hunger to eat challenges up for breakfast, he lost his edge. He may continue having a very successful business and thrive, but will he inspire? Will he make his followers dream and fight for success? Probably not.
Richard Branson, Jack Welch, Deepak Chopra MD and Bill Gates, the top 4 LinkedIn influencers with the most followers, all three are restless leaders. Hungry to devour challenges and inspire others to better themselves.
NO WONDER they have millions of followers, they truly lead with a sincere zeal that is inspiring.
There is something fascinating about a leader that wants more -not necessarily money or power- but genuinely impact their surroundings for the better, they want to be thought provoking, stimulate creativity, motivate YOU, me and all to better ourselves.
Let’s all keep those leaders in mind as we strive to be true leaders in our own environments.
If you don’t delegate, you get burned out, you become a micro manager not a leader, your team gets claustrophobic, your enthusiasm is sucked dry by tedious tasks, your creativity gets lame, your vision dull and all goes south from there.
If you’re not humble, you WILL be blind sided by your pride, you will never get true feedback and you will only be surrounded by hypocrites that say YES! to all that you say and do, no matter how detrimental it may be.
Finally if you rest on your laurels and get too comfy, you will wilt away and so is your legacy.