Leadership doesn’t come with a title. Leadership is earned, not granted. So what are some of the characteristics that make you a great leader? Someone people look up to and want to follow (as opposed to having to follow)?
Great leaders create more leaders
I actually read this one on a post on LinkedIn earlier today. And it’s right on target. A leader creates leaders, not followers. That’s how companies become huge and tremendously successful; they are lead by an army of leaders!
They lead by knowledge and capability
Want to lead people? Show your team that you don’t shy away from doing what needs to get done yourself, and that you are not above what you are asking them to do. Don’t sit on a high horse and tell people what to do. Lead by example.
Hire the best there is, and get out of their way
Steve Jobs once gave some brilliant management advice on hiring top people; It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do. And at that same token, Lee Iacocca once said, I hire people brighter than me and get out of their way.
Challenge their creativity
Don’t try to influence their work by hinting – or even spelling out – how you want things done. Explain the challenges you want to deal with, and entice them to find their own solutions using their untampered creativity.
Don’t ask “whose fault it is”
Instead of trying to figure out who made the mistake that caused an issue, focus on finding out how you can prevent the issue from happening again in the future.
Don’t crucify people for making mistakes
If you do, the only thing you will accomplish is getting your people to the point they won’t do any work anymore because they are afraid of making mistakes – and getting crucified for them. Make sure you foster an environment where people can learn from each others mistakes so – as I wrote above – they won’t happen again.
Stand behind them, and take the fall for your people
Let’s face it, things will go wrong. And when they do, a true leader emerges. He/she will take the fall and shield their people. Because that’s their job as a leader. To protect the team and keep it strong and moving forward. Think of it this way; when a company accomplishes something truly magnificent, the CEO gets all the credit. We all know that it wasn’t him/her alone who accomplished that, but nevertheless. So it’s only fair that when things don’t work out so great, the CEO voluntarily takes the debit, right?
There are tons of more traits that make great leadership. Share your thoughts and let us know how you lead your team toward greatness.
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