This article was first published in the Mercury Bay Informer of 5 July 2017. See www.theinformer.co.nz.
Many of us rely on the work of others to help us achieve our goals, but are we leaders? Simon Sinek says that “leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting and, most importantly, a way of communicating.” Leadership authority does not come from being in control of the salaries or having the word ‘manager’ in your title. It is the influence you exert because of who you are.
A good leader focusses on their organisation’s mission. They are not caught up in tasks and processes. They determine what the organisation’s outcomes should be, set the direction and then inspire the people around them to willingly go the same way, almost as if it was their own idea. The leader’s key question is ‘why are we doing this now’? They let the people they lead determine the answer to the question ‘how are we doing this’?
Integrity, or doing the right thing, as well as excellent communication skills are key to being a great leader. People will follow a leader they can trust. Leaders know their people including the things that motivate them, their skills and talents and where improvement is needed. They provide training and coaching so that everyone in the team can develop into being all that they can be.
Does being a leader sound daunting? The good news is that there are many resources available to assist you. Great leaders do not emerge by accident, they regularly and intentionally invest in their leadership skills.