Leadership – the art of effectively guiding people in a common direction to achieve an identified goal.
Every business, large or small, has identified goals and strategies which must be achieved to be successful. Regardless of what those goals are, or how you define success, or whether you are the owner, executive or manager or a front-line employee your leadership skill is a critical component if you want to guide people you work with toward a specific goal.
Interestingly enough, just because a person is in a leadership position within an organization doesn’t mean they are a good or effective leader. Alternatively, just because an employee isn’t a manager doesn’t mean they lack leadership abilities, or are unable to have a significant impact on the success of your business to achieve it’s goals.
Every good leader has the unique ability to connect with others and can influence their thinking and actions in a way that they become engaged in working toward a specific goal. There are numerous ways a leader can connect and guide
1. Leaders Use Skill and Knowledge
Leaders have unique skills in interacting with people. We often think of leaders as people who have years of experience. Not every effective leader has a lifetime of experience under their belt. Some great leaders are young and inexperienced in their field yet have significant skills at moving people from point a to point b.
2. Leaders are Accountable
When you accept a leadership role, you also accept the accountability of achieving the specific outcome. Leaders don’t work in isolation, instead they work with a team to get the work accomplished. Every member of the team has a role, duties and accountabilities, but the ultimate accountability rests with the leader.
When members of the team fail to perform, the leader is responsible for identifying and resolving the challenge. This may result from a poor fit between the job requirements and the skill of the employee, a lack of understanding by team members on how each role fits in the big picture, a absence of the right tools (or information) to get the job done right. Once the problem is identified, the leader will execute the solution.
3. Leaders Lead by Example
A common statement but not always followed by many business “leaders”. Too often, I observe people in managerial or executive positions setting expectations and outcomes for employees and while they fail to follow these same expectations and outcomes. Leading by example means you are as engaged and committed to the successful outcome as you want your team to be. You follow-through, you remain visible and recognize success and challenges and offer feedback, encouragement and contribute ideas.
What does leadership mean to you?