There are several thousand books and several million articles on leadership. How would you overcome information overload? In the simplest possible terms, what makes a good leader?
After closely observing hundreds of leaders in India and abroad, and reading several books, journals, and research papers, in my 40 years of professional journey, I have been struck by 4 essential components of leadership which appear to be universal.
Leadership starts with Credibility. Credibility comes from past achievements and the character of a person. No one wants to listen to a person who can claim only modest past achievements or whose reputation is dubious. A person must create a consistent track record of successes, and develop a reputation of trustworthiness, authenticity, fairness, kindness, and inclusivity. Remember, credibility precedes you!
Next is Influencing skills. Without the ability to influence, a person cannot rise to a leadership position. The status quo can be changed by influencing skills, teams can be aligned and mobilized for the highest level of performance by influencing ability. Leading change requires influencing. Decision-making happens through influence.
Next is Relationship-building ability. Many people in high positions are poor in relationship-building ability. While these people may have reached high positions, some of them stagnate without a business network and a coalition of well-wishers, some of them are unpopular, and some instill fear. Good relationship-building ability strengthens influencing ability and boosts credibility.
Finally, Learning ability. In today’s fast-changing VUCA world, a person must be humble and a fast learner. Lack of humility shuts the door to learning. There is no age limit for learning. Access to learning has increased multi-fold. You learn by seeking feedback about yourself! Executives should apply their learning at their workplace with passion and perseverance.
I believe that, if a person pays attention to only these 4 things, she/he would be well on their way to developing solid leadership qualities and make an Impact that is noticeable. Remember, leadership is benign without making a positive impact! Positive impact enhances your Credibility!
Eu Matter Consulting provides individual and group leadership coaching to leaders and helps organizations establish leadership development program that works!
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