As the owner or chief executive in your company, how much time do you spend on leading and not just managing? If your goal is to create a growing, profitable business that can work without you, strong leadership is a must.
Author William Arthur Ward once wrote, â€œFlatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I many not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you.â€ Leaders come in all shapes, sizes and from all ways of life, but they do have common characteristics.
1. They create a vision and understand that true change is driven by emotion, not logic. In other words, they transform the mundane into a passion that their team can rally around. What benefit do you create for your customers? Don’t think you have one? Here are some examples: bankers and financial planners make dreams come true, communications companies educate and inspire, consultants and recruiters create a livelihood for workers, photographers preserve memories. What noble cause does your company provide?
2. Leaders know how to link vision and action. It’s not just about a vision; it’s about making that vision come alive. They have a unique way of separating the important from the interesting and then focusing on one of those things.
3. Leaders create an environment of accountability. Not only do great leaders demand accountability of themselves, they demand it of their team. Excuses are not allowed.
4. Leaders have a strong character and aren’t swayed by what’s easy or popular. When faced with a challenge, they do what is right, not what is easy.
5. You are not a leader unless you are willing to make the tough decision. Sure it is easier to say “yes”, than “no”. Charles Nielsen once said, “When, against one’s will, one is pressured into making a hurried decision, the best answer is always ‘No,’ because ‘No’ is more easily changed to ‘Yes’ than ‘Yes’ is changed to ‘No’.” As a leader, it is more important to make the right decision than the easy decision.
6. Leaders inspire through their everyday actions and words. You don’t need long speeches or memos to inspire. Lincoln’s, “Gettysburg Address” was less than three minutes long and Churchill’s famous, “Blood, Sweat and Tears” speech was two and a half minutes long. Words are important, but actions inspire even more. Mother Teresa’s credo was, “Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier.”
7. Leaders realize that no one, including themselves, is indispensible. Once you become bigger than the cause, you cease to lead. Translated into business, teach your team to do things better than you ever could and you will both benefit.
Leadership doesnâ€™t happen overnight, but a mentor, like me, can help you understand how to take the first steps and then work with you as you transform your management skills into leadership skills.
Practice your leadership skills!
This will benefit you, your family, your team and your customers.
Brad Sugars founded the brand Action International in 1993 when he realized there was a disconnect between business advice and implementation. The answer was Action! Brad Sugars created a business coaching company so that business owners throughout the world can realize their goals in business. Today the company is known as ActionCOACH. To learn more about business, visit Brad Sugars Review blog!