Leadership: What It Is and What It Isn’t
Leadership has many dimensions such as inspiration, integrity and accomplishment.
For some, leadership comes naturally. For many others, leadership can be a fearful and puzzling concept and with this, the definition of what true leadership often gets missed.
Before working towards developing leadership, it is best to recognise what leadership isn’t:
- Taking credit – leadership isn’t about taking credit for your team’s efforts; all employees should be praised and given credit for their hard work.
- Abusing power – leadership isn’t about making your team fearful of you; leadership should be renowned for motivation and compassion, not fear.
- Self-obsession – Leadership isn’t about you individually; there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’, ‘leader’ or ‘success’. A team cannot reach its full potential without teamwork.
- Following others – leadership isn’t about repeatedly doing the same thing and copying others; you can’t do the same thing and expect different results.
- Being superior – leadership isn’t about being condescending and belittling your team members; employees should be treated as equals, not inferiors.
The True Meaning of Leadership
Leadership can mean different things to different people but some certain traits and characteristics apply to leadership no matter the context:
- Influence – leadership is about your ability to influence others, not your title or position; your job role doesn’t automatically make you a successful leader.
- Vision – leadership is about aligning employees’ visions, goals, and objectives so everyone is working towards the same aims and is progressing in the same direction.
- Collaboration – leadership is about embracing collaboration, teamwork and diversity; the whole of a team will always be greater than the sum of its parts.
- Communication – leadership is about being able to communicate clearly, efficiently and frequently; cohesive collaboration and leadership relies on successful communication.
- Relationships – leadership is about nurturing trusting, respectful relationships; this is the key to positively influencing your team.
Are You a Real Leader?
Reflecting on your own leadership skills is crucial in leading a successful, motivated team.
(Click here to take a quick quiz that will help determine your leadership strengths and areas for development)
Leading for the Future
A leader’s main job is to think about the future, see the organisation not as it is but as it should be, and empower, motivate and inspire employees to unleash their full potential, ultimately driving the organisation towards a more successful future.