“Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.” – Joanne Ciulla
Leadership is a concept that has been studied, analyzed, and debated for centuries, but what exactly does it mean? It means rallying people towards a common goal and influencing them to achieve extraordinary results. In this post, I will try to answer the most common questions about leadership.
What Leaders Do
Daily, leaders spend time developing strong relationships, creating and clearly communicating a vision, setting strategic direction, prioritizing work, making tough decisions, and influencing others to take action. Most importantly, they coach and develop their employees to achieve their full potential.
What Makes Great Leaders?
One key aspect that sets great leaders apart from the rest is their focus on serving others instead of just themselves. They accomplish these through sponsorship and development. These leaders help their employees climb up the ladder by mentoring and sponsoring them. They do not use power or authority as a tool over others, they use it as a means to empower those around them. With this, they cultivate an environment where trust and respect flourish.
Overall, great leaders possess qualities such as inclusivity, empathy, courage, and humility. These traits help them navigate through challenges effectively while inspiring their teams to rise together toward success.
Furthermore, great leaders are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and lead by example rather than just giving orders from afar. This hands-on approach helps build camaraderie among colleagues while also demonstrating that no task is beneath anyone on the team. To find out if you have what it takes to be a leader, take Brené Brown’s self-assessment.
In the Leader’s brain Michael Platt described the skills great leaders practice such as “relationship building, negotiation, persuasion, strategic thinking, and the habit of always seeking to learn from new perspectives, ideas, and voices. We all learn from the pandemic that leaders need to show flexibility and adaptability to highly uncertain and stressful events to bring calmness and confidence to their employees. It seems easy enough but it’s not, so, before you manage others, you need to learn to manage yourself.
In conclusion, leadership is not just about being in charge; it’s about inspiring others to achieve greatness. Great leaders are people developers and visionaries who communicate their ideas with clarity and conviction, while also being empathetic toward those they lead.
- Brene Brown, Dare to Lead site.
- Michael Platt, Peter Fader. 2021. How neuroscience can transform your leadership. Wharton.
- Peter F. Drucker. 1999. Managing Oneself, Harvard Business Review
- Brent McHugh. 2022. Five keys to decision-making that leaders should have in their toolbox, Forbes.