What defines leadership? Is it a title someone bears? Or is it something more intangible, a sense of respect and loyalty that you feel for someone who you know has your best interests at heart?
Peter Drucker, dynamic leader and management expert, said “All the effective leaders I have encountered—both those I worked with and those I merely watched—knew four simple things: a leader is someone who has followers; popularity is not leadership, results are; leaders are highly visible, they set examples; leadership is not rank, privilege, titles or money, it is responsibility.”
Do you have what it takes to be a leader?
Check out the following tips to see how you measure up:
1. Be invisible. A leader doesn’t stand out in front of the team and take credit for the good things that come about. They are in the background, working to make sure that every team member has the tools and the encouragement necessary to succeed. When credit is due, the leader gives the credit.
2. It’s not about you. Leadership is not a platform to boost your career or ego. Leadership is about the people on your team. Without them, there would be no platform. They built that platform, and it’s now up to you to take care of it.
3. Be successful. You can’t be successful on your own. It takes every member of your team to pull off success. It’s your responsibility to make sure they have what it takes to succeed. This means mentoring to bring out their strengths while making sure they have the opportunity to flourish.
4. Be a servant. When you serve others’ needs, you put them in front of your own needs, wants, and desires. Help them to be the best possible team members that they can be. Your reward is their success.
5. Make connections. If you build relationships with your team members that are based on common interests, desires, and goals, you lead from a position of strength because working together in community is stronger than working separately.
6. Care about each individual personally. Leadership is messy. You’re dealing with people and emotions usually come into play. Logic and facts have their place, but emotions drive our deeper needs. Tap into your team’s emotions and show them that you care deeply.
7. Lead by example. Living your values and moral standards establishes you as trustworthy and worthy of respect. Roll up your sleeves and get down in the dirt and muck with your employees. No one is above it all, especially a vibrant leader.
8. Protect your team. Your employees need to know you “have their back.” Stand up for them. Everyone has enough going on in his or her own world without having to take it at work, too. Protect your team from gossip, manipulation, and lies.
9. It doesn’t matter who’s right. At the end of the day, only outcomes count. Show your team that everyone’s input is valuable because as a team, they’re stronger than any one individual, no matter who has the best ideas.
Leadership is much more about who you are than what you do. By leading with vision and compassion, you can build a team that will weather any storm, whether it’s economic downturns, lagging sales, or corporate reorganisations.
By incorporating the above tips into your leadership style, you can lead your team anywhere—and they’ll be successful along the way.
About the Author: Michelle is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and coach and one of Australia’s most engaging and thought provoking experts on creativity, culture and leadership. She helps business leaders to get real results from culture and leadership that effect the bottom line. Please follow on Pulse and connect with Michelle through LinkedIn.