What makes a leader a good leader?
If you are going to be successful in business, you will need to be a good leader. What makes a leader good? What do we want from our leaders? What do we expect from our leaders?
That’s a lot of questions.
I look back over my life and I can pick out a few people who were really good leaders.
Some of these people were teachers and some were business people but, they were people who coached me. They were the mentors who left a last impression on me and my life. They were the ones who believed in me. But they didn’t just
believe in me, the saw the potential that was in me. They encouraged me to find that person inside, that I could be. They were there to help me to be that person.
They were the people who were willing to teach me what to and how to best get it done. They knew where I want to go and they were willing to help me to get there. Being a good teacher is critical to being a good leader. You need to be able to explain complex things in simple to understand terms. It needs to be simple enough so anyone can understand them.
They were able to create an atmosphere that was conducive to working as a team. I listened to them and learned from
them but they were also willing to listen to me. These people knew that I would certainly have my style of working and that was fine with them.
They backed away and allowed me to accomplish these things for myself. A leader knows that people need to do things
on their own. They need to learn how to do them for themselves. A leader knows that there will be many mistakes made along the way. The best teacher is experience. You will learn more from your mistakes than you will from the successes you have.
A good leader will take these mistakes, not as failures, but as times to teach and guide. This is the heart of being a mentor.
Everyone needs to “learn to fish,” for themselves!
They made sure that I set goals for myself and a time limit on them to get them done. They made sure I stayed on task. They were there for me if I had problems with the tasks at hand. I knew that I was on my own but, I was never alone.
They held me accountable. If I set a goal to be accomplished in a certain amount of time, they were on the phone to ask how I was doing. When time was up, they were right there again to make sure that it was done, completely. When I was done with a task they were also there to recognize the accomplishment and help me celebrate.
A good leader is someone brings out the best in those around them.
A good leader is also someone who is still working toward their own goals. They may have accomplished many of their goals but they are always setting new goals for themselves. They lead by example.
Think back on those people who coached you to success. Those are the characteristics that you should try to emulate.
I’m sure there are people who guided you on your journey as well.
Leadership can be difficult
Being a good leader is not all “rah rah” stuff. There are difficult decisions that will probably need to be made. When some in your group is not accomplishing the tasks that they have set for themselves. A real leader will notice and talk about any problems that they are having.
There may come a time when you will have people who are not working out. They want to accomplish things but they
are unwilling or unable to get them done. There may be people who will demand too much of your time but aren’t doing what you ask of them. This is one of the tough decisions that need to be made. You may have to tell them that you do not have the time to give, if they are not actually going to be working towards their own goals.
The best way to take care of problems like this is to give them a task and tell them to call you when they are done. If and when they finish the task they will call. If they don’t do it, they will stop asking for your time.
You will be a good leader! Then the next thing is to be to teach or help others to be leaders!
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