Anyone can be a leader at any level, in any organization, even without a leadership “title”. This includes work, home life, charitable organizations, church groups, clubs, etc. Conversely, just because a person has a leadership “title”, doesn’t mean they’re a good leader i.e.; Manager, VP, Sr. Analyst, President, Father, Mother, Deacon, Board Member, School Trip Chaperone, etc. It takes certain characteristics to lead. Like the chameleon, leaders must see and adjust to different situations in order to reach goals. They work with the environment, not against it. In order to do this, they’ve got to have the right mindset. Let’s call it A+ leadership, for everybody.
Actuality – A leader’s ability to live in the truth of the moment. If a person isn’t honest with themselves or the situation, they will never grow. How can you fix what’s broken if you don’t acknowledge it? At times, it is necessary for a good leader to look in the mirror by asking others about their performance. If a person is open to constructive feedback, that person has the ability to become a great leader. If a person gets defensive and makes excuses for negative feedback, people will lose respect for them and they will lose their ability to influence.
Altruism – The selfless pursuit of the well-being of others. When a person cares only about their own advancement or reputation at the expense of others, that’s not leadership. That’s called fear. Leaders who are successful are those who work to promote others. A true leader is a servant to his or her team. Are you listening to your team? More importantly, are you responding? Acting in this manner can also work to eliminate arrogance or significance that may get in the way of team success. Servant leadership at its best.
Anticipation – A leader’s sixth sense. It’s how good leaders stop small problems from becoming major issues. A good way to do this is to communicate often with team members and pay attention to external influences. Ensure your information is coming from a dependable source. Nothing wrong with some old fashioned “trust but verify”.
Acceptance – The serenity prayer is wise. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” The stress of worrying about things beyond our control can diminish our physiological quality of life.
Adaptation & Agility– It’s not always going to work the same way tomorrow as it did yesterday. As the environment changes, you must change. The key is maintaining integrity, morals and a sense of purpose. If you find yourself compromising your core values, eventually you will lose influence.
Administration – Through sharing a vision, gaining alignment, execution and follow up to ensure objectives are being met, a leader ensures organizational success.
A+ leadership works to build trust.
These are just some of the ways people can ensure their success as a leader, and by extension, ensure the success of the organization and its contributing members. It’s all about influence. If a leader’s influence comes mainly from the “title” and not “trust”, it won’t last.