As an entrepreneur and motivational leadership speaker, I am passionate about exploring varying perspectives on how we define leadership and the developmental challenges faced in today’s complex business environment. While doing research for my new book, I have been interviewing senior executives and business leaders from all types of organizations across many different industries. In a previous article, I shared ten perspectives on what makes a great business leader. Due to the popularity of that piece, I decided to share ten more. Here they are!
1 – Love What They Do
“First, you must love what you do and who you do it with. As the CEO of a fast growing company, this is something I am still learning. In order to be a great leader you must be good at empowering others. Being a leader is a privilege, and being able to communicate and inspire a team takes passion, focus and transparency.”
Kristy Dickerson, CEO of STARTplanner
2 – Don’t Take all the Credit
“Leaders excel when they give credit to their team for successful results. When the team gets the credit, the team is naturally motivated to continue to do good work. A great leader will also acknowledge each team member individually for their contributions. A poor leader takes all of the credit for themselves.”
Stephan Popov, CEO of UnlockBoot
3 – Driven by Vision
“Great leaders are driven by a vision that is bigger than their own self interests. They are able to communicate their vision with passion and intensity and in doing so inspire others to take action to help bring that vision to life. Importantly, great leaders do not lead from a place of fear, but from a place of love and unity, certain in the knowledge that we are stronger together.”
Lisa Fitzgerald, Chief Editor at Groomandstyle.com, working on the best beard trimmer
4 – Filled with Passion and Enthusiasm
“For me a great leader in business is someone who inspires by being passionate and enthusiastic about their subject and has the ability to communicate their requirements clearly and fully. Delegating properly is essential. The leader is the person with the whole view of the business and should be focused on delivering the business goals not becoming consumed with day-to-day tasks. Fully briefed and motivated team members should be empowered and trusted to perform the tasks required, not micro-managed. Feedback from team members is extremely important and a great leader should be open to new ideas and ways to improve individual tasks or the business as a whole; although it is important the leader considers this feedback with the history of the business and the future business plan in mind, not allowing themselves to be swayed or distracted from the business goals.”
Dave Chester, owner of Custom Controls, providing Smart Home Automation
5 – Understand Themselves
“A great leader truly understands themselves. They understand what their strengths are and what their weaknesses are. This allows them to clearly see what type of tasks they need to delegate, and what tasks they should assume responsibility for. When they do decide to delegate certain tasks, they also trust their team to get the job done.
Mark Wilson VP, Corporate Communications, Dissertation Writing Services
6 – Cultivate an Environment for Growth
“A great leader is a generous mentor who guides others to transform their life experiences into a foundation for success. Seeing the potential for greatness and knowing the right tools, techniques and tips necessary; they cultivate an environment filled with a web of learning pathways to allow for the growth and development of their entire organization. Focusing on the skills of critical thinking, problem solving, strategic planning and innovation, they advance their companies by identifying and training multiple champions to set the tone for their corporate culture. Understanding that their greatest achievement will come from their ability to leave behind a legacy filled with opportunity for many rising leaders.”
Diane Bleck, CEO Innovation Think Pad, Inspiring Innovation
7 – Extract the Best from Their Team
“Great leaders are three things; Someone who gets the absolute best from their team by remembering that it is less important to have the best idea, than getting to the best idea with their team. Creators of white space for creatively and elegantly addressing challenges and opportunities without mandating solutions. Examples of discipline, effort, creativity, intelligence, and innovation to their teams, inspiring them to achieve their very best.”
Steve Murray, SVP Retail, TicketLiquidator
8 – Lead by Example
“A leader sets the pace for the team, and this does not only apply to the speed of getting a job done but also the drive, focus and commitment. This is done by creating a culture and then getting everyone to follow it and believe in it. A leader must be visible and be involved to set an example and should be communicating the culture to customers, employees and shareholders. Creating an environment of respect and honesty inside as well as outside the organization strengthens a company’s reputation which will ultimately lead to success.”
Randy Shaw, President/CEO of Assemblies Unlimited, Inc.
9 – Inspires Without Intimidation
“A great leader is someone who inspires without the need to intimidate and who has an open mind to ideas from his or her employees. Communication and delegating are also great qualities of being a great leader.”
Christopher Prasad CEO of Jooksms
10 – Doesn’t Dwell on the Present
“When you lead, you have to focus entirely on the future. You have to have a clear vision of where you’re going, and what obstacles are headed your way. Many times, your vision will require sacrifice. You’ll have no choice but the make tough decisions, while accepting full responsibility for the outcome. But a great leader will have confidence in their vision, and will never compromise it in order to save face. Ultimately, a leader needs to be the one to see what others aren’t willing to.”
Robbie Sunday, CEO of Scores and odds
All great perspectives. Now, the question is about the appropriate methodologies to use in developing great leaders. One of a leader’s most important roles is to create more leaders. But a new approach to leadership development is desperately needed, yet most organizations still use the same methods, if any at all.
Why? Mainly because a new way of thinking is required and few have the answers for what the future of leadership development programs should look like. Most are not scalable nor effective due to the time and costs associated with most courses and mentoring opportunities.
True development is not an event but rather an ongoing evolution where the individual must take ownership over the process. The challenge ahead is designing the appropriate development strategy best suited for the company. The only thing I know for sure is that existing methods are great, but those methods alone will not address that needs of current and future business environments.
This article was written by Brent Gleeson from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.