It’s the start 2019 and what better time to think about what it takes to be a good leader than now?
Over the course of 2018, I had a number of experiences that got me thinking about what modern leaders should look like and what they should aspire to be.
Today, we have so many examples of leaders who are letting people down – it’s understandable that we’re going into the new year with a lack of trust in our leaders.
For me, the solution to addressing these issues is not about adding more locks to the doors. It’s about building leaders who are honest and have respect for the responsibilities they have been given. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that leaders have a lot of responsibilities and they need to be aware of just how many people are trusting that they will act with everyone’s best interests in mind.
This is where I think it is so valuable to have a leadership role model. A person or set of ideals that frame the kind of leader you want to be and the decisions you make. I firmly believe in the importance of establishing core business values – a set of guidelines that dictate how you want to run your business. These can be aligned with the values you stand for personally, like fair-mindedness, integrity, determination, innovation and respect. And they are used to steer your business, management and employees in the right direction.
Don’t lead with money
Leaders often shy away from getting more in-depth with the different members of their teams. Rather than taking the time to understand a person’s goals or dreams and helping them take steps towards these, we often use money to get people to do what we want them to do. And let’s not be mistaken, money is a great incentive, but securing their loyalty and getting them to champion your business’ cause, requires a little more depth.
A great example to demonstrate how dangerous leading with money can be is to look at parents who spend money on buying their kids the latest toys or gadgets instead of simply spending time with them.
When you think about a good leader, who comes to mind? For some of us, it will be those who lead the biggest and most successful nations or companies, someone like Steve Jobs, for example. Others will think of individuals who have overcome hurdles to set a positive example for those around them, like Nelson Mandela. Both were successful but their approaches and ideals were decidedly different. When determining your leadership style, modelling yourself on a leader you respect and admire is a great starting point.
You needn’t try to be exactly like a single person. You can model your approach to leadership on various people. Perhaps you like how one leader handles confrontation and how another promotes teamwork. Bring these different traits together to create your own magic recipe for leadership success.
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