Successful leadership is about entering into a social contract with people. Meeting people where they are and connecting with them in terms of how their work contributes to their lives. That being said, I don’t think that there is a single approach or strategy for successful leadership. It’s not a case of all good leaders do this and not that. Or all good leaders believe this and not that. In fact, there are various facets that come together to make a good leader and there are a range of approaches to leadership.
I’ve unpacked a few of these below.
A leader as a brand
Forbes recently revealed their annual list of the globe’s wealthiest brands and for the ninth year in a row, Apple topped the list. With a worth estimated at $205.5 billion, up 12% over last year, this is the first time that a brand’s value has crossed the $200 billion threshold. Other popular brands that feature on the list include Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Coca-Cola. I believe that leaders must think of themselves as a brand. What makes the likes of Apple and Google so valuable? Their reputation. Think about leadership as a brand is all about your reputation – you need to be consistent, and, ultimately, good at what you do. The quality of leaders in your business has an impact on your brand.
A leader as a “big thinker”
Take a look at big thinkers like Plato or Aristotle. Great founders of different schools of thought, their philosophies have had some sort of influence on almost every form of Western knowledge. Both lived and communicated their ideals and purpose and I believe that business leaders should do the same.
A leader as an entrepreneur
When people talk about having an entrepreneurial leadership style, they’re referring to someone who leads like an entrepreneur but may work for a bigger, more traditional business. In this instance, it’s likely that you’ll have to align your approach to leadership with the ideals of the broader organisation. When you actually are an entrepreneur running your own business, you report to nobody and you’re in charge of your own behaviour. As such, it’s your responsibility to tap into some sort of higher power or into your core beliefs to drive your approach to leadership.
A leader as a blender
The modern leader needs to be an integrator. They need to be like a blender – bringing together ideas to create something amazing. Good leaders will inspire people to contribute and share their thoughts. But it’s not about just throwing a bunch of ingredients in a blender and mixing them all together. It’s about carefully choosing the right ingredients; different bits and pieces that will result in the right combination.
Figuring out how all of this comes together for you as a leader takes time and requires you to pause and think about what kind of leader you want to be. If this article was helpful, you may want to access more insights like this. You can do so by signing up for our monthly newsletter below.