Leaders differentiate themselves from others in four ways. It is important to see that these people are leaders not because they behave in this way: they behave in this way because they are leaders: they have a leadership attitude or approach.
The primary way true leaders differentiate themselves is by their creating and maintaining a ‘facilitating environment’ in which their team thrives. By ‘thrive’ we mean ‘able to do their job effectively, capable of growth and development, with fulfilment’. If the team members are thriving, then so is the team. If all the teams are thriving, then so is the organisation.
True leaders deploy many of the precepts and principles of leadership consistently, continuously and effectively. They show both a good understanding of them and of how to use this understanding to be useful to, and to influence, other people.
Leaders take a coaching approach in conversation with their colleagues—everyone, actually—not a telling approach. If leadership is about creating a facilitating environment, it follows leaders have to be good at enabling others to do their work themselves.
Ultimately, what true leaders do is show the way. Leaders can take their people somewhere they might otherwise not have gone voluntarily. Leaders show, by example, the possibility of doing what they ask of others. Leaders take the risk and go first. By succeeding, and showing how, they motivate everyone else. Leaders create leaders.
This gives leaders a challenge, because this requirement will bring up issues. Leaders have to address their issues. On occasion, they will find this difficult. They’ll find superficially rational—and probably convincing—explanations why they shouldn’t do it. In short, they will resist ‘taking the next step’.
Yet, it is vital to realise that this is the very work which, when successfully completed, will best enable everyone else to move forward.
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2015 Jeremy Marchant Limited . uploaded 20 june 2015 . image: Free images
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