I’m going to share with you some of the things I’ve realized about leadership in the several places I’ve volunteered/worked…and I believe they do apply, more or less, at all levels and in all kinds of organizations whether for profit, non profit or governmental.
I believe a clear set of qualities can be found across most those who we look up to as leaders or enjoy working with. Some of which are the following:
Vision: A leader without a vision is like a captain sailing a ship into oblivion. Without a clear direction, a goal or even a dream…that person is not leading but merely managing the work being done without giving much value to why is it being done, how and what for.
Trust: This has proved to be so essential for anyone to be a leader, he/she needs to be trusted and to be able to know how trust others. Without that sense of trust, the leader will quickly loose ground and wont have a team to work with.
Transparency: If the leader is not clear with those he’s working with then they will lose interest, have distorted ideas of what needs to be done, and they most probably will not have a shared common goal.
Stability: A leader needs to be to stable and strong to be able to support his/her team. Without that stability, both he/she and his/her team will crumble sooner or later. Stability comes from several factors…from within, from the society, from family, from work, finances…etc. Thus it is tricky to strike a balance between it all and manage to be as strong and stable as a mountain.
Competence: Any leader who is not found to be competent and able to implement work properly, he/she will not be able to lead a team. Being able to lead others by example proved to be one of the most effective ways. Thus sharing the successes and achievements he/she has done and can do in the future will raise the moral of his/her team and provide guidance.
Humbleness: A leader’s ego can lead to his/her downfall if it is not checked and trimmed often. The leader needs to keep his/her feet on the ground, always treat others as equals and make sure that how he/she acts/talks does not reflect any bossy-attitude, arrogance or a sense of superiority. Everyone on the team is equally important, respectful and worth giving the attention of the leader to develop and grow.
I know those aren’t much, but after my personal reflections those seemed to be the most obvious and note-worthy qualities that a person needs to have to be able to lead.
Let me know if you have others in mind
We, as human beings, have a zillion ideas flying around in that mind of ours. Yet as Charles Landry once said “the single biggest problem in the world is not finding great ideas but getting great ideas to move, to flow” and this will be the focus of my post. I aim at showing how to move from ideas to actions. From dreams to reality.
Drowning in our ideas and getting stuck on what to do is in itself a thinking problem, a self-inflicted problem in most cases. What we need is to rethink our way of thinking about ideas to create the right movement in the right direction, the rest will follow.
Here are few steps to consider:
Rethink complexity.We create complexities, mind barriers and problems by simply over-analyzing our situation, given and capabilities. Often outsiders see things more objectively and clearly, so do share your ideas and “worries” with some trusted people to get feedback and their perspective before you jumpy into over-analyzing.
Rethink systems.If you’re in a “system”… be it a work environment, friends, community or physical location that is being resistant to change, to comply to new ideas…rethink the system. If you have the power to change the system before you tackle new ideas, do so…if not, then start searching for a newer system that better encourages the very behavior and ideas you seek.
Rethink ego.Our ego can sometimes hinder us from exploring new ideas, from realizing our failures, our limitations and our resources. We keep on rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship by keeping busy and deceiving ourselves that we’re making progress.
Rethink boundaries.No idea is too big or too far-fetched, growth and progress often needs exploring new territory, so do take that leap of faith to go into undiscovered forests.
Rethink habits.We are what we do often, so do reflect on your habits and see whether those are pushing you forward towards achieving your dreams and implementing those ideas or are they pulling you back? Failing to realize the impact your habits have on you might mean that you’ll stay stuck where you are.
Rethink failure and success.Two faces of one coin, one cannot come without the other. If you’re afraid of being wrong, embarrassed by failure or paralyzed by insecurity, you will never find the solutions that lead to meaningful growth.. On the other hand, you need to know what success looks like. Muddy expectations lead to exhaustion and defeat before you even get started. Praise short-term accomplishments to appeal to your heart and not just your head. It will keep your ideas moving along.
Rethink the possible.In most cases it just needs that extra push, that bit of motivation, that one voice to tell you “Everything is feasible!”. Many of the things that seem possible and even trivial today were once impossible, so don’t let anything hold you back and go for it!
Seven simple steps with a great impact. Everything is feasible and all ideas can materialize, dreams can become reality…and it’s all in your head!