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Leadership - Lead or Bleed

All people are born with an ability to lead and when presented with various opportunities they can and will lead.  There are certain skills or natural attributes that will assist with leadership.

The information on leadership is very diverse, the material that is out there that I have read is confusing and it needs to be simplified to help understand the leadership phenomenon.

So what are the some of the qualities of a great leader that enables them to lead?

Leaders have vision and communicate their performance expectations, they lead with innovation from the front who will and can deliver through understanding and delegating. Leaders understand motivation and reward accordingly. Observation is a great tool and feedback from others to assist leaders to be able to coach and mentor. They praise in public and dress down behind closed doors.

Passionate leaders will inspire and deliver a message so effectively that the people who are following will believe and deliver the result.  Initially Hitler who had the country behind his belief for a better life for Germany was so passionate and energetic that he created engagement with the German people, however towards the end the message was disastrous for all.

Leaders who involve their team and work together will engage their team. They are considerate of everyone’s learning styles so that their message is clearly understood.

Both Towers Watson 2012 and Gallup’s 2013 world-wide surveys, consistently showed that around 26% of employees’ are actively disengaged and another 39% reported being detached. That’s over 60 % that are not engaged!

In all great leaders you recognise similar qualities that some execute well and others better. We are capable of improvement.

With all of the abovementioned leadership qualities who do you think is a prime example of a great leader?

Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Winston Churchill and Sports team captains all have the necessary skills to lead.

Are these leadership skills the same, are they transferable, could the same leader effectively lead a National sports team and become leader of a country or a business?

It’s difficult to lead in different areas and yet the principles are very similar.  I believe that passion and expertise are mandatory to be an effective leader.

This brings me to this point, we all have opportunities to lead.  I recently attended a funeral and during the eulogies I realised that Graham was a great leader. He was passionate about his family and engaged them, he and his wife planned a new journey leaving his family behind in another country and started a fresh life in Sydney. As time passed by he added children to the team who he motivated and taught skills to become self-sufficient.  He mentored and coached them through to adulthood, and those skills will be transferred to his grandchildren. Graham was also a leader in the community and other areas and each time he challenged himself to the next goal.  Like Graham, as individuals we like to be motivated, challenged and rewarded for our efforts.

Recently I was asked this question, how do you want people to remember your leadership style? That question can only be answered by me or you, therefore look at what you do today and reflect and make the changes to suit.

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