There are a lot of misconceptions out there about leadership; mostly propagated by individuals trying to convey their own sense of wisdom and promote themselves on social media. In reality, leadership is a very simple concept that has been made to seem difficult.
Leadership cannot be summarised by a formulaic “10 Characteristics of A Leader” plan. Leadership cannot be reduced to a this-plus-this-equals-leader package. In fact, leadership is less about the theory and much more about the context. We cannot say that all people who possess courage or wit will make good leaders; but we can, much more realistically, say that those who know how to react appropriately in response to a situation display behaviours that work well in guiding others.
McKinsey created a plan with 4-key behaviours displayed by high quality leaders. These are:
- Having the ability to solve problems effectively; by gathering information thoroughly and considering it comprehensively before making a decision.
- Possessing a strong orientation towards results; placing priority on good quality work and putting in the necessary effort to achieve optimal results.
- Wanting to support others; people who inspire other people and support them, gain trust and build better teams around them.
- Having a desire to explore new perspectives; people will move faster in the world if they have an open mind. This extends to the business world since leaders will better thrive if they encourage the input of their employees and consider the concerns of their stakeholders.
Each of these points can basically be summarised by saying that a good leader has integrity, empathy, drive, is a good listener and has the mentality that supports thinking outside the box.
A good start to achieving a leadership orientation is to get into the habit of regularly looking at situational leadership in the context of thinking “what can I do with this person or situation that I am in, and what will be the potential impact(s) of my action(s) or inaction(s)?” Reflective learning is a powerful tool. Taking a considered, reflective and strategic approach towards decision making will undoubtedly set you on the path to becoming a good leader.
At Brainox HR, we specialise in executive, senior management and frontline management coaching and leadership development. Whether you are looking to unearth the leader in you or you would like to develop emerging leaders in your business, contact us today and we’ll show you how.