Performing as a superior, effective, meaningful, and (hopefully) great leader, necessitates a mindset and a willingness to continuously become better, and thus make a more significant impact on his organization. Just as most things in life, where one must constantly evolve in an actual manner, serving as a true leader requires an inner recognition and ability to objectively recognize his best abilities, as well areas of weakness that he should improve and/or enhance.
Perhaps the most significant difference between merely serving in some position of leadership, versus really leading, is a true leader knows, realizes and accepts the idea that no one is ever perfect, and thus must seek (on a daily basis) to IMPROVE in such a way as to become better able to lead in a valuable, relevant and sustainable way.
1. Ideas, innovate, ingenuity, integrity
Are you ready, willing and able to introduce original ideas, in order to make your group stronger? Do you have the ability to visualize things (ramifications) that others may not as easily perceive of? Can you differentiate between mere pie-in-the sky approaches, as opposed to considering, developing and best utilizing alternatives? Do you exhibit absolute integrity?
2. Make things happen!
You can’t wait for others to do it, but rather must proactively make then work! This means leading by example, and doing so in an automatic, constant and consistent manner. You must never merely use the rhetoric of change, but must become the vehicle to assure the best opportunities, etc.
3. Priorities and planning
Merely doing something or seeming (or even being) busy is generally unrelated to truly leading. Rather, a real leader has a sense of urgency and direction, that directs him to develop priorities, and to not merely suggest, but rather plan the best course of action, etc., to follow.
4. Relevant, reliable, reasonable, rational
Think – how does this idea positively impact stakeholders and the organization? Will the consider the group to be relevant and/or significant enough to motivate them to more closely embrace his identity of being a part of that group? Will others consider your ideas to be reasonable and rational, and if not, are you ready, willing and able to further explain thoroughly your rationale?
5. Options, opt, opportunities
Quite often, one of the most significant factors that differentiate great leaders from the wannabes, is the willingness and ability to prepare for opportunities, know one’s options/alternatives, and opt for the one that will have the potential of creating the finest results.
6. Vital, vibrant vision
How can one be expected to lead unless he personally believes in his approach and perceptions, and thus motivates others to buy into his vision? Do your ideas resonate with others in a vibrant, exciting and positively motivational way?
7. Empathy; energy; enthusiasm; excellence
Are you willing to prioritize the needs, concerns and priorities of those you serve? Do you continuously bring the maximum energy and enthusiasm that lets others clearly know what you seek to do? Are you willing to accept average or mediocre, or will you strive for excellence in everything you do?
Realize you have to keep improving if you want to be effective and evolve! You can’t lead effectively until and unless you accept the fact that everyone can always get better!
Photo Cred: Vanderbilt.edu