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Ordinary Leaders lead by title and position only. They lack influence and the ability to inspire because they lead from their position of Leadership. People only “follow” them because they have to.
Do you lead with the title on your business card?
Extraordinary Leaders grow the people around them and inspire fierce loyalty and devotion from the team they lead. They have major influence and people want to be on their team and be led by them.
Are you growing the people you have around you as the leader?
Do you have influence?
If you want to move from the ordinary to extraordinary Leadership there are some critical non-negotiable fundamental factors that require you to lead for growth:
1. It’s crucial as the Leader that you have a strong, unwavering personal moral code that you live your life by and lead your team with. As the Leader, the buck stops with you – you’re responsible for the team you lead and how you lead should be underpinned by your own personal moral code. To achieve longevity in leadership, it’s important to those whom you lead to know what you stand for and what you don’t. How you operate and how you don’t. How you live your life and how you lead your team should be driven by the same values – you should be the same person at home as you are at work. Consistency in Leadership is critical if you are to gain and maintain the loyalty and trust of those you lead.
Have you established your personal moral code?
Does your team know what you stand for?
Is the Leadership of your team underpinned by your moral code?
Do you operate by the same code at home as at work?
2. You must have high levels of energy and enthusiasm to inspire your team. It’s infectious when the leader is bursting with passion and drive to achieve their vision – people can’t help but get swept up in their enthusiasm. Imagine if the Captain of your favourite sporting team walked slowly onto the field, kicked the grass a little and then commenced playing the game with only a few half-hearted calls to his teammates! Uninspiring!
Are you inspiring your team?
What are your energy levels like?
What do you need to have more enthusiasm about?
3. You must stay focused on your goals and stay focused on the behaviors that lead to the accomplishment of these goals.You as a leader must have your prioritised list of goals you need to achieve and you must lead your team, by example, to focus on these first.
Do you have a prioritised list of goals you need to achieve?
Does your team know what the big picture is?
Are you leading by example to accomplish your goals?
Where do you need to have better focus as the Leader?
Is your team focused and if not why not?
4. You must have the courage of your convictions. Leadership is never easy. Leadership is lonely. It is imperative you lead it at “arms length” so you can have the courage to make tough decisions when it comes to the people you lead.
What separates the extraordinary leaders from ordinary ones is their ability to have courage, face the truth head on and deal with whatever comes their way to do whatever it takes to achieve the big picture and unify the team. Leadership is a responsibility. If you as the leader can’t make the tough calls then who will? If you as the leader can’t stay the course neither will your team. If you as the leader can stay focused and convicted through difficult times you will strengthen the resolve of the people you have around you and the team will be encouraged by your conviction and will continue to follow you.
What do you need to have more courage about?
What do you need to be more convicted about?
Is your team following you?
Are you following a leader that is convicted and displays courage?
What is a tough decision you know you have to make?
5. You must grow the leadership capabilities of your team. The product is not the product – people are the product. By focusing on the development and growth of your team, the organisation will grow off the momentum that is created by growing Leadership around you. When you build belief in to your team it genuinely demonstrates to them that their personal development in Leadership and their personal life is important to you. When you make people feel valued, trust increases and your level of influence will also increase. Your team will commit themselves to you and your vision all the more in response to your commitment to them as a person. Leadership is a responsibility and you are leading people and your investment into the people you lead is what will determine whether you are an ordinary or extraordinary leader. Developing leaders by duplicating yourself as a extraordinary leader will determine your effectiveness as a leader.
Are you investing in developing the leadership skills of the key people you surround yourself with?
Who do you need to invest more into?
Is your team committed to your vision as a result of what you are doing for them?
Are the individuals in your team growing?
Is your Influence growing?
6. You must remain calm and in control. An effective leader is one who can remain calm and think logically in extremely stressful circumstances and events. They don’t respond with knee jerk reactions or “fly off the handle” at people. You know yourself that when people have a tendency to panic and burst out in anger, it makes you nervous being around them as you’re never too sure what their reaction to a given circumstance might be. Leaders shouldn’t engender these feelings into the team they lead. They need to lead with a level head at all times when in front of their team. A good example of this is a swan – the neck and head is above the water and everything is calm while the legs beneath the water are paddling furiously but you don’t see it.
How would you characterise your leadership style?
What do you need to do to be more effective under pressure?
Do you burst out in anger?
What has been the result of your anger?
7. Never be afraid to seek advice and guidance from independent people who are wiser than you. No one knows everything and extraordinary leaders want to be challenged and grow by continuing to learn something new. Highly effective leaders surround themselves with people that are better than themselves. This takes humility and being secure about who you are as the leader.
Are you a secure leader? Do you have insecurities about your leadership?
Who leads you independently?
What have you learnt recently that will help you to lead more effectively?
Do you have emerging leaders around you that have the potential to be better than you?
For 22 years I was led by an extraordinary leader before his sad passing August 2013. It was a major turning point in my life when I allowed myself to be led by Jim. There is absolutely no doubt the success that I’ve experienced in my life is a direct result of allowing myself to be led. Today I continue to be led by somebody else because I am convicted about this principle. In January 2016 the journey of Leadership will go to a new level for me with this process.
Are you and ordinary leader?
What do you need to implement to move yourself towards extraordinary leadership?