In my last article I discussed several characteristics that make a good leader. You can read the previous post here. As promised I’ll go over a few more examples of good leaders.
A great leader connects successfully with all kinds of people — which first means learning about and understanding personality types. Many leaders work with an educator trained in this area to better lead their team or organization.
A great leader can see any situation through the other person’s eyes. Read Leadership & Self Deception by The Arbinger Institute. Seriously. Go online and get it now.
A great leader is accountable, taking responsibility for the actions of her team or organization. Except when something outstanding takes place—then a great leader praises each participant publicly. Conversely, conversations about mistakes or negative behavior are held one-on-one.
A great leader maximizes her team by empowering the superstars, moving the middle and re-assigning the misplaced.
· Superstars are those who go above and beyond. Everything they touch turns to gold. A talented leader asks the superstars what they need and ensures they get it. She allows these people to shine in their strengths and also solicits their input on strategy and direction.
· The “middle” usually includes the majority of a team—they are the dependable, efficient employees. They receive satisfactory job reviews and generally work well with others. An effective leader praises these people for the activities they do well and works intentionally with a few at a time to raise up superstars.
· The “misplaced” are those who truly could be more successful doing something else, somewhere else. Their work is not satisfactory and they tend to be in conflict with others on the team. Many times much of a leader’s energy is spent on this group. A successful leader helps these employees see that they could be happier elsewhere, and then reassigns them or gives them time to find another job. Although this is never an enjoyable task, it is possible to do it with respect.
Continual efforts in these three areas grow the superstar group and diminish or eliminate the misplaced group. The returns to bottom-line and to the team’s energy level are worth the effort.
A great leader serves others in his organization. The only truly effective leadership that produces positive change in the world is servant leadership. Organization charts really should be drawn “upside down.” The CEO (and the Board) should be at the bottom, supporting the rest of the organization. Great leaders are the broad shoulders of support; the ones who carry the weight of the organization or the team, which can only be done from underneath.
And finally (for now), Principle 3 of The Eight Principles: Leadership Leads™ –by example. John C. Maxwell may have said it best, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
If you are a leader by chance or by choice, thank you for serving.