This question was submitted by reader Danice M.
"What steps do I need to take to become a good leader?"
A: There are no generally accepted, prescribed 'steps' to becoming a good, much less a great leader. Rather, there are a number of key leadership facets that, in my view, all great leaders demonstrate, and that you will need to master.
(These facets are described in some detail in the article The Five Key Facets of High Performance Leadership)
Having said that, there are some actions you can take towards helping you become a good or even a great leader:
Make the DECISION
I like to say that leadership is a decision, not a position. The great comedian, Syd Silver when asked by Larry King what made him successful replied: 'In this game you need two things to succeed...an OPINION and a STYLE'
Leadership is similar in that to attract followers, you need to have an opinion about something, which I call a FOCUS, and it needs to be
clear and compelling. Some would call it a leadership vision. You need to make a decision regarding what your vision for the world around you is.
Announce the DECISION
Tell the world. Don't shirk from this. Muster all the courage you can and simply tell everyone and anyone you meet what your leadership focus is. Attract true and loyal followers by focusing on the outcome, the vision, or as Antoine de Saint-Exupery put it:
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
NEVER Give In
Stay the course and overcome obstacles, or as Winston Churchill put it:
"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."
You also need a degree of flexibility in using different leadership styles, depending on the situation. Check out resources on the web on Situational Leadership® to help with the latter.
Being a good leader is simple, but not easy. It requires tremendous strength of character. Almost all successful leaders will tell you that being extremely focused on the outcomes they wanted to create, trying many different approaches to achieving them, and staying the course all add up to success.
Good luck in your efforts!
| About Brian Ward|
Brian Ward is a Principal in Affinity Consulting, an Edmonton Alberta based consulting practice. He is the author of Lead People...Manage Things. He has over 25 years of experience working with all levels of leaders and teams as a leadership coach, facilitator and consultant. His website is at www.affinitymc.com