piątek, 7 marca 2014

The essence of leadership

For some people leader is someone who have a control over the team, who decides and sets the right directions.

For some people leader isn't so important role at all, well, just some guy with something he called soft skills, guy who want to do nothing, take no responsibility and get money for this.

For other leader is just another name for project manager or a titile for a developer who started to earn more money.

In many cases you aren't become a leader, because someone notice that you will be good as a leader or that you have traits of the great leader. In many cases is just another step on career ladder.

But of course, everything what I mentioned above, isn't always true and many people also found leader as an important person with their organization, which is needed and even more - required.
Also it would be lie if I would wrote that all people who were just assigned to this role are bad leaders. I'm the first example which came into my mind. I was promoted to leader position, not because my potential or leadership traits were noticed, but because of a need of such a person in one of the team. And I have hope that was a good decision. Given opportunity allowed me to know myself better and become a true leader.

But you don't have to rely on luck when you are looking for a leader. And to be honest, I believe that if you would look closely around you, you will find at least a few.
I heard once that "there is a leader in each of us" and even though I believe in it, it's also pretty obvious that for some people being a leader is more natural.

But the question stays, how you would know that you are looking at person who is not a leader, because of title, but because of his traits? In my opinion there are a few basics things that good leader should do and need to do it well.

someone who cares

I cannot imagine good leader who don't care about the other, anyway, in my opinion (and not only mine) leader is a servant.
He serves people and help them to overcome every obstacles, he doesn't think about himself on first place, but about the people who are follow him, he encourages them to develop their strenghts.
Great leaders knows that however good they could be, it would never be comparable with strenghts of the great team.

If you will meet a great leader you will notice that he cares about the individualities, he helps them growth and overcome their limits, achieve something which was treated as unreachable. He helps them to know themself better, because when you know yourself the only limit would be your own imagination.

Leader also cares about a team as a whole, because he knows that when they would work together they can achieve much more than working separately. Team is stronger than a group of people, because one person's strengths reduces importance of the other's weakness.

If you want to become a leader I recommend to remember Theodore Roosevelt's words and repeat this sentences a few times a day: Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.

he inspires, motivates

It's not a person who just talk about great things, ideas, practicies or solutions, to summarize - it's not a person who just talk. Each sentence is prooved by his acts, he leads by example, because he knows that if he wants to earn people trust, he need to show them that he is worth it.

Leader have to inspire people, motivate them to reach unreachable, to self-development, to continuous search for places for an improvements.
When the team is full of motivation, when the team is inspired you don't have to looking for willingness to work, because it's already there.

When people are motivated they gives you not only their hands to work, but also minds and hearts.

someone with vision

You can have many skills, the best team and great attitude, but with no purpose, without direction, you will get nowhere. Without vision no one would follow you, because you cannot lead them anywhere.

With shared vision you can build consistency in your team and thanks to this each team memember starts to thinking firstly about big picture and after this - about themself.

Seneca's quote perfectly describes the problem of not having a vision:
To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.”

it's not everything

I know there are more traits which characterized great leaders, but in my opinion the ones above are the most important one.

What is your opinion? What you need to have when you want to become great leader?