Leaders Are Made Not Born

Good leaders are made, not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience. This guide may help you through that process.

To inspire your people into higher levels of teamwork, there are certain things you must be, knowand, doThese do not come naturally, but are acquired through continual work and study.

The best leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills.

Before we get started, let’s define leadership.

What Is Leadership?

Leadership is a complex process by which a person influences others to accomplish a mission, task, or objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and consistent.

In the words of General Norman Schwarzkopf, “To get ordinary people to produce extraordinary results.”

A person carries out this process by applying his/her leadership attributes (belief, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills). Although your position as an owner, manager, supervisor, etc. gives you the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives in the organization, this power does not make you a leader… it simply makes you the boss. Leadership makes people want to achieve high goals and objectives, while, on the other hand, bosses tell people to accomplish a task or objective.

The basis of good leadership is honorable character and selfless service to your organization. In your employees’ eyes, your leadership is everything you do that affects the organization’s objectives and their well-being. A respected leader concentrates on what they are [be] (beliefs and character), what they know (job, tasks, human nature), and what they do (implement, motivate, provide direction).

What makes a person want to follow a leader?

People want to be guided by those they respect and who have a clear sense of direction. To gain respect, they must be ethical. A sense of direction is achieved by conveying a strong vision of the future.

To help you be, knowand do, follow these twelve principles of leadership.

 


12 Principles Of Leadership

 

1. KNOW YOURSELF AND SEEK SELF-IMPROVEMENT.

In order to know yourself, you have to understand your be, know, and do, Seeking self-improvement means continually strengthening your attributes. This can be accomplished through reading, self-study, classes, etc.

“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.”
― Peter Drucker

2. BE TECHNICALLY PROFICIENT.

As a leader, you must know your job and have a solid familiarity with your employees’ jobs.

3. SEEK RESPONSIBILITY AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS.

Search for ways to guide your company to new heights. And when things go wrong, they will sooner or later, do not blame others. Analyze the situation, take corrective action, and move on to the next challenge.

4. MAKE SOUND AND TIMELY DECISIONS.

Use good problem solving, decision-making, and planning tools. Fishbone diagrams, flow charts and mental maps are all a great way to navigate problems and decisions.

A great decision making tool online can be found here: https://www.lucidchart.com/pages/examples/decision-tree-maker

5. SET THE EXAMPLE.

Be a good role model for your employees. They must not only hear what they are expected to do, but also see.

“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.”
― Albert Einstein

6. KNOW YOUR PEOPLE AND LOOK OUT FOR THEIR WELL-BEING.

Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers.

7. KEEP YOUR PEOPLE INFORMED.

Know how to communicate with your people, seniors, and other key people within the company.

8. DEVELOP A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY IN YOUR PEOPLE.

Develop good character traits within your people that will help them carry out their professional responsibilities.

9. ENSURE THAT TASKS ARE UNDERSTOOD, SUPERVISED, AND ACCOMPLISHED.

Communication is the key to this responsibility. The ‘Why’ must come first.

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
― James Humes

10. TRAIN YOUR PEOPLE AS A TEAM.

Although many so called leaders call their company, department, section a team; they are not really teams… they are just a group of people doing their jobs. Training people as a team creates cohesion and high performance.

11. USE THE FULL CAPABILITIES OF YOUR ORGANIZATION.

By developing a team spirit, you will be able to employ your company, department, section, etc. to its fullest capabilities.

12. DEVELOP YOUR PEOPLE.

Turn followers into leaders is the sign of true leadership greatness. The issue is also critical because if you aren’t identifying potential successors, you are probably not delegating as extensively as you should and you may well be a decision-making bottleneck.

One of the things we’ve learned in all our research is that it all begins with people.”
― Jim Collins

Ted Bonel – Strategy & Execution Advisors

Need assistance to help your team achieve your objectives to grow your business? Contact me at tedb@strategyandexecution.com.au to schedule a free 30-minute discovery meeting.

About Strategy & Execution

We have been providing organisations and their leaders with facilitation support and executive education focused on strategy development & strategy execution for more than 20 years. We support organisations seeking to create or refine excellent strategies and execute them quickly and effectively.

Our expertise is based on a mixture of wide business experience, effective tools as well as a great deal of consulting and executive education. Our approach to working with clients is as unique as our specialist focus. We always seek to challenge our clients’ thinking – but equally are unafraid to roll up our sleeves and help execute the ideas we help generate. Learn more about us here or view our upcoming workshops and events.

If you are preparing for strategy development and/or a strategy implementation challenge and are committed to creating value for your organisation, we look forward to hearing from you. Contact us now

Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter below to receive our articles and blogs every month.

Compounding Results

Small changes can make remarkable differences in business long term. Imagine you made 10 sales calls every week. On average 2 out of 10 of those calls become a customer. That’s 104 new customers a year.

Now let’s say you increased it to 12 calls a week. This gives you an another 21 customers per year. Over 5 years, those 2 extra calls per week add up to an additional 105 customers.

“It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis. Too often we convince ourselves that massive success requires massive action. Improving by 1% isn’t particularly notable – sometimes it isn’t even noticeable – but it can be far more meaningful, especially in the long run.” – From the book: Atomic Habits by James Clear

Studies show that 45% of our daily behaviours are automatic. This means that almost half of our day is spent doing something we aren’t even aware of. Some habits can serve us well, and keep us on the road to improvement. However, it is easy to fall into the trap of bad habits, and it isn’t until later that we see the negative effects of these built up over time. This is especially important in an organisation, as these poor habits can lead to an unhealthy culture.

“Habits are the compound interest of of self improvement – It is only when looking back two, five or ten years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones become strikingly apparent”– From the book: Atomic Habits by James Clear

Outcomes And Processes

Most goals we set in business are focused around outcomes. We want results – to increase profits, improve retention, reduce costs, increase conversion. Outcomes are good for setting goals, but without habits and systems they won’t be achieved.

Processes on the other hand, are about what you do – creating and implementing systems to reach those goals. Finding new customers, reviewing and reducing overheads, introducing cross selling/up selling. Building and executing systems for these is ultimately going to lead to the desirable outcomes.

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” – James Clear

The 4 Laws Of Habits

1. NOTICING – MAKE IT OBVIOUS 

It’s impossible to begin to change a habit if you are unaware of it. It’s also easier to start a new habit if you have the right environment around you. Have a look at your office environment. Pay attention to the visuals – is it productive or distracting? What stands out?

This is what the people in your organisation (and you) see all day, every day. Our brains are continuously scanning and analysing our surroundings and when we see the same things repeatedly, we will begin to form habits, good or bad.

Make sure the office is set up in a way that people can be productive, this could include:

  • Have the right tools and equipment to perform the jobs efficiently. (Adequate printers/copiers, ergonomic chairs, noise cancelling headphones etc)
  • Ensure the temperature and lighting is comfortable, and there is access to fresh air.
  • Have a decluttered environment – this makes it easier to find what they need and avoids distraction.

2. WANTING – MAKE IT ATTRACTIVE

Making organisational change is hard, and is often resisted. This is because the opportunities gained from the change aren’t necessarily attractive to people. It’s important to make change attractive – and something they want to do.

Team members have a very strong influence on each other. If you are making a change, it’s important that the team spend time working on it together. This creates the mentality that they are in it together – making it attractive. It is especially vital that your leaders are a part of this, as they have the greatest influence over others.

3. DOING – MAKE IT EASY

Habits are formed easiest when there is less effort required, and friction is removed. Many businesses put too much emphasis on the finish line of a big goal. Focus more on the start line, and instead keep the goals small, but consistent. It’s all about repetition.

4. LIKING – MAKE IT SATISFYING

Implement rewards to change behaviours. Most organisations will jump to bonuses and salary increases, however these are delayed rewards in the future. It’s important to have immediate, small rewards also that will solidify good behaviours and give a feeling of instant success.

Ted Bonel – Strategy & Execution Advisors

Need assistance to help your team achieve your objectives to grow your business? Contact me at tedb@strategyandexecution.com.au to schedule a free 30-minute discovery meeting.

About Strategy & Execution

We have been providing organisations and their leaders with facilitation support and executive education focused on strategy development and strategy execution for more than 20 years. Using business models such as Scaling Up, Exponential Organizations, E-Myth Mastery, Outthinker etc, we support organisations seeking to create or refine excellent strategies and execute them quickly and effectively.

Our expertise is based on a mixture of wide business experience, effective tools as well as a great deal of consulting and executive education. Our approach to working with clients is as unique as our specialist focus. We always seek to challenge our clients’ thinking – but equally are unafraid to roll up our sleeves and help execute the ideas we help generate. Learn more about us here or view our upcoming workshops and events.

If you are preparing for strategy development and/or a strategy implementation challenge and are committed to creating value for your organisation, we look forward to hearing from you. Contact us now

Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter below to receive our articles and blogs every month.