Leadership. I love the word, but what does it really mean? The term “leadership” is thrown around very easily. Yet, too many “leaders” lack the skills necessary to be effective. There’s a difference between leaders and bosses, but far to many self-described leaders are nothing more than a boss.
There isn’t one outline or one specific way to be effective as a leader. Every organization, every team is different. Each scenario or situation comes with nuances that pose challenges. What separates a leader from a boss is how that individual reacts and overcomes. There are however, in my experience, three characteristics that apply to any situation.
Leadership: 3 Simple Things
- Start with transparency. Everyone knows you’re the boss. Every member of your team knows, or at least should know, (what they know falls on you too,) your role and theirs. So be open and honest. Transparency doesn’t mean you give away everything. Transparency simply means being accountable and telling the truth. This includes when you can’t share information: tell your team “I can’t discuss that right now.”
- Communicate. Yes, you’ve heard this before, but my success has come from communication. I keep my team informed. Remember that transparency? You can only be transparent when you communicate and communicate often. No one on your team is left in the dark. Talk, talk and talk some more. Don’t waste time, but keep everyone informed.
- Be accountable. If you’re accountable, everyone else has to be too. Everything starts from the top. You can only expect accountability from your subordinates if you are just as accountable.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”
Being a leader is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either. Make yourself the model you want others to follow. The best example is the example that you set.