How does one become a good leader? Better yet, how does one become a true leader that people want to follow? What are the pitfalls that need to be avoided?
Being a leader doesn’t come easily and certainly doesn’t come cheap. When something goes well, you might hear a good word (rarely happens) but when things go really wrong, then you are bound to get your head chewed off.
First and foremost, a good leader shows character. It doesn’t matter if you have the best technical skill set in the whole world if you aren’t intact in character. Treat everyone with the respect that you expect to be treated with and evaluate people personalities above everything else. In Gandhi’s words: “Be the change that you want to see in the world…”
Treat your people as equals and nothing less. When you raise requests and expect things from them, then make sure that your expectations are sound, manageable and set at well defined timeframes.
Expect the very best from everyone but give them your very best and nothing less in return. If you want something to be done, you don’t really have to do it for yourself since you have a team of people. But do show them how you expect them to accomplish things. Be their true leader. Sit down and talk to others. Show them how things should be done and work with them to define what’s working correctly and what is performing poorly.
Try not to get yourself sidetracked by office politics and never stub anyone in the back. If you have something negative to say for an individual always talk to them face to face with no one else present. No matter how strict you are with them, your people will appreciate your honesty and the fact that you care enough to talk to them about what they are not doing right. At the end of the day it’s all about talking to your people and having them talk to you… Communication is key if you want to be the best leader possible…