The best definition I was given in reference to being a leader was " To be a leader you have to be able to engage, plan and attack goals". Sounds about right to me, but one of my English Professors use to always say "if you truly understand the meaning of something you'll be able to translate said meaning in your own words". So when I'm asked what my definition of a great leader is I give my own version "Being a leader is simply someone who has the ability to promote the vision, but also have the skills to help motivate others to achieve the goal and allowing others to become leaders in the process".
You see, being the leader doesn't mean anything if you don't know how to properly lead. All the great leaders know that great leadership is about empowering. Empowering your team, clients, children, friends and family. A great leader knows that he or she doesn't have to be in the front lines screaming "I am the leader and do as I say". A great leader also knows how to step away and let others utilize their talents and gifts in the areas they're lacking. Why hire someone who's just as bad as you in English to be your assistant and draft your memo's and important documents. Yes, you hire the best of the best in that area. True leaders know that when you lead properly you are investing your time and skills in someone whom you expect in return to combine their knowledge and skills and one day surpass you. Yes, I said surpass you. It's okay if you don't get it. It's a maturity skill you will one day acquire.
One thing you must remember is the foundation of leadership must exist first.
This week I decided to focus on the 4 foundations of a good leader and the first quality is "Maturity".
Maturity is one of the essential ingredients of leadership.
One thing we have all learned is age is no guarantee of maturity. Maturity is made up of: integrity, empathy, strength, services, time management, communication, planing and decision making. Maturity is one of the most important skills one must obtain to become a leader, because the word leader is so powerful and most of us can get engulfed in the ego side of the title, but a mature leaders knows leadership is an influence and not a title, status or position. leadership will become something you are more than something you do. it is not self-serving or self centered.
You must mature into your leadership skills. The leader I was last year is not the leader I am today. If I would of taken on some of the projects I wanted to or let my ego lead me into something I wasn't mature enough to handle I would be up the creek with no paddle. I was mature enough to know it wasn't my time and mature enough to seek out the knowledge and skills I was lacking. There are so many people that take on the leadership roles and they're really not ready for it. Let me list a couple of things about mature leaders
- As corny as it may sound a mature leader knows there's no "I" in team.
- Self Awareness - Mature leaders know their strengths and weakness
- Self Regulating - Great at controlling their emotions
- Empathetic - They understand the emotions of others
- Motivating - Mature Leaders have passion/drive for achievement and continuous improvement
- Social Skills - They are able to build a rapport with and influence others
Next week I'll be sharing the second foundation, which is DECISIVENESS.
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