Business Magazine

Fast Leadership

Posted on the 24 March 2014 by Alanhargreaves @RechargeToday

Fast Leadership

A random walk through the leadership maze.

Fast Leadership
Search “leadership” on Amazon and you’ll find several thousand books on the subject. Even more than on “How to make a million in real estate”.

Many are all well argued. Some draw on great historical examples, others quote celebrity CEOs. A few are inspirational. Yet most are hard to put into practice. With leadership, as with real estate, there’s no silver bullet.

What if you just need to get on with it?

A survey of leadership literature suggests five simple steps.

Get clarity

If you are going to lead people somewhere, you need to know where that is. Sounds simple but a lack of clarity kills momentum. Ever sat in one of those meetings where discussion never ends? It’s because the meeting had no clear question to answer.

Ask the question. Where do you want to go? Is it solving a particular customer’s problem, building market share, boosting innovation or some big strategic issue? Whatever it is, get it clear and it gets easier.

Get authentic

Fast Leadership
Take an honest look at what you are really good at. If you are not sure, ask some people you trust to tell you. You are not Steve Jobs. You are you. Decide to do you really well.

Once you know that, you’ll know what your role is. Lead with those strengths. That way you’ll make your strongest contribution. By doing the bit you do well there’s less chance you’ll stuff it up.

Get help

You have to get other people to do the things you are not good at. So have a team and believe in them.

You are now well on your way. The next step is the hardest part and it’s the core of leadership.

Forget yourself

Fast Leadership
There’s a very simple way to do that: help others. Great leaders grow great people. By helping others to shine, the whole team rises, including the leader. We know the importance of quality time with children. Try it with your team.

That’s how successful people earn the moniker of being a great leader. They don’t talk about “I”. They talk about “we”. Who would you rather follow? If you are going to lead, that’s the sort of person you need to be.

If you’ve got all that right, you might now want to strut your stuff. There’s a way to do that without losing your humility.

Take action

Look at what you can authentically bring to the table by doing all of the above. It might be a solution to an existing problem, or something that leads in a new direction. Propose an initiative that’s good for your organisation, your customers and your people. Everyone except you.

Fast Leadership

Put it forward. Brainstorm it with your team. Step up to the plate and take responsibility for it. It’s not about you. It’s about serving. Not every idea will fly, but do it a few times and you will notice a change. Things will start getting done. And people will occasionally associate your name with the L word. 

By all means, read inspiring leadership books. But if you just want to get on with leading, try five simple steps: get clarity, be authentic, get help and give help. Then use all that as a platform for action.


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