Successful businesses and teams require great leadership. Everyone has an opportunity to be a leader in some capacity. As a disclaimer, having power does not automatically qualify you as a great leader. Here are five things all leaders should be able to do.
1. Be willing to make the journey alone.
There’s nothing more inspiring than following someone who is willing to walk alone. Chances are they have an unshakable faith, cut off all forms of retreat and bet on themselves. Leaders with that type of mentality and borderline desperation are the most inspiring because they have a never say die attitude. They also gain experience the fastest by putting themselves to the test. If you are aspiring to be a better leader, find a journey you are willing to make alone and learn to lead by following your own instincts.
2. Be “one of the guys” (or girls).
Every effective leader in my life has placed themselves on an equal playing field as me. They may have a higher corporate position, make more money and have more responsibility but they address me as an equal. Effective leaders get to know you on a personal level. They find out what truly drives you and what makes you tick. Driving force is energy. When leaders tap into that energy it inspires you and increases your output.
3. Have a vision.
Lead by compass, not by time. We are always in a rush to make things happen. We try to find the easiest way to make the greatest gain in the shortest amount of time. In the short-run it may work but in the long-run it rarely ever pans out. Effective leaders pick an end goal, create a road map, relay the message and work the plan.
4. Commit and adapt.
Effective leaders always commit to their cause and adapt when necessary. Commitment means pushing through even when they lack motivation. Adaptation comes about by realizing where they went wrong and making the necessary corrections. If you can commit and adapt you will always put yourself in a position of learning. The more you learn the more willing others are to follow you.
5. Give others a paradigm shift.
This point is by far the most important aspect of great leadership. A paradigm shift is when you change basic assumptions. For example when you make a team of underdogs believe that they are and have been the best all along. It may not be true in nature but it’s made true in perception. Perception creates reality. If you can change other’s perceptions you will change the current state of reality.
Long story short, make people feel connected to a worthy cause and believe in them more than they believe in themselves.