This had to be one of the hardest articles to write as I prefer to be a part of the team that collectively decides on our actions that ultimately creates reactions and if we are all on the same page it will ultimately make for a better existence for everyone involved.
Everywhere we go in life, there is a leader, whether it’s a product, service, or individual. I will touch on product and services but my focus will be on the individual for this article.
There are many books on leadership processes, as well there are many styles, biographies, articles, and more, but what I am sharing with you is what I believe is required to be a successful leader in the 21st century.
I will start by giving a brief explanation on the different types of leadership based on a product, service, and individual:
- As a product someone has to set the trend and pave the way for the future
- As a service someone has to elevate the customer experience to go beyond the established standards, the norm, and the everyday
- And, as an individual, that someone can be a colleague who is the same as you, or one person who oversees another, or a group/team, department, company, corporation, or a nation (country). As an individual everyone can play an important role, but the difference is in:
– What is the subject matter
– Who is listening
– Where are they listening
– When are the listening
– Why are they listening
– How are they participating
What sets a leader apart? A leader:
- can see beyond the surface, looking beyond roles, responsibilities, issues, and problems to detect what is really going on
- inspires, plans, plots, and gets involved, provides direction, takes responsibility (leads), and empowers others to get the job done right when they are not there.
- has foresight to recognize an individual, situation or circumstance as an opportunity of growth for the company (brand) integrity and image.
- develops, implements, and manages systems, processes, procedures, policies, manuals, and performance measures that help others excel and grow
- establishes the vision, values, mission statement, and leads by example
- understands or creates the culture, community, business strategy and shares it with passion
- has foresight, is adaptable, and can change as the company and market demands
- is accessible and works to breaks down walls, barriers, and roadways, is supportive, encourages communication and collaboration
- coaches and develops others, bringing together the team, and ensuring that area/division/department understands the task, roles, responsibility, and objectives
- allows another to blossom and grow, even surpassing them in position or stature.
- understands their strengths and weaknesses, works with many other leaders for a common goal, recognizing their weaknesses and provides direction and support for growth
A good leader is an educated and experienced individual to make decisions for the better of the products, services, and individuals involved.
A leader understands the value, vision, integrity, and image of the brand (corporation), for internal and external customers. Below is a synopsis of a “Boss vs Leader” analogy.
Not all leaders are natural born leaders.
- They are in their position because of circumstances and politics
- The business has natural momentum, so they coast by, not understanding the big picture, their roles and responsibility but they have insights into the business operations, SWOT analysis, relationships, and key organizational traits
- They do not take on ownership, responsibility, and accountability
- Lack character and the ability to communicate with employees and customers
- Has psychopathic traits (charm, ego, persuasive, empathy, fake and independent focused)
- They prefer to put others down for their own personal gain, especially if that individual has more knowledge or wisdom
- “Greedership” when a leader holds onto control for their own good
- Focuses on the small stuff (i.e. in writing the capitals, lower casing, periods) and misses the big picture.
Where is leadership most needed in the USA and Globally? In the art of “War”. Could you imagine the USA without the leaders who helped win the wars? It’s what shaped america and set the tone for it to be the largest global economy.
The battlefield has been in existence for thousands of years and is used frequently in the correlation and inspiration in business which comes from the battlefield, the front lines, the commanders, and a book called the “Art of War” by Sun Tzu, it’s a book that was written some 30+ years ago that still influences business today.
There are many different styles of leadership, I like to combine and make mine unique by looking at motivational speakers, success stories, failures, religious triumphs, spiritual beliefs, famous people/circumstances/products, and the military.
Going over and beyond leadership and getting into coaching (teaching) and mentoring those who are listening. Its about being genuine, honest, with integrity to share your knowledge and wisdom for the benefit of the individual, department, and organization. Below are some of the actions required to be a successful leader.
Some will say that you need to be a good follower to be a great leader, so in closing, every leader has a follower, now what type of follower are you? I saw a great analysis of the seven types of followers from Brigette Hyacinth:
In this article I wanted to review with you success stories that I experienced as a leader and as a follower. Working with founders, partners, or employees within their expertise and experience to better understand their views and opinions. But when I started to write the first analysis I quickly realised this would become a 10,000+ word article.
Since I am not writing a book on the subject, I will write separate articles over time about my success stories and my struggles as a leader and as a follower.
For those of you who are leaders or want to be a leader, I thank you for sharing and caring. It means allot for those who are trying to climb the totem pole of life and career. You can follow this blog or watch for future articles about leaders in Products, Services, and beyond.